With movie theaters closed for the foreseeable future, film aficionados have had to make do with streaming options or a trip north of city limits to McHenry, Illinois, which hosts the drive-in theater closest to Chicago. That's about to change this week, as a makeshift drive-in theater begins screening films outside of SeatGeek Stadium, the home of the Chicago Red Stars in the southwest suburb of Bridgeview.
The Chicago Drive-In Theater will show movies seven days a week on a 70-foot screen, with room for up to 300 cars in one of SeatGeek Stadium's parking lots. Audio for each film will be broadcast on FM radio, allowing guests to tune in with their car radio or a portable radio. You'll have to sit inside your car while enjoying the movie and bring a face covering to wear while grabbing concessions or using the on-site restrooms.
Tickets can be purchased in advance via the Chicago Drive-In Theater website, with tickets running between $30 and $50 per movie (more expensive tickets offer better views of the screen) and no limits on the number of people that can legally fit inside your vehicle. Beginning on Thursday, June 11 with a screening of The Goonies, gates open at 7pm each night, with the screening beginning at 8:30pm. On Friday and Saturday nights, a second midnight movie screening will be offered, featuring adult-oriented flicks like Reservoir Dogs, The Blues Brothers and Superbad.
Cobra Lounge manager Louie Mendicino, who is one of the partners behind Chicago Drive-In Theater, stated that the outdoor movie operation is "founded by members of Chicago's career festival and large scale event producers and organizers." The Chicago Drive-in Theater website lists a Chicago location as "coming soon," and the theater's publicist Heather West confirmed that "we are hoping to open other locations if [the Bridgeview drive-in] is successful."
Chicagoans may have even more local drive-in options this summer—according to a Chicago Tribune report, the Music Box Theatre and the folks behind the Instagram account Bucket Listers are independently planning drive-in screenings in yet-to-be-determined locations.
UPDATE: Chicago Drive-In Theater isn't the only place you'll be able to watch movies under the stars this week. ChiTown Movies (hosted at ChiTown Futbol at 2343 South Throop Street) will begin showing two screenings a night on Tuesday, June 9. Through June 15, guests will be able to see Star Wars: A New Hope, with tickets starting at $33 for a vehicle filled with five people.
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