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The vintage facade of the Music Box makes it one of the best movie theaters in Chicago.
Photograph: Max Herman

The Music Box Theatre is reopening with limited capacity screenings

The Lakeview movie theater will host 50-person screenings in its main auditorium.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

As COVID case numbers in Chicago continue to drop and restrictions are rolled back, some of our favorite pre-pandemic pastimes are returning accompanied by new safety guidelines. Movie theaters received the go-ahead to begin reopen at reduced percent capacity back in January (alongside indoor dining and museums), though most local cinemas haven't immediately resumed screenings. 

Last week, the Music Box Theatre announced that it will officially reopen on Friday, February 26, showing the French-language Ivory Coast prison drama Night of the Kings in its main auditorium and Jewish horror film The Vigil in its smaller screening room. In accordance to Chicago's reopening guidelines, capacity in the Music Box's 750-seat main auditorium will be limited to 50 people, while only 15 people will be seated in its second theater. Much like when the theater briefly reopened last summer, all tickets will be sold in advance via the Music Box's website and masks will be required at all times, except when eating or drinking.

The Music Box joins a variety of other local movie theaters than have reopened over the past few weeks, including the Davis Theater, the Landmark Century Centre, the ShowPlace ICON Theatres at Roosevelt Collection and most AMC theaters. Some smaller cinemas—such as the Logan Theatre, the Gene Siskel Film Center and the The New 400 Theater—have not yet announced reopening plans.

If you still don't feel comfortable seeing a movie in-person, the Music Box is still offering a variety of arthouse movie, foreign film and documentary rentals via its Music Box Direct platform.

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