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  1. Photograph: Andy Barnes

Movie theaters | Steal vs. splurge

Getting the best value at movie theaters that allow booze.


SPLURGE VIP ticket at ShowPlace ICON (150 W Roosevelt Rd, 312-564-2104), $18.50 ($17.50 Monday–Thursday)
STEAL Regular ticket at the New 400 Theaters (6746 N Sheridan Rd, 773-856-5980), $7.50
It’s a throwback to see TRON: Legacy at a theater with 1980s ambience, even if it means forgoing 3-D. Unlike the all-digital ICON downtown, the New 400 Theaters show movies on celluloid, an increasingly rare pleasure marred by scratchy sound but mitigated by alcohol: Patrons are welcome to take their $5 Guinnesses into the theater.

At the ShowPlace ICON, there’s plenty of opportunity to pregame at the upstairs bar, but staffers only allow the “bomber size” Fat Tire beers ($12), and all other booze, in the more expensive 21-and-older VIP sections of the two main auditoriums. With stadium seating, sight lines are even less of a problem than at the 400, but reserved seating can be a turn off, especially when ushers check your ticket midfilm.

Money saved with steal: $11

Cheapest matinees

Logan Theatre (2646 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-252-0628): all shows, $4

The New 400 Theaters all shows before 6pm, $5

AMC Ford City 14 (7601 S Cicero Ave, 773-582-1778): all shows before noon, $5

Davis Theatre (4614 N Lincoln Ave, 773-784-0893): all shows before 6pm, $5.50

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