Remember drive-in movies? The old-school open-air theatres are having a renaissance. And they’re popping up all over Chicago, along with plenty of outdoor movie screenings where you can kick back in the grass and enjoy a movie under the stars. Here are some spots where you can catch a flick with friends at an outdoor movie theatre in Chicago.
Drive-in and outdoor movie theatres in Chicago
Millennium Park Summer Film Series: This summer, catch free outdoor movie screenings while surrounded by the soaring Pritzker Pavilion and city skyline in the heart of Millennium Park. This ultra-popular series will run on Tuesdays from July 12 through Aug. 30, 2022. These evening screenings are always busy, so make sure to arrive early to grab a spot on the Great Lawn. Guests are welcome to bring blankets, chairs, and a picnic to enjoy.
Abel Arciniega :: @tequilagraphics
Rooftop Cinema Club: This cool new hotel in the hip West Loop neighborhood is debuting a rooftop movie series this summer. The Emily is hosting Rooftop Cinema Club, where the public is invited to enjoy a packed lineup of screenings starting May 26, 2022. Your ticket includes a cushioned deck chair, headphones for the movie audio, and popcorn. Screenings before 4:30 p.m. are open to all ages, screenings starting at 4:30 p.m. or later are for ages 18 and up.
ChiTown Movies in Pilsen: Enjoy classic movies under the stars at this drive-in theatre in Pilsen. Each parking spot has an excellent view of their extra-large screen. Each week, they show a variety of blockbuster and classic movies, like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Mean Girls. And don’t forget the movie snacks — you can order popcorn, hot chocolate, and more right to your car.
Gallagher Way: This family-friendly green space in the shadow of Wrigley Field hosts outdoor movies on their jumbo digital screen. Catch all-ages flicks on Wednesdays throughout the summer season.
Water Flicks at Navy Pier; photo credit: James Richards IV Photography / Navy Pier.jpeg
Water Flicks at Navy Pier: This popular (and free!) series is back, with outdoor movie screenings at waterfront Navy Pier. Enjoy views of the lake and Centennial Wheel while you kick back on the grass and enjoy family-friendly films. Featured titles include My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Rent, and the instant Disney classic, Encanto. Movie screenings take place at Polk Bros Park on Mondays from July 11 through Aug 29, 2022.
Movies on the Lawn at Lincoln Yards: Pack a picnic, grab a blanket, and find a spot on the lawn for this outdoor movie series. Upcoming shows, currently scheduled through Sept. 25, include favorites like Dirty Dancing, Jurassic Park, and National Lampoon’s Vacation. Tickets are $10, and concessions and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase.
Night Out in the Parks: The Chicago Park District is bringing more than 100 outdoor screenings of family-friendly films to neighborhood parks this summer. Bring a blanket and grab a spot at Indian Boundary Park, Oz Park, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, Osterman Beach, Washington Park, and beyond. The series is currently scheduled to run from June 3 through Aug. 27, 2022.
Photo courtesy Chicago Park District