drive-in movie theater

Where to See a Socially Distant Drive-in Movie in the Chicago Area

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Drive-in movie theaters are starting to open across the Chicago area for some summer fun that complies with health guidelines on social distancing to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

ChiTown Movies opened a new drive-in movie theater in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood located at 2343 S. Throop Street.

The theater is screening "Grease" and "Coco" at various times through the end of June with tickets selling for $33 and $5 for every additional adult.

ChiTown guidelines state all viewers must remain in their cars during the film except when going to the restroom or restaurant, where there will be a mask requirement.

Chicago Drive-In Theaters opened new Bridgeview location at 7000 S. Harlem Avenue and will show movies each night through June 20.

Tickets will be $30 per car in general admission parking and $50 per car in preferred parking spaces.

The drive-in theater's COVID-19 rules and guidelines include:

  • Wearing a mask if movie-goers cannot remain 6 feet away from employees, patrons and other viewing parties
  • No grilling food until further notice to limit contact with other viewers
  • Headlights and other exterior lights must be turned off during the film
  • Take home trash to limit interaction with the theater's staff and garbage contamination

In May, the McHenry Outdoor Theater reopened to major crowds finding a way to get outside while social distancing.

The theater's website posted movies for the upcoming week with one at 8:50 p.m. and different film at 10:50 p.m.

Tickets are only available at the in-person box office and are $12 for adults; $6 for military, senior citizens and children. Those ages three and under can view the movie for free.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the theater will reach maximum occupation at 350 vehicles, as opposed to their typical 750 vehicle limit.

The drive-in theater will also require a mask if a viewer must leave the vehicle to use the restroom or purchase food items.

All theaters use FM radio to stream movies, but allow for personal portable radios if streaming is not possible for any vehicles.

After the city of Chicago announced major summer cancellations, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events created "reimagined" events happening downtown this summer, including drive-in movies.

"In lieu of the popular Millennium Park Summer Film Series, DCASE (Chicago Film Office) and the Chicago Park District are planning six drive-in movie nights across the city," city officials said.

The cinematic events will be limited to 50 cars, all of which will be required to pre-register. Officials also encouraged at-home viewing of the featured movies.

The city said more details will be announced soon.

Mistwood Golf Club, located at 1700 W. Renwick Rd. in suburban Romeoville will also be screening movies three nights a week this summer, offering a different film each night.

Screenings will take place every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday beginning at dusk, the golf club says, with pre-registration required.

Tickets are available online at 5 p.m. the day before and are sold in two packages: $30 for the spot, one bucket of popcorn and two beverages, or $50 for the spot, two buckets of popcorn and four beverages.

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