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Trying to incorporate old pastimes in our modern COVID era can be a bit of a hassle. Throughout this national episode, we’ve still figured out ways to continue having fun. Transferring most activities to outside patios and venues seems to be the most common fix. With entertainment most likely occurring outside, why can’t movie-viewing have a similar solution? Bringing back a common visual experience from the 40’s and 50’s, drive-ins have now been “popping up all over the country”. Movies aren’t the only resurgence happening outdoors; musicians, DJs, comedians, and more are all participating in the drive-in method as well. Here’s where you can catch a show in Chicago while enjoying these warm nights.
Part of the Chitown Futbol complex in Pilsen, this drive-in theater provides blockbusters every night of the week. From Shrek to Star Wars, the theater is making sure a range of family-friendly movies are available to view this summer.
Don’t worry about bringing your own food cause ChiTown Grill’s got that covered. Part of the key venue services, attendants will ride up to your car with a variety of theater favorites. From popcorn to tacos to frozen mango, this drive-in has all the snacking options perfect for a night at the movies.
Find tickets and show listings at the ChiTown Futbol website: https://www.chitownfutbol.com/chitown-movies
Most sporting events have been cancelled due to COVID, but that doesn’t mean we have to eliminate the sporting experience. CHI-Together is located right next to the massive Soldier Field, Chicago’s impressive football stadium. With all the spectacular lighting and ambiance, this theater ensures an enjoyable time at a safe, responsible distance.
With up to six riders in your vehicle, you can experience the classic drive-in experience with a few twists. Each movie begins with a 90 minute set from a local Chicago musician, if you’ve been missing the exhilaration of live entertainment. Movie classics for all ages are being shown Wednesday to Sunday, offering a family-friendly alternative to an ordinary night indoors.
Purchase event tickets at the Chi-Together website: https://chi-together.com/
Drive-in theaters don’t only host movie nights. These COVID-conscious venues have made film viewing successfully safe, so why not allow other sources of entertainment? Many drive-ins around the country are starting to host live acts and concerts, seeking out new opportunities for performers. Musicians, DJs, and comedians are starting to tour the country again, even with all of the distancing protocols.
The Adler Planetarium, a local favorite, spends most of its time hosting wild, celestial shows instead of live concerts. But throughout this summer and into fall, they’ll be continuing their concert series in this similar drive-in fashion.
Outside the planetarium, the parking lot will transform into a miniature stadium for maximum enjoyment. Fans of Lil Yachty, Sullivan King, and more will be ecstatic to see their idols performing live once again. Merchandise and concession stands will be available as well through a COVID-free ordering system.
One of the anticipated acts performing outside the Adler is local comedian Hannibal Buress. Gaining popularity for appearing on the shows Broad City and The Eric Andre Show, Buress will take his endearingly sarcastic stand-up to Chicago this fall. The show will have Burress in all of his usual hilarity, alongside special guests and musical acts. Masks and distancing will be required at his September 27th show, split up between a matinee and evening performance.
Purchase tickets to see Hannibal Buress at the Lakeshore Drive-in website: https://www.lsdrivein.com/
One of Hyde Park’s most beautiful and notable venues, The Promontory exists as an imperative space for art and music. As we know, music venues haven’t had a lot of wiggle room when it comes to hosting socially-distanced shows. With the inclusion of their splendid rooftop, The Promontory is back with some impressive concerts that will liven up your autumn.
Inspired by Spike Lee’s renowned dramedy, this outdoor experience will have you grooving to classic R&B and Hip-Hop. You’ll experience the Promontory’s glorious rooftop while a mix of contemporary music flows through the air. Masks are required with a temperature check at the door, a precaution mandatory for a safe, but captivating, night. Savor the simplicity of outdoor drinks and tunes with this vivacious September 4th event.
More info, tickets, and concerts at the Promontory website:
Needing to get out of the city? The McHenry is one of the oldest drive-in theaters in the Chicagoland area showing vintage, cult, and contemporary films.
Located northwest of the city, this outdoor theater is the closest you’ll get to the golden era of the 1950’s. Both Friday and Saturday night hold double features, including classics such as The Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters. Make sure you arrive promptly, since the only option for purchasing tickets is through their box office. Many fall events for the McHenry don’t only include movies: Jeff Tweedy, Billy Strings, and other musicians will make appearances in the upcoming months as well.
You can find more info about showtimes at the McHenry website.
It’s been a wonderful surprise that 2020 is the comeback for drive-in theaters. With these Chicago venues insistent on socially-distanced viewing, outside entertainment has become a great alternative for the avid concert goer. Autumn might have new challenges in store, but it won’t stop Chicagoans from gathering and watching great entertainment.