Chicago in the summer is a fantastic place to be, especially to be outdoors. Cooping yourself up in a traditional theater should be reserved for the winter-time blues. If you are looking for a new experience, the outdoor movies Chicago scene will surprise you. It is a great way to support local businesses, enjoy the fresh evening air, and immerse yourself in some of the best classics and new blockbusters.
McHenry Outdoor Theater
McHenry Outdoor Theater is a tribute to the nostalgics of the 1950’s where going to the movies was an event, a place to completely sink into a story. They aim to preserve that feel-good venue where you and your children can all show up in one-piece pajamas and much on popcorn while indulging in two-movies on the big screen from the comfort of your own vehicle. Their concession stand is loaded with all the classic favorites, they have a large grassy area to toss a frisbee around before the movie starts, and you are more than welcome to bring your pooch along to complete the family movie night.
1510 Chapel Hill Road
McHenry, IL 60050
Keno Drive-In is a real tribute to yesteryear. They currently still display films in their original 35mm format, rather than digital. The picnic grounds are a welcoming place to come before the movie begins to enjoy the great summer weather and socialize. If you forgot your munchies at home, no worries; they have a full concession stand on the grounds.
Unfortunately, the 2014 season may be the last for the Keno Drive-In. The property owner is looking to boot the theater in favor of something more prosperous. This is the sad and unfortunate route of many drive-in theaters around the country. If you want to be able to continue this nostalgic experience, be sure to voice your opinion!
9102 Sheridan Road
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
Cascade Drive-In is the sister theater to Keno Drive-In. Luckily, Cascade is looking to be around for quite some time. In 2013 they were awarded the ‘Brilliance in Business’ by the City of West Chicago. This drive-in retains the nostalgic feeling, but the movie equipment has been upgraded to modern digital projectors as well as in car speakers for your listening pleasure. The option to dial your vehicle’s radio into a designated frequency is also available. Having the movie blast through your vehicle’s speakers truly gives you complete control; it may be time to upgrade to that subwoofer.
1100 E. North Ave.
West Chicago, IL 60185
Chicago Park District: Movies In The Parks
The Chicago Part District proudly puts on the Movies In The Parks series in conglomeration with their Nights Out in the Park program. Throughout the summer they screen more than 175 films, from classics to current hits. The series kicks off in June and unites people in parks all throughout the city.
For a listing of movies in Chicago parks, be sure to bookmark their website.
Ravenswood Outdoor Movie Nights
Ravenswood Outdoor Movie Nights are held on the large lawn space of Bethany Church, with parking available at the Ravenswood Elementary School. The showings typically begin in May and play through September. The cover cost is minimal and that also includes burgers, brats, hot dogs, soda, water, and an abundance of candy for the movie. They begin grilling early to help past the time for dusk to arrive and the movie to begin; the popcorn machine is fired up at this time as well! The event is byob and blankets are recommended.
4250 North Paulina Street
Chicago, IL 60613
Spending warm summer nights engulfed by the outdoor movies Chicago scene is really one of the best ways to spend your time.