Best Local: Where To Go For a Movie Night

Make that popcorn a large– you’ll want to stick around these theaters for a while

There’s a reason Netflix hasn’t taken over the world. The moment a movie theater lowers the house lights will always beat hitting “play” on your DVD player remote. Take some inspiration from the Jan. 20th kickoff of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, and try out some of Chicago’s more memorable movie-watching venues. Put your iPhone on vibrate and get cozy.

If You’re Staying at Kingsbury Plaza:
At Facets (1517 W. Fullerton Ave.), do more than just sit back and enjoy their indie, foreign and classic films. Facets’ mission is to preserve, protect, present, distribute, and educate about film. Put your brain to work and study cinema at the Film School’s Night School program. Then give your brain a breather take the kids to the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.
How To Get There: Get on the Grand Red Line El stop headed toward Howard. Get off at the Fullerton stop and hop on the 74 Bus headed toward Grand/Nordica. Get off at Fullerton and Greenview. Commute Time: 30 minutes

If You’re Staying at 180 N. Jefferson:
Speaking of Sundance, you can head to the iconic Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.) to catch the festival film “2 Nights in New York” as it simultaneously premieres at the Park City, Utah fest on Jan. 26. The largest full-time theater space in Chicago also hosts events like Second Saturday Silent Cinema. Opened in 1929, the independently owned venue runs indie and foreign flicks daily.

How To Get There: Get on the Merchandise Mart Brown Line El stop headed toward Kimball. Get off at the Southport stop and walk north. Commute Time: 40 minutes

If You’re Staying at Elm Creek Apartments:
The family-owned company, Classic Cinemas, has bought a handful of old theaters and polished them up for suburban film buffs. One of these gems is the palatial, 1924-built York Theater (150 N. York St., Elmhurst). The original lavish infrastructure remains, but the movies and technology are products of the 21st century. Your wallet will love it too: ticket prices are low and the refills on all sizes of popcorn and pop are gratis.

How To Get There: Take a car south on S. York St. and west on W. Butterfield Rd. Commute time: 10 minutes

If You’re Staying at Presidential Towers:
Originally founded as the Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1975, the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State Street) is the film lover’s paradise. A favorite of its late film critic namesake, the venue screens indie, foreign and classic films, hosts plenty of premieres and guest appearances and even houses a photography gallery and café.

How To Get There: Walk to the Clinton Green and Pink Line stops. Take the Pink Line subway headed toward the Loop. Get off at State/Lake. Commute Time: 10 minutes

If You’re Staying at City View at the Highlands in Lombard:
Standing strong in downtown LaGrange since 1925 is the LaGrange Theater (80 S. LaGrange Road). The movies and technology have modernized, but the popcorn is still cooked up the old-fashioned way. Even better news, the ticket prices are almost as cheap as they were in the roaring twenties.

How To Get There: Take a car down I-88 East and take the I-294 South toward Indiana exit. Exit onto US-34 E/Odgen Ave. Commute Time: 15 minutes

There’s nothing wrong with staying in and hosting your own date night with a RedBox flick. Especially when threatening icy patches coat the sidewalks. But take a tip from Sundance-goers and risk a quick slip for a night at an iconic local film joint. Shh! The previews are starting…