Things to do in Chicago for movie fansMary Houlihan – For the Sun-Timeson September 2, 2021 at 4:04 am

Welcome to our roundup of movie screenings and events in Chicago. Bookmark this page and check back for updates on shows and activities.

Marlene Dietrich

Jean Arthur (from left), John Lund and Marlene Dietrich in “A Foreign Affair.”Paramount Pictures

When: Sept. 5-Oct. 3

Where: 3733 N. Southport

What: The Music Box Theatre honors the great German American actress Marlene Dietrich with a matinee series featuring her work with directors Fritz Lang (“Rancho Notorious”), George Marshall (“Destry Rides Again”), Billy Wilder (“A Foreign Affair”) and longtime collaborator Josef von Sternberg (“Morocco” and “Shanghai Express”). Tickets: $9.

More information: For vaccination and/or mask policy information, visit

‘Hands Up’

Kris D. Lofton in “Hands Up.”Quiver Distribution

When: Opens Sept. 3

Where: On demand and at the Emagine theater in Frankfort.

What: This new film takes on the tense urban issues of the moment as a Chicago teen (Jermaine Johnson) deals with the fallout of gang violence and the police shooting of his cousin (Kris D. Lofton). LaRoyce Hawkins (“Chicago P.D.”) and Jamal Woolard (“Notorious”) co-star.

More information: For showtimes and mask/vaccination information, go to

Chicago Favorites

Gwyneth Paltrow in “Contagion.”Warner Bros.

When: Sept. 4-18

Where: 164 N. State

What: A fun series at the Gene Siskel Film Center features films curated by a cross-section of notable locals, continues with Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion” (Sept. 4), an interesting choice by Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health and the voice of all things COVID-19 for the city. Other upcoming movies are chosen by The Second City executive producer Jon Carr (“Singin’ in the Rain,” Sept. 9), Joffrey Ballet artistic director Ashley Wheater (“Hugo,” Sept. 11), Gene Siskel Film Center advisory board member Ed Siskel (“Rushmore,” Sept. 13) and WBEZ’s “Reclaimed Soul” host Ayana Contreras (“Princesse Tam-Tam,” Sept. 18). The guest curators will either introduce their film or host a post-screening talkback.

More information: For tickets ($12) and vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

‘Noir Across the Atlantic’

“Le Cercle Rouge” Provided

When: Aug. 27-Sept. 2

Where: Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport

What: Fans of film noir will want to check out a mini-fest of five dark, stylized European-made films all newly restored. In Jean-Pierre Melville’s “Le Cercle Rouge,” Alain Delon’s just-out-of-jail criminal and Yves Montand’s alcoholic cop plan a jewel heist. Backed by a Miles Davis score, Louis Malle’s “Elevator to the Gallows” stars Jeanne Moreau as a woman who along with her lover plans to kill her husband. Alec Guinness stars in Alexander Mackendrick’s “The Ladykillers,” Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles play a game of cat and mouse in Carol Reed’s “The Third Man,” and two aging criminals Jean Gabin and Rene Dary attempt to retire in Jacques Becker’s “Touchez Pas Au Grishi.” Tickets: $11.

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Janae Bonsu in “Unapologetic.”Kartemquin Films/The Film Collaborative

When: Aug. 20-Sept. 2

Where: Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State

What: Chicago director Ashley O’Shay’s documentary follows the story of Janae Bonsu and Bella Bahhs, whose upbringing and experiences shape their activism and views on Black liberation. The film provides an inside look into the ongoing movement work that transformed Chicago, from the police killing of Rekia Boyd to the election of Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Tickets: $12.

More information:

‘Movies in the Parks’

When: To Sept. 14

Where: In parks throughout Chicago

What: The Chicago Park District’s series returns with films ranging from Hollywood classics to retro childhood favorites and family-friendly offerings from recent years. Admission is free.

More information: For a complete list of films and parks, visit

Garden Movies

Music Box Theatre’s Garden Movies features films screened in the theatre’s expanded courtyard under the stars.Music Box Theatre

When: All summer long

Where: 3733 N. Southport

What: The Music Box Theatre is screening films in its expanded courtyard under the stars. Tickets: $9.

More information:

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