photo: courtesy of Bridget Montgomery
Ever since my high school film studies class took a trip to watch the restored version of Jules Dassin's classic film-noir "Rififi," the Music Box has ruled my world of truly unique, truly Chicagoan places to watch art-house cinema along the lines of Godard and Jarmusch. It should dominate yours, too, but you'll want to make sure to keep your eye on the schedule, as it features the latest independent films, often for little more than a quick week.
The Music Box has two screens, the first of which is the central theater, where the main attraction is typically shown (the majestic space itself is a main attraction). The ceiling seems to go on forever, and there's plenty of seating to go around. In addition, the old decor and the fact that it houses an actual organ (which gets used time to time when silent movies are shown and music needs to be provided) make watching movies an indelible experience. The second screen is smaller, but still is a great place to watch films.
In addition to first-run independent films, the Music Box has special screenings, such as the upcoming Looney Toons Film Festival, and hosts sing-a-long "The Sound of Music" showings, where audience members act out parts "Rocky Horror"-style. Midnight screenings usually feature cult movies, such as the works of Takashi Miike and Peter Jackson's early material.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jon Graef