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Abuzz with excitement, finely dressed patrons entered the lobby beneath chandeliers and vaulted, ornate ceilings rimmed in gold trim. Back then, such opulent theaters were called "movie palaces"—and a trip to one was a thrilling, elegant event. Patio Theater upholds those bygone traditions within its grandly restored theater, which first opened in 1927. Moviegoers today take their seats beneath a soaring, simulated sky awash with twinkling stars and moving clouds. And though the theater revives the majesty of yore, that doesn't mean the technology is antiquated: the theater is equipped with digital screens, movies, and surround sound. In addition to screening current feature films, the theater also shows cult classics such as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Built in 1925, the newly refurbished and richly historic LaGrange Theatre has shown captivating entertainment on both the stage and the screen. Upcoming features include The Social Network, a Facebook biopic, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the latest installment of the popular wizard series. Walk past the theater's signature marquee and renovated murals, then relax with a snack from the concession stand, such as buttery popcorn, an ice-cold soda, or a seared ginger duck breast with peach-chili aioli personally served by a tuxedoed Martin Scorsese.
It seems like the stuff of the silver screen: in 1997, husband and wife Donzell and Alisa Starks realized their dream of bringing movies back to Chicago’s South and West sides. Luckily for film fans, this story is true—the Starks founded ICE Theaters, the first African-American-owned theater chain in the country. Today, the cinemas stand as hubs of community and culture in the neighborhoods they serve, entertaining audiences with new Hollywood releases screened alongside independent films highlighted in their Black World Cinema and Shortcutz series.
Couched in the stadium seats of luxury, patrons at Muvico Theaters enjoy the latest blockbusters in crystal-clear Sony 4K digital projection. Moving D-Box seats in certain movie houses take the motion-picture experience to the next level, and huge armrests in the Premier section leave room for midmovie dining and premovie thumb wars. Muvico also shows golden oldies in addition to new releases and live events, such as live comedy, sporting events, and beer and wine tastings