It's one good trend that came out of the pandemic. You can now have a movie theater all to yourself, starting as low as $99.
Perhaps you want to go back to the movies, but you aren't quite ready yet to sit in a crowded theater. Or you like the idea of avoiding the crowds and having the place to yourself.
Whether it's for a creative birthday surprise or just a fun night out with family and friends, you can book an entire theater for yourself.
My family used to love to go to the movies and munch on buttered popcorn as a special treat. But with children under 12 still unvaccinated, a crowded movie theater with unmasked patrons might not be the safest place to be.
If you want to watch a movie on the big screen, this can be a great opportunity to do so.
Here are some locations in the Chicago area that are renting private movie screenings. Be sure to check with the theaters directly as availability and prices can change at any time.
(Locations throughout Chicagoland)
AMC is renting private theaters for up to 20 people. For now, the limit is 20, and masks are required unless you are eating or drinking. Starting at $149 you can see new blockbuster hits. (When I checked availability in my area, the prices for new movies in Naperville was $199 plus tax.)
Or for $99 plus tax, you can choose from their selection of classics.
Book the entire thing online, choose your date and time, and your movie, and you are all set for a movie night out by yourself or with your family and friends.
(Locations throughout Chicagoland)
You can have a private screening at Cinemark Theaters for up to 25 guests. Their prices are good for 20 people, and they allow up to five more for an extra charge at the door.
Starting at $149, you can book your event online. Choose your date, time, and pick your movie.
I did some checking on availability and found the location in Joliet has openings for the coming week at 3 PM, 4 PM, 6:15 PM, and 7:15 PM. There was a selection of new movies for $149, or classic movies at $99.
Picture Show Entertainment
(324 Army Trail Rd, Bloomingdale)
Their party rooms are closed at this time, but for $100 plus the price of movie tickets, you can book a private theater to watch a new release at the Picture Show Theater in Bloomingdale.
They recommend that you email them at email@example.com to learn more details.
Hollywood Palms Cinema
(352 South Route 59, Naperville)
Hollywood Palms is a full-service dinner theater offering food, beer, wine, and cocktails. Renting a private showing here runs a bit pricier than some of the other options.
Booking a private theater starts at $198. However, according to their website, if you book during a peak time you may need to buy a $500 minimum of food and drinks.
A perk at the Hollywood Palms is the cushy, reclining chairs where you don't have to share the armrest with the person next to you.
Hollywood Blvd. Cinema
(1001 West 75th Street, Woodridge)
Hollywood Blvd. is offering private movie screenings for $99 on weekdays and up to $200 on weekends. According to their website, your options include newly released movies, DVDs, sporting events, and more.
Hollywood Blvd. is another full-service dinner theater where you can dine while you watch your movie. They have a large selection of food, cocktails, beer, and wine, which you can order directly from the menu or add a package to your screening. Email Dana@hblvd.com to book your private theater at Hollywood Blvd.