Chicagoans will get their yearly fix of cinema under the stars despite the coronavirus, the Chicago Park District announced late Friday. The city’s annual “Movies in the Parks” series is a go, with some key public health restrictions in place.
The free series will start Monday, July 13 with “Sonic the Hedgehog” at Seward Park in the Near North Side area. This year’s lineup features new and classic movies every weekday at neighborhood parks around the city. The 45-screening series is set to wrap up on Friday, Sept. 11 with “Toy Story 4” at Veterans’ Memorial Park in the South Deering area on the far South Side. Check out the full schedule for Movies in the Parks.
Screenings will have designated entry points, the Park District says, and entry will be allowed on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendance will be capped at 100 people, and visitors must wear masks, practice social distancing and move around the park as little as possible. Field houses and bathrooms will be closed during screenings. Hand sanitizer will be provided; popcorn will not. Movies start at dusk and will be suspended due to rain. The Park District says its Movies in the Parks hotline (312-742-1134) will have information on daily movie listings and cancellations.
While neighborhood parks will still have screenings, the city’s popular outdoor movie series at Millennium Park has been canceled, and restrictions remain in place across much of the Park District. Playgrounds, pools, and beaches are still closed, although many Chicagoans are ignoring the latter restriction. Parks east of Lake Shore Drive are still technically closed, with the exception of the lakefront trail and golf courses. During high temperatures this week, the city temporarily opened some splash pads and spray features, but those are again shut off, as are water fountains. Many park field houses are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, but only so visitors can use the bathroom or take shelter from the weather.