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A Guide to Chicago’s Outdoor Cinema and Drive-Ins

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

Many pop-up drive-ins have appeared throughout the city and suburbs, in addition to typical drive-ins. There's something for everyone, from family favorites to '80s throwbacks to contemporary blockbusters. We've compiled a list of all the new drive-in cinemas in and around the Chicago region that have opened and are showing some of your favorite movies.

Here is a compilation of all the worthwhile Chicago drive-in and outdoor theaters.

ChiTown Movies

Location: 2343 S. Throop St. Chicago, IL 60608


At this drive-in theater in Pilsen, you can watch classic movies under the moonlight. Each parking space provides a fantastic view of the extra-large display. You can get popcorn, hot chocolate, and other snacks delivered to your car.

Route 34 Drive-In Theater

Location: 4468 E 12th Rd, Earlville, IL 60518

Contact No.: (815) 246-9700

At this timeless drive-in theater southwest of Chicago, cartoons and previews are still shown before the major films. The concession counter sells fried chicken and fried shrimp dinners, as well as popcorn that uses real butter. The season at Route 34 Drive-In Theater runs from April to September. 

Water Flicks

Location: 600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

Contact No.: (312) 595-7437

Navy Pier holds Water Flicks: Free Outdoor Movie Series, a weekly summer film series, on Monday nights along Chicago's lakefront. While relaxing on the lawn and watching family-friendly movies, take in views of the lake and the Centennial Wheel.

McHenry Outdoor Theater

Location:1510 N Chapel Hill Rd, McHenry, IL 60051


This majestic moviegoing venue is one of Illinois' few remaining traditional drive-in movie theaters. In the comfort of your own vehicle, relive the nostalgia of double-feature movies. Every night, two feature films are shown, ranging from new releases to old favorites.

Millennium Park Summer Film Series

Location: 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602

Contact No.: (312) 742-1168

Rush to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park to watch blockbusters, award-winning movies, family classics, and cult favorites presented on the state-of-the-art, 40-foot LED screen. Bring your own popcorn and a blanket for another season of free outdoor movie screenings.

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