Chicago Welcomes New Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Wrigleyville

A plaque titled "John Hughes Cinema" commemorates the Alamo Drafthouse Chicago
Photo courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse Chicago

On Friday, January 27th, the highly acclaimed Austin-based cinema-eatery Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will open a new location mere steps from Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Film lovers in the Windy City get a brand new theater experience in a bustling section of the famous city. Tickets are available for purchase now at and the Alamo Drafthouse mobile app with the cinema company’s signature mix of new releases and classic films available. Through February 5th, guests will be welcomed into the new cinema with a 25% discount on food and non-alcoholic beverages. Film Obsessive’s Don Shanahan was able to attend a special preview night for the press.

The new 6-screen, 372-seat theater resides across from historic Wrigley Field in the Lakeview neighborhood on the third floor of 3519 North Clark Street. It is Alamo’s first location in Illinois. Crisp, bright picture, and eardrum-rattling sound are table-stakes at all Alamo Drafthouse locations, and Wrigleyville is no exception. All theaters will be equipped with state-of-the art Cinionic 4k laser projectors and immersive Dolby surround sound for the best film presentation in the business. The theater is easily accessible by car with metered street parking and $10 validated garage parking, and is only a five minute walk from the CTA Red Line and a less than a 10-minute walk from the Brown and Purple CTA Lines.

“Alamo Drafthouse Wrigleyville is something we have been looking forward to for a very long time,” says Alamo Drafthouse CEO Shelli Taylor. “This is our first theater in Chicago, a city with a storied movie history, and our first ever in Illinois. We’re thrilled to be here, and we’re excited to show Chicagoans everything we have to offer to the cinema experience.”

Alamo Drafthouse Wrigleyville is committed to celebrating everything that makes Chicago unique, and that starts with its location in the historic Wrigleyville neighborhood. “Wrigleyville has always been associated with local Chicago pride and we want to add something incredible to the neighborhood and all of Chicago,” says Alex Shebar, Community Marketing Manager for Alamo Drafthouse Wrigleyville.

In honor of the city’s deep cinematic history, the cinema-eatery will feature a lobby photo-op themed on legendary Chicago director John Hughes’ iconic film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The photo op will recreate the unforgettable moment when Ferris’ reluctant co-conspirator, Cameron, sends his father’s beloved sports car flying out a window.

Video Vortex

With a name like Drafthouse, it makes sense the cinema-eatery would include a world-class standalone bar. Video Vortex is the theater’s unique cocktail bar concept celebrating the video rental store culture of the ‘80s and 90s. The retro-themed design features art installations with video screens playing VHS clips and VHS-themed decor. The bar will feature an extensive menu of custom and classic cocktails along with 32 beer taps focusing on the thriving local craft beer scene. The back bar will also be available to host small events, parties, and even film screenings on giant screens that cover the walls.

In addition to its drink options, Video Vortex will feature an extensive collection of 11,000+ DVDs and Blu-rays available to rent for free, along with 200 VHS tapes, expertly curated by the Found Footage Festival, Midnight Rental, and Chicago’s own Bric-A-Brac Records and Strange Tapes Zine. Any guests who haven’t held onto their DVD player or VCR will be able to rent one for a small fee.

Alamo Drafthouse Wrigleyville Signature Programming

Alamo Drafthouse Wrigleyville will also continue the exhibitor’s long tradition of repertory programming and memorable live events. Guests can look forward to interactive Movie Parties of classic films complete with games and props, such as their famous ELF Movie Party which saw guests packing theaters throughout the holiday season, brunch screenings with a specialty menu of mid-morning favorites, specialty series like Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday celebrating the best of genre filmmaking, and Live Q&A events including a special Wrigleyville opening night advance screening of Prime Video’s Somebody I Used to Know with Dave Franco and Alison Brie in attendance. Alamo Drafthouse Wrigleyville will also celebrate Chicago’s storied cinematic history with plans to screen classic films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Blues Brothers, and even a Michael Mann double-feature.

Grand Opening Giveaway

To further commemorate the occasion, Alamo Drafthouse Wrigleyville is giving a few lucky Chicago cinephiles a chance to win some exciting prizes including tickets to an invite-only, VIP Grand Opening event before the theater opens to the public and a year of unlimited free movies through Alamo Drafthouse’s monthly subscription service, Season Pass. For a chance to win, simply follow any of the Alamo Drafthouse Chicago social channels (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). Full terms and conditions can be found here on their website.


Alamo Drafthouse Chicago Social Media

About Alamo Drafthouse

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was founded in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin, TX. Twenty-six years later, with 38 locations and counting, Alamo Drafthouse has been called “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly and “the best theater in the world” by Wired. Alamo Drafthouse has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining best-in-class food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star-studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse created Fantastic Fest, a world-renowned genre film festival dubbed “The Geek Telluride” by Variety featuring independents, international filmmakers, and major Hollywood studios. Alamo Drafthouse continues to expand its brand in new and exciting ways, including the American Genre Film Archive, a non-profit film archive dedicated to preserving, restoring and sharing film, and with eight new theaters announced for this year and beyond.

Written by Don Shanahan

DON SHANAHAN is a Chicago-based Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic writing here on Film Obsessive as the Editor-in-Chief and Content Supervisor for the film department. He also writes for his own website, Every Movie Has a Lesson. Don is one of the hosts of the Cinephile Hissy Fit Podcast on the Ruminations Radio Network and sponsored by Film Obsessive. As a school teacher by day, Don writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical. He is a proud director and one of the founders of the Chicago Indie Critics and a voting member of the nationally-recognized Critics Choice Association, Online Film Critics Society, North American Film Critics Association, International Film Society Critics Association, Internet Film Critics Society, Online Film and TV Association, and the Celebrity Movie Awards.

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