Onscreen and off, Chicago has a storied film history—here's how to take part in it.


Spend a film-lovers weekend in Chicago at one of the city's film festivals. 

The Chicago International Film Festival 
One of North America's longest-running film festivals, CIFF spotlights the best in international cinema each fall. In addition to North American premieres, the festival brings in directors, actors, and producers for Q&As with the audience after screenings, bring movie lovers even closer to the films.

Chicago International Children's Film Festival 
Since its debut more than 30 years ago, the Chicago International Children's Film Festival has become the largest children's film fest in North America, featuring  250 films from more than 40 countries—welcoming more than 25,000 children, parents, and educators every fall.

Chicago International Music and Movies Festival (CIMMFest)
The first festival of its kind, CIMMFest is the marriage of music and film. Over three days, film that has music at the heart of it is screened, while bands and musicians also play at multiple venues around town. It's truly an exciting, and one-of-a-kind film festival experience. 

Chicago Film Office Film Festival Calendar
There are dozens of small film festivals that happen throughout the city each year—from the experimental Onion City to the culinary-focused Chicago Food Film Fest. Find out what's showing here!


These theaters offer the best in independent and up-and-coming cinema—or summer blockbusters. 

The Davis Theatre 
The closest movie theatre to the Guesthouse Hotel, the Davis has been an anchor in the Lincoln Square neighborhood for nearly 100 years. Great for dinner-and-a-movie date night, you can get a meal at one of Lincoln Square's numerous restaurants and catch the new Mission:Impossible at the Davis. 

The Music Box 
Another one of the city's surviving nearly-century old film houses, The Music Box is also the most famous. Specializing in independent and foreign films, the Music Box often hosts special events, bringing filmmakers and actors in for Q&As. The spot also boasts and organist that plays before certain screenings, adding even more ambiance to a theater that has a lot of it. 

The Gene Siskel Film Center 
Through partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Siskel is an important hub for filmmaking in the city. From the screenings of historic films to debuts of up-and-coming filmmakers, there's a treasure trove of film at the Siskel.

University of Chicago Doc Films
Founded in 1940, Doc Films is the longest, continually-running student film society in the country. A Doc Films season features visiting directors, in-depth explorations into narrative themes, and gems brought out from the nation's best film archives.