Code of Conduct & Policies

Code of Conduct

The Gene Siskel Film Center is dedicated to creating a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for all guests. Everyone has the right to enjoy our programs and activities free of harassment, threats, mistreatment, or discrimination. 

Communicate with Respect

We do not tolerate harassing, disrespectful or abusive language, hate speech, racial slurs, and derogatory speech or actions.

Be Considerate of Your Fellow Audience

Disruptive and unreasonable behaviors are not acceptable.

Use Our Space As Intended

Sleeping, loitering, soliciting, smoking, drug use, or improper use of restrooms is not permitted.

Act Responsibly

Violating any Film Center policies, or applicable laws, regulations, or ordinances is prohibited.

Anyone not contributing to a safe and welcoming environment will be asked to change their behavior. If you are asked to stop any harassing or disruptive behavior, STOP immediately. Film Center staff will use reasonable efforts to give you one verbal warning requesting you to change your behavior. We reserve the right to revoke access to any of our activities at any time, with or without a verbal warning.

If you continue to disregard the Code of Conduct, as determined in our discretion, security will escort you off the premises. Depending on the severity of the interaction, or if you have previous incidents, you may be banned from the Film Center and all campus buildings at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago indefinitely. 

What to Do

If you experience or witness any form of harassment on our premises, or a disruption during your screening, please contact the nearest staff member. A manager or security will address the situation. Please do not intervene. 

If you feel unsafe in your immediate situation, alert our staff, move to a safe location, and dial 911.

If you believe that you have been subjected to harassment on our premises, please fill out this form. Please note that notifying the Gene Siskel Film Center/School of the Art Institute does not constitute or replace a notification to local law enforcement.

All complaints will be forwarded to the School of the Art Institute’s Human Resources and/or Security department for investigation. A staff member will be in touch with next steps.


These policies apply to all guests of the Gene Siskel Film Center, including ticket holders, members, volunteers, partner organizations, renters, press and vendors.

Violation or disregard for these policies is not tolerated, and can result in a revokement of access to screenings and activities at the Gene Siskel Film Center for an indefinite period.


  • Outside food or drink is prohibited in the theaters.
  • Outside alcoholic beverages are prohibited on Film Center premises.
  • Limit of one personal bag per guest at screenings.
  • Late entry 20 minutes after the listed showtime is not allowed.
  • Talking, texting, and use of phones or devices is not allowed during screenings.
  • Smoking, vaping, and using illegal substances are prohibited on Film Center premises.
  • Sleeping, loitering, and soliciting is not allowed on Film Center premises.
  • Weapons are prohibited on Film Center premises.


In order to ensure the highest quality experience for all guests, you may not enter a movie 20 minutes after the listed showtime. Ticket sales end 15 minutes after the listed showtime. We recommend purchasing your tickets online before your visit to ensure your entry.

When making plans, please note that movies generally start on time at the Film Center. There may be anywhere from zero to approximately 10 minutes of trailers and/or introductions before the screening, meaning the film may start exactly at the time listed.

Please make every effort to be on time so as not to disrupt your fellow audience members. If you are late, the box office will exchange your ticket for a different showtime for the same film. The Film Center does not provide refunds for tardy guests.

Personal Belongings

One personal bag allowed per ticket holder. Bag must be able to fit under your seat and cannot block aisles and walkways. Personal bags include but are not limited to purses, backpacks, and totes. The Film Center reserves the right to check guests’ bags before entry into the theater. Grocery bags are not allowed. Medical equipment bags and diaper bags are allowed in addition to one personal bag.

The Film Center cannot store or supervise guests’ personal items - including bags, devices, keys, bikes, food, umbrellas or coats. The Film Center is not responsible for unattended or lost items. Unattended or lost items may be discarded, per discretion of the Film Center staff. Unattended items may be subject to search by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Security or local law enforcement.

Food and Drinks

Outside food or drinks are not allowed at the Film Center. Outside alcohol is prohibited on our premises and will result in immediate expulsion from the Film Center. We reserve the right to check bags and totes brought to screenings for prohibited items.

Service Animals

Service animals are permitted in the Gene Siskel Film Center. Emotional support animals are not permitted.

A service animal is any dog (or in some cases a miniature horse) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

We reserve the right to require a guest to immediately remove a service animal from the Film Center if (i) the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, (ii) the owner cannot effectively control the animal, or (iii) the animal is not housebroken.


Refunds and Exchanges

The Film Center does not offer refunds or exchanges. All sales are final.

We recommend that all guests check their online orders for the ticket date, quantity, and pricing before completing checkout. 

Free Admission Screenings

  • A limit of one free ticket per person. Valid ID may be required. 
  • A free ticket guarantees you a seat until 15 minutes before showtime.
  • Check-in may be required at free admission screenings.
  • If registration is full and there are seats unclaimed at 15 minutes before the screening, the Film Center staff will distribute tickets to waiting guests.
  • Ticket holders will continue to be admitted at this time if seats are available.