Virtual Screenings FAQ

Every new release we offer will be available through the individual distributor’s websites and streaming services. You’ll be taken to their websites to purchase and watch the film, but a portion of your ticket will help support the Gene Siskel Film Center. You will be sent an email after your purchase with a streaming link for the film.

Laptop / Mobile

Conveniently stream the newest art-house releases from the safety and comfort of your home. To stream, purchase the ticket from the online screen and follow the prompts. If watching from your laptop, simply press play and enjoy.

Having trouble with your video freezing?

This is usually because there is an issue with your internet connection. Try restarting your router, changing to a different web browser, reloading the page, or restarting your laptop/computer. If others in your household are also streaming video content this can also slow down your film streaming.

How to watch on a TV

The easiest way to screen a Film Center streaming title on your TV is to pull up the site on your laptop, phone, or device (see above) and then connect it to your TV with an HDMI cable. Depending on the type of computer and device you have, you may need a different cable or adapter:

  • Windows PC / Chromebook - Most Windows computers have a dedicated HDMI port. In this case, you will need a simple HDMI to HDMI Cable (find one here).
  • Mac Laptop - Newer mac laptops like the MacBook Pro will need a special adapter that you plug into a regular HDMI cable (get one here) or a special cable (available here). Older mac laptops will have a dedicated HDMI port or a thunderbolt 2 port (find the adapter here).
  • iPhone or iPad - iPhones or iPads will use the same cable (here) or adapter (here).
  • Android - Modern Android devices use USB C connections, which are compatible with Thunderbolt 3 connections, so you can use one of the above cables or adapters.
Settings: Mirroring the displays

After you’ve connected your device, you may need to adjust the display settings on your laptop or device.
First, select the correct HDMI input with your TV remote. Then:

On a Mac:

  • Go to the Apple Menu
  • Open “System Preferences.”
  • Click on “Displays.”
  • Click on the “Arrangement” tab.
  • Tick the box that says “Mirror Displays” if you want your TV to show the same content that is being shown on your laptop screen.
  • Leave the box as it is if you want to use the TV as a second display.

On a Windows or Chromebook:

  • Go to Settings
  • Go to System
  • Go to Display

Make sure “TV” is selected. You can also adjust the resolution to match the one of your television.
Go to Audio and make sure TV is selected as well.

Connect wirelessly to your TV

Airplay / Apple TV

If you have an Apple TV box or Apple TV ready smart TV, you can stream to your TV wirelessly via AirPlay on your Mac laptop or device. For setup instructions visit: https://www.apple.com/airplay/

Chromecast to TV

An alternative to AirPlay is Google’s proprietary system Chromecast. You will need to purchase a Chromecast thumb drive and plug it into an HDMI input on your TV (note that some smart TV’s are now Chromecast ready, in which case you’d don’t need the thumb drive). Then you will be able to stream from a Google Chrome browser right to your TV. For more visit their help page.

Roku

You can cast a video from your computer or device (phone, ipad, etc) using the following steps:

Open the movie on your device.

At the bottom right of the screen you should see the casting icon. It looks like this: casting icon on mobile device. Once you select that button, it should give you the option to select a nearby device, so you’d then select your Roku/Chromecast. If you don’t see your Roku/Chromecast, make sure both devices are on the same wireless network. The channel should launch automatically and playback will begin!

Watching from an App on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, etc

Some Smart TVs will let you download Apps from distributors on to your smart TV – then you can sign in to the app and watch the film through the app.

Learn how to download an App on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Firestick