Dear Film Lover,

I am beyond thrilled to say these seven words that we have been patiently waiting to say for 17 long months: The Gene Siskel Film Center is reopening! On Friday, August 6, we will welcome back our loyal audience members and all Chicagoland movie fans after this extended intermission. 

With safety protocols in place, the Film Center will welcome guests back with an eclectic selection of international, independent, and classic cinema, including Leos Carax’s ANNETTE, a Fellini 100th anniversary retrospective, and our Chicago Favorites series, which will feature films selected and introduced by notable community members. For documentary lovers, the Film Center reopening will include the exclusive Chicago premieres of both WHIRLYBIRD and SABAYA. Traditionally held in August, the Film Center will be presenting the 27th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival both in person and virtually from November 5–December 2, 2021. Entries are due August 20

If you’re not already a member, this is the perfect time to become one. The Film Center will open with select members-only screenings, advance ticket-purchasing opportunities, and membership discounts on films streaming throughout July.

We’re grateful for the support of our patrons during our pandemic pivot to virtual events and gratified to hear how eager our community of film lovers is to return to the Film Center to gather for movies on our big screens. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Film Center’s Advisory Board, who doubled down on their support of our mission. I am beyond grateful for their resolve and leadership. I am also humbled by the small but mighty Film Center team that has worked tirelessly to create ways to beam our curated film program right into your homes and stay connected with all of you. I am inspired by their dedication, creativity, and thoughtfulness. 

But most importantly, I want to thank you, our audience—your emails, calls, and continued support meant more to us than I can express. 

I look forward to seeing you, really seeing you, at the movies!




Jean de St. Aubin

Executive Director

For the safety and comfort of our audience members and employees, we will have the following safety protocols in place for at least the first two weeks after we reopen:

  • Masks required by all staff and patrons at all times

  • Staggered showtimes and ample time between shows to mitigate crowds

  • Ticket pre-orders for films encouraged to reduce lines 

  • Hand sanitizer and disposable face masks available for patrons

  • Only 50% of our tickets will be available for sale so that we can ensure a safe movie-going experience

  • In light of the latest health updates from the city of Chicago, and in accordance with the School of the Art Institute, we will not be selling concessions nor allowing outside food or drink for at least the first two weeks of business. 

  • We will, however, hand out a FREE small popcorn to those who show proof of COVID vaccination, as a “parting gift” when you exit the theater. 

  • If you are feeling unwell or have a fever, please stay home and stream films until you feel better

Note: protocols are subject to change, per new or evolving information.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns at

Thank you for your cooperation and support - we can't wait to see you again at the movies!