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Music Box Theatre celebrates 30 years

The milestone anniversary will be celebrated with a special two-week double feature schedule

November 19, 2013|By Courtney Griffin | RedEye

Every day since August of 1983, the Music Box Theatre has been a hub for art house cinema in Chicago. Now, its getting a day of its own.

Friday has officially been declared “Music Box Theatre Day” in Chicago, honoring the North Side theater’s past three decades as a prominent venue for independent cinema. The Lakeview movie palace is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a special takeover of the final two weeks of the fall schedule (Friday through Dec. 5), offering a special lineup that harkens back to the double-feature and repertory movies the cinema ran at the time of its 1983 reopening.

The two-week celebration will kick off at 6 p.m. Friday with a cocktail reception at the theater (3733 N. Southport Ave.), followed by a “Mistaken Identities” double feature of Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller "North By Northwest" (1959) and the Coen Brothers’ cult classic "The Big Lebowski" (1998). Tickets can be purchased at the theatre or online for $10.

On Saturday, the Music Box will hold its winter 2014 Ccalendar release party beginning at 7 p.m. The party will feature a special presentation of the 1925 silent film classic "The Freshman," starring screen legend Harold Lloyd, featuring live organ accompaniment by Dennis Scott.

Prior to Saturday’s film screening, 1920s-style jazz band The Fat Babies will open the night at 7 p.m., followed by live vaudeville acts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 each.

The double-feature model will continue throughout the rest of the two-week anniversary celebration, showing two juxtaposing films with a unifying theme each night. Some of the couplings include the screwball comedy "His Girl Friday" (1940) matched up with the Orson Welles’ dramatic masterpiece "Citizen Kane" (1941), and the Steven Spielberg adventure film "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989) to run with the British comedy classic "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1975).

DNAinfo reported Tuesday the Music Box may expand in future months, making room for a third screen. The theatre’s general manager Dave Jennings told the news site that nothing is official, but there are plans to buy the building next door in January.

For information on the Music Box’s 30th anniversary celebration, visit musicboxtheatre.com.

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