Wrigley, Music Box team up for movie night – Chicago Tribune
Wrigley is jumping on the bandwagon of walk-in outdoor summer movie screenings while adding a themed â baseball and Chicago â twist with the help of its historic neighbors.
Music Box Theatre, Chicago’s spot for foreign, cult, classic and independent films â and only 15 years younger than Wrigley Field, thought a summer merge could be a fun concept. Ryan Oestreich, Music Box general manager, jumped on board when the offer was presented.
“Hickory Street (Capital) came to us because they had this big screen but didn’t know how to show movies on it and had the idea to bring us in and operate it,” Oestreich said. “I said yes right away because we had the movie projection experience and could offer it to them in a close proximity. It was a good partnership.”
The biweekly Park at Wrigley movie series kicks Wednesday off with John Hughes‘ “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” a perfect choice to start the summer series. Hughes was a longtime Chicago-area resident, and the movie features Wrigley Field and the Cubs.
“The first show will feature Cubs player Ryne Sandberg, who will be talking about the ’86 season and his thoughts about the ‘Ferris Bueller’ filming during the game,” Oestreich said.
Under the Gun Theatre will also make an appearance to perform its unofficial sequel, “Save Ferris,” before the film.
Additional films in the series include “The Jungle Book” (June 28), “Rookie of the Year” (July 12), “Ghostbusters” (July 26), “The Sandlot” (Aug. 9) and “The Blues Brothers” (Aug. 23).
It’s not just baseball-influenced and Chicago flicks. As a part of its Cinema Science program, Music Box is working alongside the Field Museum to bring in ornithologist Sushma Reddy to dissect truths and untruths of “The Jungle Book.”
“My research is on tropical birds in Asia, but one of the main places that I work is in India,” Reddy said. “Funny enough, ‘The Jungle Book,’ the animated one, was one of the first movies I saw as a kid and so that stuck with me. … It was not until I was much older when I could channel it and turn it to a career.”
The movie series will include appearances by special guests to help tie together film, Chicago and baseball.
“Rookie of the Year” star Thomas Ian Nicholas will share his experience playing Cubs pitcher Henry Rowengarther, The Windy City Ghostbusters will appear during the Ghostbusters screening (along with the Stay Puft marshmallow man), jazz band performances will take place during “The Blues Brothers” and a performance by improv group ComedySportz will take place for “The Sandlot.”
Wrigley Park and Music Box Theatre bring groups of people together individually. But together, they join forces to create a summer drive-in-like experience in Wrigley Field’s backyard. This latest entrant joins the Chicago Park District’s Movies in the Parks and the Millennium Park movie series.
“There is something special to sitting outside and watching a movie,” Oestreich said. “Specifically in Wrigley, it’s not just Music Box fans or Cubs fans â it’s Wrigleyville and the greater Lakeview area that can really enjoy these special movies in the park.”
The park opens at 7 p.m. and admission is free. Spectators are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets for the green space’s lawn seating area. A limited number of lawn chairs can be rented at the venue for $5, and reserved Adirondack seating is available behind the lawn for $20 (cash only). Food and beverages are available for purchase. In the event of inclement weather, like baseball, the show will not go on. Updates will be available via the Park at Wrigley social media channels, as well as the website.