Taking a cue from loyal patrons, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago will begin making extensive renovations and technical upgrades to its State St. facility on Friday, Dec. 1. The process will continue through Thursday, Jan. 4.
Theater 1 and Theater 2 will have the 17-year-old seats replaced with rounded seat backs to improve sight-lines, new carpeting, and increased accessibility for hearing-impaired patrons with cochlear implants.
Open space to accommodate wheelchairs will remain the same.
Gensler Architecture Firm, the original firm responsible for the build-out in 2001, will be completing the renovations.
The Gene Siskel Film Center has occupied the 164 N. State St. location since 2001. Founded in 1972 as “The Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago,” it added the legendary film critic’s name when it moved from to its current home across from the Chicago Theater.
Today, the Siskel Film Center boasts a program of cutting edge cinema and an annual audience of 85,000. It offers moviegoers a variety of diverse independent voices, international cultures, and restored classics.
While the theater will close its doors for about one month to accommodate construction, the world-class programming will continue with “Gene Siskel Film Center On Location.”
From December 3 through 10, Film Center staff will be bringing four favorite films from 2017 to screen at various theaters around the Chicago area.
“It’s only fitting that we give back by bringing highlights from the past year to select venues around the city,” explains Executive Director Jean de St. Aubin. “[It’s] essential to maintaining our presence and brand while on hiatus, and to remind film lovers that we aren’t going away.”
Highlights of the program include a special screening of Kedi at the historic Chicago Athletic Association. The event will also offer opportunities to adopt a feline from the Tree House Humane Society or to donate food for both dogs and cats. The complete schedule is listed below.
Tickets range in price from $5 for students and $6 for members to $11 for general admission. Screenings for the “On Location” series may include post-show discussions.
The Siskel Film Center will reopen on Friday, January 5 with Kartemquin Films’ Keep Talking, a documentary about four Alaskan Native women fighting to save their indigenous language, Kodiak Alutiiq. Also screening that day will be the doc, Tom of Finland.
For updates and additional information, visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org
GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER “ON LOCATION” SCHEDULE
I Know a Man…Ashley Bryan
Sunday Dec. 3 | 2 pm.
Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., Chicago on
Tiempo de Morir (Time to Die
Monday, Dec. 4 | 6 pm
Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio St. Chicago
Thursday Dec. 7 | 7 pm
Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd, Lake Forest.
Sunday Dec. 10 | 3pm
Chicago Athletic Association, 12 S. Michigan Ave.,
Includes opportunities to adopt a feline from the Tree House Humane Society.