Weekend moviegoers who get to their seats a bit early at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre in normal times know the delicious lagniappe that awaits. On the left side of the movie screen, house organist Dennis Scott delights on a refurbished 1929 Kimball and Co. organ. No charge for the ambience, thank you very much. It’s all part of the vibe.
These days, people watch movies on their iPhones, their tablets and laptops, and of course in the cozy confines of their living rooms – nestled in couches underneath warm quilts, a spot of wine within reach. Before the pandemic, Chicagoans still went to the Music Box, the Davis, the Logan and a slew of megaplexes that dot the city. Even in pre-COVID days, however, the siren call of the couch and a movie on Netflix had become increasingly irresistible.