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Keep Warm Inside Chicago's Movie Palaces

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 2, 2013 7:20PM

Peter O'Toole graces the Music Box's screen in a restored Lawrence of Arabia.

We’re finally feeling some weather associated with winter, although the extended forecasts from Skilling Central and Accuweather indicate that could be fleeting. For film buffs and those who don’t want to succumb to cabin fever, a night or weekend day at the movies is a great way to bridge the time between winter and spring in Chicago.

Outside of the multiplexes, Our Town’s movie houses are set up well to cure the early winter doldrums with screenings and programs guaranteed to lure someone out of the house and away from the forced air heaters.

The big movie at the Music Box right now is a fully restored print of Lawrence of Arabia released to commemorate the film’s 50th anniversary. David Lean’s 1962 epic won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. The version screening at the Music Box received a full 4K restoration from the original 65 mm print, meaning the film is now ready for the Blu-ray age.

Rob Christopher touched briefly earlier today on The Northwest Chicago Film Society’s Winter 2013 season, which kicks off with a bang and a big dose of Billy Wilder with a screening of Some Like it Hot 7:30 p.m. tonight. This sexually charged (for the time) screwball comedy starring Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as musicians who pose in drag and go on the lam after witnessing the St. Valentine's Day Massacre features one of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic performances, her famous curves moving to and fro “like Jell-O on springs.” The NWCFS’ screenings are at the Portage Theater (4050 N. Milwaukee Ave.) every Wednesday. Check out the full program—arguably the most eclectic in the city—here. Another gem on the early schedule is the Feb. 13 screening of the Spanish language version of Dracula. Filmed the same time as the classic Tod Browning version, this version doesn't have Bela Lugosi's iconic performance in the title role but may be a better overall film and, shot specifically for Spanish audiences, is largely free of Hays Code restrictions—plunging necklines abound here.

The University of Chicago’s DOC Films hits 2013 running Jan. 7 with a series of theme nights ranging from films from the year 1928 on Sundays, films starring Robert Mitchum on Mondays, films from Universal Studios on Thursdays and films by the Coen Brothers on Fridays. Check out the calendar here.

Lincoln Hall continues to pay respects to its 3-Penny Cinema past with its "The 3-Penny Was Here" events in January. Jan. 3 features Music from the Big House vs. Sing Your Song. Jan. 9 is The Big Lebowski vs. High Fidelity and they'll have $5 White Russians and "The Dude" burgers specifically for the occasion. Jan. 23 is The Comedy vs. Waiting for Lightning and Jan. 31 concludes the series with Robocop vs. Beverly Hills Cop. The Jan. 3 and Jan. 23 screenings are $5, the other two are free.