The Music Box Theater begins its steady reopening Friday by screening Prince's "Purple Rain" in the back garden. Credit: BRANDON OLAFSSON/FLICKR

LAKEVIEW — The Music Box Theatre will begin its first step of reopening this weekend with screenings of “Purple Rain” in its garden patio.

The theater at 3733 N. Southport Ave. will open the back garden Friday through Sunday for 8:45 p.m. screenings of the classic Prince musical. It will screen “I Know What You Did Last Summer” the following weekend.

Each garden screening will fit 20–30 people, according to Steve Prokopy, a spokesperson for the theater.

Music Box’s main auditorium will reopen on July 3 with a run of the theater’s own 70mm print of “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Prokopy said the 750-seat auditorium’s tickets will be capped at 50 people to comply with the Illinois Department of Public Health’s guidelines, but it has the capacity to seat up to 250 people while maintaining at least six feet of distance between them.

Each week, the main auditorium will play a different 70mm film, hopefully leading to the July 31 opening of “Tenet.” Warner Bros is sending a print of the film to the theater, Prokopy said.

Music Box’s smaller theater, which seats 72 people, will be available for small group rentals or arthouse screenings, Prokopy said.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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