For nearly a decade, Thanksgiving has been celebrated at the Music Box Theatre with the Von Trapp Family Players and The Sound of Music. This annual event has grown now to two weekends, with thousands of people joining in on the fun. This fun-filled tradition includes a screening of the classic Julie Andrews musical in glorious, full-screen technicolor, complete with subtitles so that the whole audience can sing along!
The fun actually starts before the film, with a vocal warm-up led by the evening’s host and Music Box Theatre’s house organist on the famous Music Box organ. Every member of the audience receives a complimentary Magic Moments Pack, containing various props to be used at strategic points throughout the film.
Then of course there is the famous Costume Contest, in which everyone who has come in costume (and there are many!) is invited onto the stage to show off their tailoring skills. After a winner is chosen by the audience, it’s time to sing-a-long with The Sound of Music!
This classic film, one of the most beloved of all time, is back at the Music Box for the whole family to sing along to. Maria (Julie Andrews) joins the von Trapp family as a governess in Austria, right before the Nazi occupation. She teaches the von Trapp children music, while also falling in love with the Captain von Trapp. A story about love, music, joy, and fighting for what is right, The Sound of Music is a film for all ages. The lyrics will appear on screen for anyone who doesn’t know all the words to “The Sound of Music,” “Do-Re-Me,” and of course, “My Favorite Things.”
For the last two decades, the Music Box Theatre has been the premiere venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films. It currently has the largest theater space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD and television markets throughout the United States.
Opened 1929, the Music Box Theatre retains its original architecture and design. With a dark blue ceiling, “twinkling stars” and moving cloud formations suggesting a night sky, and walls and towers suggesting an Italian courtyard, patrons are made to feel as if they are watching a film in an open-air Tuscan palazzo. The Music Box Theatre opened on August 22, 1929, a time when the movie palaces in downtown Chicago each had seating capacities of around 3,000 people. The Music Box, which sat 800, was considered an elaborate little brother to those theatres. Theatre Architecture magazine noted in 1929 that the theatre “represents the smaller, though charming and well equipped, sound picture theatre which is rapidly taking the place of the ‘deluxe’ palace.”
The Sing-A Long showtimes are as follows: