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the Best and Worst Theaters in Chicago, Part 1: Davis Theater

Photo of Davis Theater
Photo of Davis Theater
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Commonly suggested to be the cheapest first-run theater in Chicago, the Davis Theater in Lincoln Square has virtually nothing else to tempt theatergoers with. For a deflated movie ticket price, one nowadays would expect a lessened quality theater experience. However, crooked screens, poor lighting, fuzzy sound, disruptive patrons, and sticky floors hardly fall within the perimeters of ‘Acceptable.’

Attending any place open to the public leaves room for annoyance and discomfort. This is taken to a new plateau when choosing the Davis for your movie night. The theater seems to attract the most restless audience in Chicago; a crowd that feels the need to perpetually change seats, leave and re-enter the theater, and talk excessively to each other and at the screen.

Watching a film on their screens is more like a sensory test than an entertaining outing. Once a night scene occurs in the plot, the visuals almost entirely disappear, leaving viewers to strain their sights to glean what is happening. The effort is amplified when combined with the blending sound effect from speaker static. This is of course even harder as you are watching this on a projection screen that is raised too high – especially anyone in the first few rows – and is slanted to fit the angle of the wall it is posted on.

The fact that it is inexpensive is meaningless when you will end up paying to see it again at another theater to fill in what you missed the first time at the Davis.