Block Cinema

Block Cinema screens classic and contemporary films and is dedicated to providing the Northwestern campus, the North Shore and Chicago with a quality venue for cinema. Block Cinema is sponsored in part by a generous gift from James B. Pick and Rosalyn M. Laudati.

Current Series


Moroccan Chronicles: The Films of Moumen Smihi


A foundational figure of the “New Arab Cinema” movement that began in the 1970s, Moumen Smihi (born in Tangier, Morocco in 1945) is one of the most important Arab filmmakers working today, whose exceptional films are as fearless in their politics as they are quietly radical in form. With recent screenings at Cannes, Marrakech, and other international festivals and cinematheques, his films are finally receiving wider recognition. Featuring seven films that span the last 40 years, this retrospective series offers audiences an opportunity to learn from an incisive figure in Middle Eastern cinema whose work gives further context and background to the ongoing political and cultural changes in the region.


Heroes and Hoovervilles: Films of the Depression

To coincide with the Museum’s exhibition, The Left Front: Radical Art in the “Red Decade,” 1929-1940, Block Cinema presents a companion film series featuring socially conscious films from the 1930s. Collectively, the issues covered in these films, including unemployment (Man's Castle and Heroes For Sale), labor struggles (Mills of the Gods), xenophobia (Black Legion), and homelessness (Make Way for Tomorrow and Wild Boys of the Road), were a compelling call for reform.

Special Programs

Join us this Spring when two of our most popular annual events return. Up first, on May 9th, is Sonic Celluloid, an event which pairs rock musicians with silent and experimental films. On June 13th, Dave Filipi returns to present this year's program of Rare Baseball Films culled from the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Both events are one-night-only, so don't miss out!

Art on Screen


In this ongoing series Block Cinema presents new films about the art world. Screening this quarter are three new documentaries that offer compelling and diverse stories about art and artists of the twentieth century. The first, Hunting Hitler’s Stolen Treasures recounts the amazing tale of the special unit of the US armed forces that recovered a mind-boggling number of priceless artworks stolen by the Nazis during WWII. Afternoon of a Faun is a remarkable portrait of the great dancer, Tanaquil Le Clercq, and finally, Leslie Buchbinder’s new film, Hairy Who & the Chicago Imagists, celebrates a group of local artists that broke new ground in the 1960s and beyond with their strange, surreal, and darkly comic imagery.


Unless otherwise noted:

  • $4.00 for Block members; University faculty, staff and students with valid WildCARD; students from other schools with valid college/university ID; seniors 65 and older
  • $6.00 for the general public
  • $20.00 for a quarterly pass

Block Cinema films are screened in the Block Museum’s Pick-Laudati Auditorium. See Directions and Parking for information on how to get to the Musuem. Parking is free in the lot south of the Block after 4 p.m. weekdays and all day on weekends.