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98-Year-Old Davis Theater Reopens With Chicago’s Most Chef-Driven Movie Theater Food

Dine at Carbon Arc restaurant or bring the food into the theater in Lincoln Square

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The revamped Davis Theater and new restaurant Carbon Arc open today.
Davis Theater
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Winter’s in full swing, but Lincoln Square’s about to experience a rebirth as the Davis Theater reopens this afternoon after 11 months and $5 million in renovations. The improvements to the 98-year-old movie theater include an ambitious new restaurant, Carbon Arc, which raises the bar on theater food in Chicago. The bar/restaurant will not only provide food for theater patrons to dine while watching movie, but also a separate 3,500-square-foot space to congregate, watch a game or grab a full meal.

Don’t get antsy if there are only a few minutes before the movie previews hit the screen. Tacos and sandwiches can be prepared quickly, and the bar has a few bottled Crafthouse cocktails so there’s no need to wait for a bartender to mix a drink. Popcorn also gets a gourmet upgrade. Sure there’s classic movie theater butter, but there’s also bourbon-bacon caramel corn, sriracha sesame and dark chocolate varieties. Chef Gilbert Langlois comes from Chalkboard, the shuttered restaurant a few blocks way, across the street on Lincoln.

Three movies screens are inside the theater, but as the Tribune pointed out, theater No. 1 has the benefit of a bar pass-window connected to the restaurant. That feature will only be used for screenings of more laid-back movies, like comedies. Movies with more serious tones will be spared to avoid any distractions for the audience.

Meanwhile, the curtain is going up at Carbon Arc, an ambitious project inside a movie theater. Check out if this restaurant can be a featured attraction starting today.

Carbon Arc, 4614 N. Lincoln Ave. inside the Davis Theater, (773) 769-3999, open 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays; 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Sunday. Kitchen will stay open until midnight.

Davis Theater

4614 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (773) 784-0893