From heart-shaped pizza to the Navy Pier’s first-ever Valentine’s Day-themed fireworks show there are a variety of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Chicago this year.
With romantic restaurants across the city inevitably booked up with couples whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears, Salt Shed is launching a new way to experience St Valentine’s Day this year.
The exciting new performance venue which opened in 2022 at the historic Morton Salt complex is putting a pause on live concerts next week to instead open the floodgates and let the tears fall for an all-new film festival named “Crying at the Shed”.
Recently named New Concert Venue of the Year with under 5k capacity, the Salt Shed has teamed up with Music Box Theatre and the Chicago International Film Festival to launch the inaugural film fest starting on Wednesday, February 14th, 2024.
Taking place across three days, “Crying at the Shed” will feature 7 sad movies in the venue’s interior event space along with musical performances including Jon Brion doing a live score of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and Douglas McCombs of Chicago band “Tortoise” performing the same night as a screening of “Paris, Texas”.
“Emotions will run high as the wonderful artform of film will be celebrated at the Salt Shed for the very first time” read an official announcement. “Our festival concept is built around romantic, heartbreaking, and creative storytelling, and the artistic forces that combine to make us all feel something.”
The film festival kicks off on Wednesday, February 14th with a showing of “Little Fish” directed by Chad Hartigan at 5 p.m. before “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” screens at 7.30 pm in celebration of its 20th anniversary.
According to the film festival schedule, “the screening will be accompanied by a solo performance and Q+A with Jon Brion, the legendary composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Jon hasn’t performed in Chicago in over 15 years, so this is an exceptionally rare treat and we’re honored to be hosting him.”
Jon Brion is set to play never-before-heard compositions and reinterpretations of scores for “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” as well as for other movies he’s worked on such as “Magnolia” and “Lady Bird”.
On Thursday, February 15th, “In the Mood for Love” will be shown at 5 p.m. followed by a screening of “Paris, Texas” at 7.30 p.m. which will also include Tortoise’s Doug McCombs performing set solo set with songs based on the 1984 Wim Wenders classic.
The night of Friday, February 16th will then feature a mini-marathon showing of Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy starting at 7 p.m. which the Salt Shed calls”an insanely romantic, decades-spanning look at profound connection”.
One of the most popular romantic trilogies ever created, “Before Sunrise”, “Before Sunset”, and “Before Midnight” see stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Deply’s relationship fluctuate over 20 years beginning with the two meeting and exploring the streets of Vienna at night.
The indoor event space of the Salt Shed will be split into two with half turned into a movie theatre with help from the Music Box and the other half a general admission area where there will be pop-ups hosted by The Chicago International Film Festival’s parent organization Cinema/Chicago and Andersonville’s vintage store Fad2Fresh.
Concessions will be provided by Fulton Market’s café, bakery, and chocolatier Good Ambler.
Tickets and more information can be found on the Salt Shed website.
The Salt Shed is located at 1357 N. Elston Ave, Chicago.
[Featured image from the movie Before Sunrise]