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Millennium Park’s new movie screen opens with tribute to Roger Ebert

“The Screen” connects Jay Pritzker Pavilion
With Free Culture Sports Entertainment from Around World. It is is one first only permanent

“The Screen” connects Jay Pritzker Pavilion With Free Culture, Sports and Entertainment from Around the World. It is is one of the first and only permanent, large-format outdoor entertainment screen systems of its kind in the world." | Meenakshi Dalal~Sun-Times

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Updated: June 17, 2013 7:37PM

Dubbed “The Screen,” Millennium Park’s newest addition located in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion makes its debut Tuesday with a showing of “Chicago” and a movie tribute to the Sun-Times’ late Roger Ebert, to kick off the park’s film series.

As with most events in Millennium Park, the 6:30 p.m. event is free.

The Screen, of course, was not. It came with a hefty price tag of $550,000. No tax dollars used for this one though. It’s entirely funded by founders of Millennium Park, Inc., and private donors.

The Screen pays for itself. There are plans to host 55 events per year, said chairman of Millennium Park, Donna LaPietra

“If we were to rent this screen for each event it would cost about $30,000 each time, not to mention the learning curve to operate it,” she said.

The 40 foot wide, 22.5 foot tall screen is made up of LED lights.

From the outside edges of the lawn area to the front-most seat in the pavilion, the picture and sound quality are clear — above any ambient city sounds.

Live feeds from anywhere in the world also can be projected on The Screen, said LaPietra when discussing possible future events.

But hands down, the coolest thing about this one-of-a-kind screen?

It’s durable enough to have a car drive over it, said general manager of Millennium Park, Neal Speers.

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