“When Will Back to the Future II be Screened at the Museum of Science & Industry?” by S.M. O’Connor

The Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I.) will host a free outdoor screening of Back to the Future Part II (1989)[1] on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 as part of the Chicago Park District’s Movies in the Parks cultural program to promote the temporary exhibit Wired to Wear™.

The M.S.I. will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. that day.  Visiting the M.S.I. requires a Museum Entry (general admission) ticket.  Certain exhibits like Wired to Wear™ and the U-505 On-board tour require separate timed-entry tickets.  Parking is available in the M.S.I.’s underground garage (but charges apply) or nearby street parking.  The screening will take place on the front lawn on 57th Street and begin at dusk (around 8:30 p.m.).  Movies in the Parks: Back to the Future Part II activities will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Arrive early to ensure you have a seat and participate in free activities.  This is an opportunity to take a photo in a real DeLorean – like the one Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) turned into a time machine in Back to the Future (1985) – and to learn about wearable technology like the self-lacing shoes Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) wore in Back to the Future Part II.

June 19, 2019 is also the anniversary of the M.S.I.’s first opening ceremony, so slices of birthday cake from Fabianas’s Bakery will be offered while supplies last.  The M.S.I. opened in the Palace of Fine Arts, which had been built for Chicago’s first World’s Fair, the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893) and subsequently had housed The Field Museum of Natural History until 1920, three stages between 1933 and 1940.  Founded in 1926 by Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932), President of Sears, Roebuck & Company, who was already a famous philanthropist, through The Commercial Club of Chicago, whom he told he would back an interactive science museum like Oskar von Miller’s Deutsches Museum von Meisterwerken der Naturwissenschaft und Technik (German Museum of Masterpieces of Science and Technology)[2] in Munich.  The very first opening ceremony came on June 19, 1933, when the North & South Courts of the Central Pavilion were opened for the press, the Rosenwalds, Commercial Club members, the South Park Commission, and Edward J. Kelly, Mayor of Chicago and President of the South Park Commission.  It opened to the public on July 1, 1933.  These events coincided with Chicago’s second World’s Fair, A Century of Progress International Exposition (1933-34), which opened on June 1, 1933.

The Chicago Park District is celebrating the eighty-fifth anniversary of its foundation this year because it was created in 1934 with the consolidation of Chicago’s twenty-two independent park districts, which had become financially insolvent during the Second Great Depression.  Movies in the Parks comes under the umbrella of Night Out in the Parks, which is presented by T-Mobile.  Call the Movies in the Parks hotline at (312) 743-1134 for daily listings and weather-related cancellations.

Often stylized as the “Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago” or the “Museum of Science + Industry” the institution is located at the northern end of the Chicago Park District’s Jackson Park, on the south side of 57th Street, between Lake Shore Drive to the east and Cornell Drive to the west, in the East Hyde Park neighborhood of the Hyde Park Community Area (Community Area #41) on the South Side of Chicago.

Normally, the M.S.I. is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  However, it will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from Saturday, June 22, 2019 through Sunday, June 30, 2019.  The address is 5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60637.  The Website is https://www.msichicago.org/ and the phone number is (773) 684-1414.


[1] The science fiction comedy was set mostly in 2015, which was the future in 1989, but is now the past.  It came remarkably close in depicting the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series in 2015 (against the fictional Miami Gators), because they finally won again in 2016 (against the Cleveland Indians) for the first time since 1908.

[2] Please note that at the time Waldemar Kaempffert began to bring Julius Rosenwald’s vision into reality, he translated the Deutsches Museum von Meisterwerken der Naturwissenschaft und Technik as “German Museum of Masterworks of Science and Technology” but today the institution calls itself the German Museum of Masterpieces of Science and Technology” in English-language version of its Website.

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