"A lot of people have walked in and exclaimed, Oh, thank God there's air conditioning," said Dave Jennings, general manager of the Music Box Theatre in Lakeview.
He says even at his art house theater, old revivals and documentaries are drawing them in - including a revival of The Graduate they showed on Wednesday.
Gene Siskel Film Center House Manager Angela Cox echoed Jennings.
"We've seen good crowds for all of our screenings," Cox said via e-mail, adding that many patrons said the theaters' air-conditioning helped clinch the decision to buy a ticket.
A representative of the large theater chain Kerasotes, which runs the Showplace Icon in the South Loop, said that's the main driver of business now.
"There were records broken not just in the heat wave but in the box office," Kerasote's Nikolas Smith said.
So, if this past week was a movie, would it be like The Perfect Storm?
Smith replied: "Absolutely."