On what would have been Roger Ebert's 71st birthday, Chicago's Millennium Park is opening the park's latest installment with a tribute to the beloved film critic.
Dubbed "The Screen" (for its proximity to the Anish Kapoor sculpture everyone calls "The Bean"), CBS Chicago reports the 40 foot wide, 22.5 foot tall fixture made up of LED lights will flicker to life Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. for a tribute to Ebert.
The presumably Ebert-approved screening of "Chicago" will follow the tribute to kick off the park's new free movie series (the critic gave the 2002 picture 3.5 out of 4 stars upon its 2002 release).
With crisp picture quality (images are bright and visible day or night) and durability (strong enough "to have a car drive over it," says the park's general manager) The Screen, naturally, came with a price: $550,000.
No tax dollars, however, were used for the attraction: The Tribune reports The Screen was funded wholly by a mix of private donors and the founders of Millennium Park, Inc.
Donna LaPietra, chairman of the private non-profit that helps pay for the park's upkeep, told the Sun-Times the screen pays for itself.
“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 Screen's potential is certainly exciting: officials say live feeds from anywhere in the world can be projected on The Screen (think Olympics, World Cup, presidential elections) and there are plans to host at least 55 events throughout the year.
At the unveiling Monday, LaPietra told the Tribune, "We hope that, ultimately, The Screen will be able to stand big shoulder to big shoulder with all of our other iconic features here in the park, the Bean and the (Crown) Fountain and the (Lurie) Garden."
Earlier on Ebert's birthday, his widow Chaz also revealed a contest to help finish the sci-fi story Ebert was unable to complete before his death in April.
"He began writing "The Thinking Molecules of Titan," a story about space exploration set in part at his beloved University of Illinois," Chaz wrote Tuesday on RogerEbert.com.
The excerpt Ebert had completed is on available on his site.
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Film critic Roger Ebert attends the 2002 Independent Spirit Awards March 23, 2002 in Santa Monica, CA. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
In this Jan. 12, 2011 file photo, Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic Roger Ebert works in his office at the WTTW-TV studios in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
This undated file photo originally released by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, shows movie critics Roger Ebert, right, and Gene Siskel. (AP Photo/Disney-ABC Domestic Television)
This Jan. 2009 file photo shows film critic and author Roger Ebert, recipient of the Honorary Life Member Award, at the Directors Guild of America Awards in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file)
This May 17, 2004 file photo shows Pulitzer Prize winning film critc Roger Ebert at the 57th International Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, file)
This January, 2011, file photo provided by Roger Ebert shows the famous film critic wearing a silicone prosthesis over his lower face and neck. (AP Photo/Ebert Productions, David Rotter, file)
Film critic Roger Ebert arrives at 'Damsels In Distress' Premiere at The Elgin during the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, 2011 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Film critic Roger Ebert and Director Martin Scorsese attend the Roger Ebert Conference Center Announcement held at the American Pavillion during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Critic Roger Ebert and actress Virginia Madsen attend the 61st Annual Directors Guild of America Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on January 31, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for DGA)
Critic Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert accept his Honorary Life Membership award onstage during the 61st Annual Directors Guild of America Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on January 31, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for DGA)
Film critic Roger Ebert poses at the book signing for his 'Great Movies II' at Barnes & Noble Booksellers on March 7, 2006 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Movie Critic Roger Ebert gestures as he receives the 2,288th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame June 23, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Movie Critic Roger Ebert and actress Julie Delpy in the audience at the 20th IFP Independent Spirit Awards in a tent on the beach on February 26, 2005 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Film critic Roger Ebert attends the 32nd Annual AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Meryl Streep on June 10, 2004 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Movie critic, Roger Ebert and wife Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert attend the '32nd Annual AFI Lifetime Achievement Award: A Tribute to Meryl Streep' held at the Kodak Theatre, June 10, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Film critic Roger Ebert speak at the 'The American Directors' discussion panel during the 'Variety Cannes Conference Series 2004' on May 15, 2004 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Film critic Roger Ebert talks with director/producer Campbell Scott at the American pavilion during 56th International Cannes Film Festival 2003 on May 16, 2003 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)