Take a break from your screens to enjoy live comedy. The best night out with social distancing! A comedy block party all summer long.
Health and Safety
Everything will be in the Big Theater for now with high ceilings and lots of space for social distancing. We have one-way traffic throughout the theater and building, 1,5m distance between you and other groups. We offer table service so there are not crowds at the bar. When busy, we will open extra toilets backstage to spread out the crowd.
We open early to spread out arrivals to allow you to eat, drink and hang out with the friends you’ve only seen through Zoom. The theater is open 90 minutes before showtime. For more information, check each show individually.
Yes, book your dinner and/or snack platter together with your show ticket. We’re setting up a pop-up kitchen and serving snacks and dinners made with local ingredients. Everything is fresh and made to order and will delight meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Food must be pre-ordered in advance (up to 48 hours before showtime) and not on the night. That way we can have the right ingredients on hand and no food waste. You will taste the difference!
Check our full dinners and fresh snack platters. Your table is ready from 90 minutes before showtime. Dinner and snacks are served individually to your table.
We have new seating setups that allow you to sit close to your partner, family and flatmates, but away from other groups. Couples can choose a comfy couch, a VIB table in the front or a side table. In the balcony, seats are side by side, separated from strangers with safety shields.
In addition, we have created two special tables of four. These ‘safe social seats’ are designed with a clear plastic shield to bisect the table. Two partners or flatmates can sit on one side of the table while two non-quarantine friends sit on the other side. You don’t share drinks or food, but you do share good times. Sit close, talk and laugh. It’s a wonderful, safe, and social experience.
For the best seats and the best deal, come with a group of four at a VIB table (Very Important Butt) and the fourth person is free!
Our theater is large and your group is seated socially distant from other groups of strangers. We offer table service so there are not crowds at the bar. Our theater has safe, one-way traffic.
Please follow our rules, direction flows and make an extra effort to stay 1,5m away from strangers. Of course cough into your elbow. Of course wash and sanitize your hands. Of course do not come out if you or anyone in your house is sick. We will be happy to reschedule your tickets.
We cannot guarantee you will not be exposed to COVID-19 at Boom Chicago. Nor at the supermarket. Nor on the street. But going out is good for you too. After all, laughter is the best medicine. Well, antibiotics and aspirin are pretty good too. OK, laughter is definitely in the top three.
Please, do not come out if you or anyone in your house is sick. Email [email protected] and we will send you a gift certificate to reschedule your visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Boom Chicago?
Boom Chicago is a creative ensemble that has been making comedy shows in Amsterdam since 1993. Many people also refer to the show and the venue as Boom Chicago.
What time should we arrive?
It is smart to arrive 30-60 minutes before showtime. Then you can have a drink in the bar, play some pinball and video games, and get seated in plenty of time. Arrive at least 15 minutes before showtime. If you arrive late, we will seat you in (probably) worse seats.
How long is the show?
Usually shows are about two hours with an intermission. Sunday Night Live is shorter and usually one act (no intermission). Find more info on each show page.
We have two separate reservations and someone is coming late. Can we sit together?
Sure. Tell our host when you go in the theater. We all have that friend who is late.
Do we sit at a table?
Sort of. In the main theater, you don’t reserve a table, but each seat is near a table. Generally, six seats share a table, even though everyone sits in rows. VIB seats are more comfortable and generally are four to a table. The Upstairs Theater does not have tables.
Can you eat at Boom Chicago?
There are many options for groups. For couples, friends and small groups, we have food and show packages which can be ordered online in advance.
How do we order drinks?
Before the show, order drinks by the pitcher, bucket, bottle, or glass. Buckets of ice keep things cool. Bring your drinks in the theater. There is additional drink service from waiters during the show. We do not accept cash at Boom Chicago.
Is there a coat check?
There is an unguarded coat check in the bar where you may hang your jackets (at your risk). You may also bring your coats and bags into the theater. Please keep an eye on your valuables as we are not responsible for things lost or damaged.
Will you make fun of me in the show?
Dutch people, relax. Our intention is not to make anyone look bad. The show is improvised so we need you to shout out smart suggestions and feel safe to do that. Occasionally we will interview someone at random. This is good news. That means we will make a scene, character or song about you. Get out your phones to record it. This is like sitting in an exit row on the plane without paying extra!
How does the arcade work?
We have modern pinball machines and classic video games from the 1980s. Buy tokens at the bar with your bank card or credit card.
What games do you have?
We have three pinball machines: Dialed In Pinball (2018 — featuring Boom Chicago voice actors) Star Trek Pinball (Stern, 2013), Mr & Ms Pac Man Pinball (1982).
We have a trackball cabinet with Centipede (1980) and Millipede (1982). Our cocktail, sit-down game has eight of the best retro arcade games: Galaga (1981), Galaga 3 (1984), Ms. Pacman (1981), Super Pacman (1982), Dig Dug (1982), Frogger (1981), Donkey Kong Junior (1982) and Donkey Kong 3 (1983)
Is Boom Chicago stand up comedy?
By the Dutch definition, yes. By an international definition, not usually. Anyway the line is blurry.
In English, a stand-up comedian is someone who tells jokes and stories into a microphone. Most stand ups are quick and also improvise in their acts. We host stand up shows and many of our improvisers also do stand up.
A traditional Boom Chicago show, however, is a mix of sketch and improv comedy. That’s when a group of comedians makes up scenes, characters and music based on stories or audience suggestions. These shows are different every night which is a reason that many of our fans can return so often.
What is the difference between Boom Chicago shows, visiting performers, and community shows?
Boom Chicago shows are created by our creative ensemble. They are sketch and improv shows. Visiting performers do whatever they do, usually stand-up comedy. Community shows are professional comedians doing something unusual, or (sometimes up and coming) comedians from the Amsterdam comedy community. Many community shows feature students and graduates from the Boom Chicago Academy.
Is there an age limit?
Not officially. There is some language in the show, but it is not dirty on purpose. Cool ten years old can see the show. 13 is probably a good age to start bringing your children. If you don’t understand anything in the show, your children can explain it to you. There are no children’s tickets although you can buy them student tickets.
Is Boom Chicago a show for Dutch people?
Although the shows are in English, most of our audience lives in greater Amsterdam. We do make fun of Dutch people and life in the Netherlands, but that is just our ‘Dutch honesty’.
Is Boom Chicago for tourists?
Boom Chicago is a show for locals that tourists love. All our shows are in English.
My English isn’t so good. Will I understand the show?
Come on. Your English is fine. This isn’t Shakespeare. But, if you miss something, the show moves quickly to something else. Also it has music too, which is fun for people with less English skills. (Yes we know it’s supposed to be ‘fewer’ English skills. Our high school English teacher is spinning in his grave)
Is Boom Chicago for Belgians?
If you are from Belgium, please tell a theater employee and we will speak slower.
How do we pay at the venue?
Bank cards and credit cards only. We do not accept cash at the venue. We do accept Dutch pin cards, foreign (Maestro) bank cards, MasterCard, Visa and American Express.
What if I can’t make it on the night I bought tickets?
Email us at [email protected] before the show starts and we will email you a redeemable online gift card. This gift card is redeemable for any Boom Chicago show and is valid for 3 months. This is only valid for tickets purchased at boomchicago.nl. See our terms and conditions for more details and the fine print.
What happens if Boom Chicago cancels a show?
On the rare occasion where that is necessary, we will refund your money or reschedule your tickets.
Whoo-hoo. I’m with all my buddies and we’ve been drinking all day!
That’s not a question. Drunk, disorderly, and disruptive people (or just plain jerks) will be removed from the show with no refunds. The discretion to remove patrons is entirely Boom Chicago’s.
Is Boom Chicago still on the Leidseplein?
No. The city has changed, Grandpa. Prices have gone up since they introduced the euro, some waiters don’t speak Dutch and we moved to Rozengracht 117 in 2013. The Chicago Social Club, the nightclub we co-founded in 2011, remains at the old location.
How do we get to Boom Chicago?
Duh, Google it.
Where do we park?
At Q-Park Europarking on Marnixtraat. It is a five minute walk to the theater. Cheaper parking is possible P+R Sloterdijk (EUR1/day plus reduced public transport) and take Tram 19 to Marnixstraat.
What about public transportation?
Boom Chicago is very accessible by trams 5, 13, 17 and 19 to Marnixstraat or Rozengracht and night busses.
From Centraal Station, take Trams 13 or 17 from (to Marnixstraat). From Station Zuid, take Tram 5 (to Rozengracht). From Station Lelylaan, take tram 17 (to Marnixstraat). From Schiphol airport, it is cheapest to take frequent bus 397 (to Elandsgracht), although train to Central Station then tram is slightly faster.