One would hope/expect that Eddie and Ellroy would draw well on an Opening Night, giving Chicago a taste of the more "feral" nature of the early West Coast festivals (including the ones in LA that predated Noir City).
Of course, it might have been that the length of the opening stage show that pushed the start of DRAGNET's screening back toward 10:00pm, which seems to be a line of demarcation for the older portion of the audience.
Trivia note: I'm wondering how many non-B&W double bills have been shown at NCs at this point? Back in the day, the only "double color" noir double bill was DESERT FURY/LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN, one that we can only hope that they decide to reprise this year (just might have to sneak into that one if it happens!). Now that the scope has been expanded, of course, we will likely see a lot more "double color" screenings...