The thermodynamics of a quantum system of layers containing perpendicularly oriented dipolar molecules is studied within an oscillator approximation for both bosonic and fermionic species. The system is assumed to be built from chains with one molecule in each layer. We consider the effects of the intralayer repulsion and quantum statistical requirements in systems with more than one chain. Specifically, we consider the case of two chains and solve the problem analytically within the harmonic Hamiltonian approach which is accurate for large dipole moments. The case of three chains is calculated numerically. Our findings indicate that thermodynamic observables, such as the heat capacity, can be used to probe the signatures of the intralayer interaction between chains. This should be relevant for near future experiments on polar molecules with strong dipole moments.