In addition to the wealth of festivals, patio fun, (ugh) pedal taverns, tailgating blowouts, beer gardens and beach relaxation, and countless other outdoor activities Milwaukee offers throughout the summer, the city presents film buffs with ample opportunity to enjoy both old and new movies in (oftentimes) unconventional settings when the temperatures rise. Whether taking in a beloved and family-friendly flick on a blanket in a public park, cooling off with a 20-year-old cult classic at 10 p.m. in an air conditioned theater, or seeing a film from the ’50s in some guy’s Walker’s Point alleyway, there’s plenty to see in Milwaukee this summer. To help you sift through the listings, we’ve assembled Milwaukee Record‘s 2016 summer movie guide.
Film On The Hill (Humboldt Park)
For those who like Chill On The Hill‘s vibe and want more fun in Humboldt Park, the bandshell in the Bay View park is transformed from concert venue to outdoor theater with Film On The Hill on select summer Saturdays. This year, two time-tested favorites and a new blockbuster—Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (July 30), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (August 6), and Grease (September 3)—will be screened in the free film series for people of any age. Bring your own chairs, blankets, and snacks.
Lakefront Movie (Veterans Park)
When it’s not being used as an occult mating ritual site, Veterans Park is a place locals and visitors alike can fly kites and enjoy some of the best views Milwaukee’s park system (and the city itself) has to offer. Adding to the viewing experience are regular summer screenings near the kite store on weekend evenings. Inside Out started things off last Saturday. The free series will continue with Star Wars: The Force Awakens (June 25), Jurassic World (July 9), Good Dinosaur (August 19), Zootopia (August 27), and a September 4 double feature of Galaxy Quest and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
LGBT June (Avalon Theater)
With their movie series put together in accordance with Halloween and Christmas, anime nights, honoring fallen music greats, unique monthly themes like “Antihero April” and “Martial Arts May,” not to mention letting Milwaukee Record pick out a movie to show from time to time, the fine folks at Avalon Theater and Times Cinema are doing a great job of filling metro Milwaukee’s nights with subversive cinema classics. Since June is LGBT Pride Month, Avalon Atmospheric Theater & Lounge in Bay View is asking film lovers to “come out (out not, no pressure) and enjoy some of the best cult classic films about the LGBT community” at 10 p.m. every Thursday in LGBT June. The $5 weekly series is already 40 percent over, but will finish strong with The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert (June 16), Hedwig And The Angry Inch (June 23), and The Birdcage (June 30).
Milwaukee Bike-In Movie Series (swing park under Holton Street Bridge)
Between the third Friday of each June through late October, the Milwaukee Bike-In Movie Series sets up a projector at the swing park beneath the Holton Street Bridge and offers free 8 p.m. screenings of beloved classics, cult favorites, and even a few new-ish releases for good measure. This year’s film lineup (sponsored by Connect 53212) is pretty damn good, including the incomparably bloody dystopian BMX flick Turbo Kid starting things off (June 17), followed by Labyrinth (July 15), Straight Outta Compton (August 19), Back To The Future (September 16), and Donnie Darko (October 21).
Paul’s Alley Cinema
Paul Dorobialski’s makeshift movie house (which, more accurately, is an alleyway in Walker’s Point) is largely dependent on whether a darkness-inhibiting street light is illuminated. At this point, though, it’s lights out in the vicinity of 170 S. 2nd Street, which means the show can go on at Paul’s Alleyway Cinema…at least for the time being. The renegade picture show offers viewers who are lucky enough to nab one of the few folding chairs set beside the loading dock outside Paul’s factory the ability to see films like they (and very few others) have ever seen them before. This Friday’s selection is a 9 p.m. screening of the 1955 film The Man With The Golden Arm. Check back each week for Paul’s pick.
Peck Flicks (Marcus Center)
Though most other series on this list start in June, Peck Flicks add to the late-summer viewing experience by offering a quartet of movies at the Peck Pavilion at the Marcus Center in August. This year, the free, family-oriented series includes 7:15 p.m. (estimated time, based on sunset) showings of Angels In The Outfield (August 5), Jumanji (August 11), Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (August 19), and The Princess And The Frog (August 26).
Point Fish Fry & A Flick (Discovery World)
Since 2009, for a handful of Fridays throughout the summer, Point Fish Fry & A Flick has transformed Discovery World on the lakefront into an outdoor movie mecca. Co-produced by the Pabst Theater Group, the series will return for its eighth season in 2016, and will feature free screenings of new classics, free beer tastings from Stevens Point Brewery, fish fry and other goodies from Bartolotta Restaurants, and over 3,000 satisfied Milwaukeeans. It’s a wonderful summer tradition, even though we’re still smarting from that time Major League got rained out. Anyway, here’s the three-film lineup for Point Fish Fry & A Flick 2016: Deadpool (August 12), Trainwreck (August 19), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (September 9).
Summer Film Camp (Avalon Theater and Times Cinema)
With the end of the school year and summer vacation here, Avalon and Times have curated a six-pack of movies to keep kids entertained for much of the season. Not only will “Summer Film Camp” keep youngsters out of trouble, but it will also give adults a chance to take a trip down memory lane. Beginning at 11 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday from June 21 through July 28, both theaters will host special screenings of summertime classics. With $5 tickets and a lineup that features The Sandlot (June 21 and June 23), The Princess Bride (June 28 and June 30), E.T. (July 5 and July 7), Jumanji (July 12 and July 14), The Little Rascals (July 19 and July 21) and The Goonies (July 26 and July 28), things can’t get much better. Oh wait, they can. Did we mention $2 from every ticket sold will be donated to Pathfinders Milwaukee, Inc.?