Last week, Point Fish Fry & A Flick was officially cancelled for 2017, and possibly forever. As Milwaukee mourns the beloved series’ indefinite end, it’s important to remember 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 family 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 the morning or at 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 2017 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 relatively new, family-friendly blockbusters—La La Land (July 22) and Lego Batman Movie (August 5)—will be screened in the free film series for people of any age. Bring your own chairs, blankets, and snacks.
Friday Night Freak Show
Following a 10-year absence, WMSE’s Friday Night Freak Show recently made its triumphant return to the big screen. Since reviving the monthly series with 1969’s Easy Rider last August, the Freak Show has delighted Times Cinema audiences with films like Gremlins, Natural Born Killers, Purple Rain, and The Boondock Saints. The June pick is Dazed And Confused, and The Warriors is slated for July 28. August and September’s selections have yet to be confirmed.
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. The Jungle Book started things off on June 10. The free series will continue with Sing (June 24), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (July 7), The Lego Batman Movie (August 19), La La Land (August 26), and Groundhog Day and Top Gun (September 3).
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. Due to licensing expenses, the fate of this year’s series was up in the air. Fortunately, Milwaukee bike/film buffs came through with the necessary funds, meaning the shows can go on. The series is already underway with a June 16 Space Jam screening, but there’s still time to catch The Princess Bride (July 31), Back To The Future 2 (August 18), The Muppets Movie (September 15), and E.T. (October 20).
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 in a way they (and very few others) have never seen them before. Weather hasn’t been kind to the makeshift movie series this year; Paul hopes to squeeze in a few flicks before summer is through.
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 six-pack 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 Raiders Of The Lost Ark (August 4), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club (August 10), Space Jam (August 18), and Tangled and The Princess Bride (August 25).
Second Saturday Classic (Avalon Theater and Times Cinema)
If all these newfangled Lego-based movies aren’t your bag, go back to a simpler time in film with Avalon‘s and Times Cinema’s “Second Saturday Classic” showings. The 10 a.m. screenings are $5, or $15 for a brunch package that includes a ticket, mimosa, breakfast sandwich, and pastries. Hello, Dolly! starts things off on July 8. Oklahoma! is screening August 18.
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, it will also give adults a chance to take a trip down memory lane. Beginning at 11 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday from July 3 through July 26, both theaters will host special screenings of summertime classics. With $3 tickets and a lineup that features The Lego Movie (July 3 and July 5), Home (July 10 and July 12), How To Train Your Dragon 2 (July 17 and July 19), and The Secret Life Of Pets (July 24 and July 26), things can’t get much better for youngsters.