One of the most popular Chicago summer events, the Millennium Park Summer Film Series screens free movies from June through August. The season begins on June 4 with Black Panther and ends August 20 with My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
To celebrate 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre, this year’s series will co-present each film with a select Chicago theatre company, providing a season-long sampling of themes, ethnicities and genres to reflect the city’s rich passion for cinema in all its variety.
Running on Tuesdays, June 4 to August 20 at 6:30pm, Chicagoans and visitors are invited to take a seat at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion or enjoy the show from the Great Lawn. Bookmark this page and check out our perfect picnic basket guide to make it a delightful and delicious evening!
Visit our complete guide for details on how to get to Millennium Park and what you can and can’t bring
Millennium Park Summer Film Series 2019 Schedule
All films start at 6:30 p.m., except the family film on July 9 at 11 a.m.
June 4: Black Panther
Programmed in collaboration with eta Creative Arts Foundation
(2018, rated PG-13, 135 minutes)
T’Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced African nation of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future while confronting a challenger from his country’s past. The Oscar Award-winning action/adventure’s cast includes Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Angela Bassett.
June 11: Frida
Programmed in collaboration with Teatro Vista
(2002, rated R, 123 minutes)
This biography chronicles the bold and uncompromising life of Frida Kahlo, who channeled the pain of a crippling injury and her tempestuous marriage with artist Diego Rivera to become a political, artistic and sexual revolutionary. The Oscar Award-winning film stars Salma Hayek.
June 18: Love, Simon
Programmed in collaboration with About Face Theatre
(2018, rated PG-13, 110 minutes)
In this coming-of-age tale, teenager Simon Spier makes a love connection with a boy by email. As he discovers who he is corresponding with, he must find himself as well and come to terms with the secret that he is gay. The cast includes Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel.
June 25: Wonder Woman
Programmed in collaboration with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
(2017, rated PG-13, 149 minutes)
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons and trained warrior. When a pilot crashes on the shores of her sheltered island and tells of a conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and her true destiny. The cast includes Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Robin Wright.
July 2: The Wiz
Programmed in collaboration with Black Ensemble Theater
Commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Wizard of Oz
(1978, rated G, 136 minutes)
When Harlem schoolteacher Dorothy tries to save her dog from a storm, she’s miraculously whisked away to an urban fantasyland called Oz. In search of The Wiz, she eases on down the road with the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. The cast of this adaption of the “The Wizard of Oz” includes Diana Ross, Lena Horne and Richard Pryor as The Wiz.
July 9: 10 Things I Hate About You
Programmed in collaboration with Chicago Shakespeare Theater
(1999, rated PG-13, 99 minutes)
In an update of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, pretty and popular teenager Bianca Stratford cannot date unless her unpopular, rebellious older sister Kat does as well…thanks to their father’s rules. Thus starts the scheme to set Kat up with another rebel who may be able to win Kat’s heart. The cast includes Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles.
July 16: DOUBLE FEATURE! Moonlight and Pan’s Labyrinth
Programmed in collaboration with Steppenwolf Theatre Company
(2016, rated R, 115 minutes)
A young, African-American, gay man deals with his dysfunctional home life and comes of age in Miami during the “War on Drugs” era. Starring Mahershala Ali with Naomie Harris and Janelle Monae, this Oscar Award-winning film was adapted from Steppenwolf ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unpublished autobiographical play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.
Programmed in collaboration with Aguijón Theater
(2006, rated R, 119 minutes)
In 1944 post-Civil War Spain, a bookish young girl, fascinated by fairytales, escapes her harsh world by exploring an eerie but captivating fantasy world, led by an old faun in the center of the labyrinth. The Oscar Award-winning film was directed by Guillermo del Toro.
July 23: The Music Man
Programmed in collaboration with Goodman Theatre
(1962, rated G, 155 minutes
Traveling con man Harold Hill brings trouble with a capital “T” to River City, when he convinces the locals to start a band and purchase the uniforms and instruments from him. But his plan to skip town with the money goes awry when he starts to fall for librarian Marian Paroo. This classic film adaptation of the musical includes stars Robert Preston and Shirley Jones.
Goodman Theatre will present The Music Man directed by Mary Zimmerman, June 29 through August 4, in the Albert Theatre.
Before you go, learn about Mason City, the Iowa town that inspired River City.
July 30: Fences
Programmed in collaboration with Court Theatre
(2016, rated PG-13, 139 minutes)
Working class father Troy Maxson must cope with the disappointment of being too old to play baseball when the major leagues began admitting black athletes. That bitterness now threatens to impact his son who has the potential to be a football star. Based on August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, the film stars Denzel Washington and Best Supporting Actress winner Viola Davis.
August 5: Inside Out – daytime showing at 10:30 a.m.
Programmed in collaboration with Chicago Children’s Theatre
(2015, rated PG, 102 minutes)
After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.. An Oscar Award-winner for Best Animated Film, the cast of emotions includes Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Khaling, Richard Kind and Phyllis Smith.
August 6: The Muppet Movie
Programmed in collaboration with Free Street Theater
Free Street Theatre is celebrating its’ 50th Anniversary
(1979, rated G, 97 minutes)
Persuaded by a Hollywood agent to audition for the chance of a lifetime, Kermit the Frog leaves his quiet life in a swamp to journey across America for his big break. Along the way, Kermit comes across several quirky new friends including comedic Fozzie Bear, beautiful but feisty Miss Piggy and the Great Gonzo. Created by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, The Muppet Movie is celebrating its 40th Anniversary.
August 13: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Programmed in collaboration with Lookingglass Theatre Company
(2000, rated PG-13, 120 minutes)
As zen warriors float through the air, skim the water and battle in trees and across rooftops in 19th-century Qing Dynasty China, the chase is on to find the young warrior that stole an ancient and powerful sword. Directed by Ang Lee, this Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film’s cast includes Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi.
August 20: My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Programmed in collaboration with Victory Gardens Theater
(2002, rated PG, 96 minutes)
Everyone in the Portokalos family worries about Toula – a single thirty-year-old living with her parents in a Chicago Greek community. When she falls in love with a tall, handsome but non-Greek man, she struggles to get her family to accept him and come to terms with her cultural heritage. The funny cast includes writer and producer Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin and Michael Constantine.
All of the films start at 6:30pm.
The FREE admission Summer Film Series is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the LED screen at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion is provided by the Millennium Park Foundation. All films will be screened with English subtitles or captioning.
Photo credit: Choose Chicago.