One of the most popular Chicago summer events, the Millennium Park Summer Film Series, returns with another stellar lineup. The season begins on June 5 with Hairspray and ends August 21 with Slumdog Millionaire. New this year, each screening in the series will be programmed in collaboration with a local independent film festival providing a season-long sampling of the themes, ethnicities and genres seen in the more than 50 film festivals presented annually in Chicago.
Running on Tuesdays, June 5 to August 21 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 2018 Schedule
All films start at 6:30 p.m., except the family film on July 9 at 11 a.m.
June 5: Hairspray
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Underground Film Festival
(1988, rated PG, 92 minutes)
Directed by John Waters and starring Ricki Lake, Divine, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono and Jerry Stiller, this cult film classic follows teenager Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) as she pursues stardom on the local television hit the Corny Collins Dance Show and rallies against racial segregation.
June 12: Mad Max: Fury Road
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Critics Film Festival
(2015, rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images, 120 minutes)
In a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland where people must fight for scarce resources, a woman (Charlize Theron) rebels against the tyrannical ruler in a search for her homeland with the help of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshipper and a drifter named Max (Tom Hardy).
June 19: Kinky Boots
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Filmmakers’ Reeling LGBTQ International Film Festival
(2005, rated PG-13 for thematic material involving sexuality, 107 minutes)
In order to save his family’s struggling shoe business, straight-laced Charles Price (Joel Edgerton) teams up with Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a flamboyant cabaret singer, with an unorthodox idea to produce custom footwear for drag queens.
June 26: Groundhog Day
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Comedy Film Festival and Second City
(1993, rated PG for some thematic elements, 101 minutes)
Cynical and frustrated news reporter Phil Connors (Bill Murrays) finds himself reliving the same day covering the annual Groundhog Day festivities in small town Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, with his cameraman Larry (Chris Elliott) and producer Rita (Andie MacDowell). Just as Phil starts to believe the he is doomed to live this day for all eternity, he learns that life isn’t what happens but how you react to it.
July 3: High Fidelity
Programmed in collaboration with the Midwest Independent Film Festival
(2000, rated R for language and some sexuality 113 minutes)
Thirty-something Rob Gordon (John Cusack), a former club DJ and now owner of record store Championship Vinyl, with a penchant for compiling top five lists, attempts to understand why he has been dumped by his latest girlfriend Laura (Iben Hjejle) by revisiting his life’s top five worst break-ups. Much of the movie, based on the book by Nick Hornby, was filmed in Chicago.
Monday, July 9, 11 a.m.: Iron Giant – opening program at 10:30 a.m.
Programmed in collaboration with the Facet’s Chicago International Children's Film Festival
(1999, rated PG for fantasy action violence, language, some thematic material and smoking, 90 minutes)
Nine-year-old Hogarth Hughes (Eli Marienthal) makes friends with an innocent alien giant robot and protects him from a paranoid U.S. Government agent (Christopher McDonald) by keeping him at a junkyard owned by Dean McCoppin (Harry Connick Jr.). The family film is also being show in conjunction with the Millennium Park Family Fun Festival and the Year of Creative Youth.
July 10: Man on Wire
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Media Project DOC10 Film Festival
(2008, rated PG-13 for some sexuality and nudity, and drug references, 90 minutes)
Using actual footage from the event seamlessly mingled with re-enactments, filmmaker James Marsh masterfully recreates high-wire daredevil Philippe Petit's 1974 daring but illegal high-wire performance between the World Trade Center’s twin towers. The film won an Oscar for Best Documentary, Features.
July 17: International Media Mixer
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Film Archive
(2018, rated PG, 65 minutes)
US premiere of a live sonic and cinematic experience. A cross-cultural exchange of artists and archival footage from Chicago and Italy featuring four new films by Giuseppe Boccassini (Italy) and Alex Inglizian (U.S.); Lori Felker (U.S.) and Patrizia Oliva (Italy); Federico Francioni, Yan Cheng (Italy) and Tomeka Reid (U.S.); Domietta Torlasco (U.S.) and Stefano Urkuma De Santis (Italy). The evening will be hosted by Alison Cuddy of the Chicago Humanities Festival.
July 24: Get Out
Programmed in collaboration with the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Black Harvest Film Festival
(2017, rated R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references,104 minutes)
Young African American Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) visits the white family of his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) for the weekend. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined. The Oscar-winning film for Best Original Screenplay was written and directed by Jordan Peele.
July 31: DOUBLE FEATURE! WALL-E and Crash
Programmed in collaboration with the One Earth Film Festival
(2008, rated G, 98 minutes)
In a distant, but not so unrealistic, future, mankind has abandoned the trash-covered earth, and WALL-E, a garbage collecting robot, has been left to clean up the mess. Mesmerized with trinkets of Earth's history and show tunes, WALL-E inadvertently embarks on a space journey with his sprightly pet cockroach that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.
Programmed in collaboration with the Peace on Earth Film Festival
(2004, rated R for language, sexual content and some violence, 112 minutes)
Over a thirty-six hour period in Los Angeles, a handful of disparate people's lives intertwine as they deal with the tense race relations that belie life in the city. Directed by Paul Haggis, the film won three Oscars, including one for Best Picture, and stars Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Brendan Fraser among many others in this ensemble cast.
August 7: School of Rock
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival
(2003, Rated PG-13 for some rude humor and drug references, 108 minutes)
Fired from his band, down and out rock star Dewey Finn (Jack Black), takes a gig as a 4th grade substitute teacher at an uptight private school. His attitude and hijinks teach the students some unconventional lessons, as he secretly leads his talented young musicians to the "battle of the bands" competition.
August 14: Coco
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival
(2017, rated PG for thematic elements, 105 minutes)
Aspiring musician Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez), confronted by his family's baffling generations-old ban on music, takes an accidental trip to the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead where, along with the charming trickster skeleton Hector (voiced by Gael García Bernal), he unlocks the real story behind his family history. Coco won two Oscars, including Best Animated Feature Film.
August 21: Slumdog Millionaire
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago International Film Festival
(2008, Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language, 120 minutes)
Finding himself just one question away from winning 20 million rupees on India's Kaun Banega Crorepati? (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?), eighteen year-old Jamal (Dev Patel) is accused of cheating and reflects on how his life in the slums of Mumbai gave him all the answers.
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.