We have different ways of determining the first day of summer. Technically, it’s the Summer Solstice, which this year was June 21. For some though, Memorial Day weekend is our passage out of the cold of winter and the unpredictability of spring into glorious long days of grilling meat and swatting bugs. Regardless, we can’t spend the entire summer being active, so here are some great options for enjoying the best that Hollywood has to offer.
The Orpheum Theater offers free (yes, free! as in, no-cost… gratis… won’t cost ya nothin’!) summer films every Monday through Aug. 27. Check out family-friendly greats like Toy Story (1995) on July 9, Wall-E (2008) on July 16 or Despicable Me (2010) on Aug. 20. Doors open at 6 p.m., with films starting at 6:30 p.m. For a complete schedule visit www.orpheumflagstaff.com
Harkins Theatres has a Summer Movie Fun program as well, and while it’s not quite free, it’s pretty close! For only $5 per person for the entire season, you can get a pass for your kids (and you) to see 10 movies in 10 weeks. This year Harkins is showing such favorites as Ferdinand (2017) July 9-13, Captain Underpants (2017) July 23-27 and Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) Aug. 6-10. Shows run Monday through Friday and start at 9:45 a.m.; what a great way to get out of the heat! All adults must be accompanied by children. Details are available at Harkins’ website: www.harkins.com/movies/summer-movie-fun
Maybe you want to enjoy the great outdoors while you sit on your butt. The Flagstaff Downtown Business Alliance has you covered with Movies on the Square! Every Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day, you and your family can enjoy a free movie at Heritage Square. The fun kicks off at 4 p.m. with games and entertainment, with the film beginning at dusk. This summer’s schedule includes Star Wars (1977) on July 7, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) July 28 and Cars (2006) on Aug. 25. Bring your blankie or (low) camp chairs! Full schedule and deets online at www.downtownflagstaff.org/events/movies-on-the-square
Finally, for those who have some disposable income and friendly neighbors, you can create your own movie magic. Projectors have become surprisingly affordable, and you can get fancy and buy an inflatable movie screen, or just string a white sheet between some trees. If you have a garage, just project onto the door!
With all these alternatives, you and your family can revisit beloved films, meet other kids and still have plenty of cash left over for the DQ.