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Movies In The Parks: Summer's Savior

Movies In The Parks

By Dan Morgridge

Movies In The Park

Honestly, we're not sure why it took us so long to realize there should be a movie playing outside in a park every day of the summer. You go to the beach, you play some sports, maybe you just grill all day and do cannonballs in the pool, but then you want to gather up and watch a good-timey movie with the gang. And lucky us: our fine city has provided nearly two hundred opportunities to enjoy a movie, outdoors, on a screen larger than some of our homes. We've rounded up some of our own favorites below, but if your neighborhood isn't represented here, don't fret – there's many other options listed here. To see what time your movie plays, check out the Chicago Park District's event page.

Rookie of the Year
'Rookie of the Year' (credit: 20th Century Fox)

Rookie of the Year (PG)

Saturday, July 7th

Humboldt Park: Lil Cubs Field
1339 W. Luis Munoz Marin Drive

Thomas Ian Nicholas's big breakthrough is somewhere in the realm of Big, Angels In The Outfield, and, uh, Air Bud. And give or take the American Pie series, it's the best thing he's ever done – but heck, it's fun. A freak accident gives young Henry Rowengartner a 103mph fastball, and 12-year-old plus pro baseball environment is as much fun as you can have in a movie without adding a monkey (they took the high road on that one). And what better place could you watch some good ol' earnest baseball fun at than Humboldt's Lil' Cubs Field?

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark (credit: Lucasfilm Ltd. / Paramount Pictures

Raiders of the Lost Ark (PG)

Wednesday, August 1st

Wicker Park
1425 N. Damen Avenue

Indy! And what an Indy. Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford all at the tops of their games. A small but perfect scene from Alfred Molina, John Rhys-Davies booming his voice about before we all remembered him as a dwarf, and Karen Allen when she first made us realize we all really wanted to have a drink with her.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
"Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby' (credit: Columbia Pictures)

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (PG-13)

Saturday, August 4th

Ellen Gates Starr Park
2306 W. Maypole Avenue

If you thought maybe Will Ferrell went too far in his sports movie phase, well... you're probably right. But that's no reason to discount this semi-sleeper, which has the usual ridiculous over-acting from Willy, but a refreshingly heavier dose of deadpan absurdity. Sasha Baron Cohen gives perhaps his best performance on film as Ferrell's racing rival, and John C Reilly is solid gold as always.

The Princess Bride
'The Princess Bride' (credit: 20th Century Fox)

The Princess Bride (PG)

Wednesday, August 15th

Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark Street

Like you're not going to go see one of the most beloved comedies of all time. Marking one of the only times a director followed a hit comedy with a romantic comedy and didn't fall on his face in the process, Rob Reiner's classic features a cast at the top of their games. Christopher Guest as a villain! Shawn Alexander in poofy shirts! Andre the Giant being himself! This is what every epic adventure movie that aims for laughs wants to be. Join the Wormhole and likely one million twenty-somethings for a classic film in Wicker Park.

Wizard of the Dark Side of the Moon
Wizard of the Dark Side of the Moon... it's pretty trippy (credit: Paramount Pictures / Warner Bros.)

The Wizard of Oz (G)

Thursday, August 16th

Commercial Park
1845 W. Rice St.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (PG-13)

Thursday, August 16th

Grand Crossing Park
7655 W. Ingleside Ave.

Nobody else thinks it's a liiiittle suspicious that they're playing The Wizard of Oz and something that's basically called "Dark Side Of The Moon"? Split the watching duties with a friend, and let each other know when totally trippy sync-ups happen. Since you should be listening to Pink Floyd for the Wizard of Oz, we can only assume that listening to Ozzie Osbourne's "Blizzard of Oz" during the Transformers movie will blow your MIND.

Dan Morgridge brings his headphones so he can watch Director's Commentaries In The Parks.


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