Reel Indie


As the summer sun looms down from overhead with heat that can only be described as oppressive, Tucsonans will begin scurrying for the shadows and wishing they were somewhere far, far away. What better way to be transported to another world than to sit down and watch a great movie? Luckily, for those same sweltering Tucsonans, The Old Pueblo has plenty of movie viewings this summer! Some downtown, some as north as Marana—and some even in swimming pools. Take a look.


click to enlarge Cinema la Placita - COURTESY
Cinema la Placita

Cinema la Placita. Since 2000, the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block has screened a summer movies special, and this year they're keeping the tradition alive. Every Thursday evening at 7:30, May through August, the museum shows classic movies for any and all. It's a great way to beat the heat and maybe find a new favorite flick. For only $3, you get access and popcorn. They've already screened classics such as Dr. Strangelove, Rosemary's Baby, Dirty Dancing, King Kong and Blazing Saddles. Who knows what they'll play next! 140 N. Main Ave.

click to enlarge Fox Theatre - COURTESY
Fox Theatre

Fox Theatre. There's a slew of summertime screenings prepared at The Fox Theatre. They're playing fun '80s and '90s classics like Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Clueless, then switching it up for Friday the 13th with Audrey Hepburn's scariest film, Wait Until Dark. 17 W. Congress St.

click to enlarge The Loft - COURTESY
The Loft

The Loft. Well of course Tucson's premiere arthouse cinema has plenty going on this summer. The "Sci-fi Summer" series will be especially fun, featuring digital restorations and 70mm prints of far-out classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Tron and Alien. And if your kids are getting antsy from staying inside all summer, "The Loft Jr." free screenings serve as a great outing. The kids' movies include The Peanuts Movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Jungle Book and (as an extra-special event) a summer day camp for junior filmmakers. The "Cult Classics" showing every Friday should also be a good time, including The Big Lebowski, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, The Goonies and more. The Loft will also host numerous special events, including a 50th Anniversary Restoration of The Beatles' Yellow Submarine; special Father's Day screenings of The Godfather and The Royal Tenenbaums and the 12-hour-long, aptly titled "All-Nite Scream-o-Rama." 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

Cox Movies in the Park at Reid Park. Cox Communications is starting its annual free movie screenings in Reid Park. These family-friendly flicks play every other Friday at 7:45 p.m., but there are plenty of games and food trucks to keep you busy beforehand. Film showing include Coco on Friday, May 25; Paddington 2 on Friday, June 8; Jumanji on Friday, June 22; Wonder Woman on Friday, July 6; Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Friday, July 20.

Cactus Drive-In. The good folks over at Cactus Drive-In are keeping the American tradition alive for as long as they can. This past month they had hits like Coco and Black Panther on their schedule. Jurassic Park will play at 7:50 p.m. on May 27, and they're working on even more fun flicks for the rest of summer. According to their website, "Sharing a bucket of popcorn under the stars while watching a movie... We want this experience back in our town!" 4100 S. Palo Verde Road.

The Screening Room. This is another place to catch off-the-radar flicks that you'd probably never see otherwise. Whether it's a behind-the-scenes documentary of filmmaking, a ridiculous action movie from the Far East or a classic '70s cerebral thriller getting a little more love, this is the place for you. 127 E. Congress St.

click to enlarge Casa Video - COURTESY
Casa Video

Casa Video. Some of the most nostalgic, care-free spots in all of Tucson are the meandering rows of DVD cases at Casa Video. Luckily for you, this film bar has events going on basically every night, so you can stay out of the heat and in with the movies. They'll screen double features, trivia nights, Sci-Fi Sundays, game nights and more. And there's almost always a food truck just outside to compliment their wide variety of drinks. 2905 E. Speedway Blvd.

Oro Valley

Teen Dive-In Movies at the Aquatic Center. If your teens want to enjoy movies and stave off the summer sun in a pool, check out the 7:30 p.m. movie showings at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center. June 23 - Black Panther; July 28 - Jumanji; Aug. 25 - Spiderman; Sept. 8 - Coco. 23 W. Calle Concordia.

Drive-In Movies on the Driving Range. On the third Saturday of every month, from May through August, the Oro Valley Community Center is showing free children's movies. Bring a blanket and a chair, hang out of the green and catch a movie at sunset. May 19 - Coco; June 16 - Despicable Me 3; July 21 - Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Aug. 18 - The Lion King. 10555 N. La Cañada Drive.


The town of Marana has a few family movie screenings as well. A few of them are even dive-in movies, so you can enjoy a free movie and hop in the pool at the same time. The dive-in movies are Free Willy, Atlantis and Yogi Bear, and take place at Ora Mae Harn Park Pool (13250 N. Lon Adams Road). But if you don't feel like getting soaked, you can also check out August 18 - Sherlock Gnomes at Marana Heritage River Park (12375 N. Heritage Park Drive).

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