Films grace the Pentacrest lawn


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Many people spend their summers checking out the latest blockbuster movies. While these films don’t come cheap and the settings aren’t always the most enjoyable, the Free Movie Series has a response for that.

The Summer of the Art’s Free Movie Series — which provides an opportunity to see hit movies for free outside — will return to the Pentacrest this week, kicking off with Victor/Victoria. The musical comedy from 1982 stars Julie Andrews, who plays a struggling singer impersonating a man impersonating a woman in the Paris cabaret scene, alongside her mentor (James Garner) and suitor (Robert Preston).

Victor/Victoria continues the summer tradition of the Free Movie Series, which has presented popular and family-friendly films since 2005.

“Movies [are] gauged at a certain audience [and] are family-friendly,” said John Logsdon, the director of the University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums. “The idea is to have a fun environment on the lawn in front of Macbride Hall.”

The featured genres range from kid and family movies to dramas, although never going past the PG-13 mark. Although the series began with showing older, more obscure films, Summer of the Arts Executive director Lisa Barnes said group has started to incorporate more recent movies as well.

“[There are a] wide range of different movies from different genres,” she said.

Along with the 10 weeks of free movies, other activities will proceed the showings. The Pride Festival will start on Saturday, with the parade kicking off at noon at College Green Park. It just so happens, Victoria/Victoria will be shown in front of Macbride Hall at sunset (anytime from 8:15-9 p.m.) that week to go along with the Pride Festival theme.

“[Victor/Victoria] was chosen before talking to Pride Fest,” Barnes said. It just so happens the themes of these two activities match up this week.

Macbride will also serve as a rain location this year, and the Natural History Museum will stay open late for the series each week.

“People can come early, set up their blankets, and [visit the Natural History Museum],” Logsdon said.

In addition to providing an opportunity for museum visits, he said, additional activities will also be provided for certain movie showings.

“We’re having some activities take place in the Museum of Natural History before Ice Age [June 22],” said Sean Laughead, the student intern for coordination of the Free Movie Series.

Keeping with the theme of the movie, Laughhead said, the museum will offer kids and families the chance to learn the science behind the Ice Age in addition to enjoying the animated film.

For the showing of Lincoln (Aug. 3), the Old Capitol Museum will be open for a special event to embrace the history of the capitol and the movie.

The Iowa City Community Band and University of Iowa Spirit Squad will perform before the films on June 29 and Aug. 17, respectively.

Another important aspect of this year’s series, Barnes said, is the double feature on Aug. 10 — The Princess Bride and 16 to Life.

“[16 to Life is] a local, Iowa film director who has won some local awards,” Logsdon said.
Overall, the expectations are high for a tradition that has gotten great response since its start in 2005.

“It’s an ongoing tradition, for a number of years, all summer long,” Logsdon said. “The community enjoys them, [and] we always enjoy them.”

Members of the community can bring their lawn chairs, kick back, and relax while enjoying a spectrum of films this summer with the Free Movie Series, one of seven major events sponsored by the Summer of the Arts.

“Being able to see a lot of my favorite movies or movies I’ve wanted to see … It’s such a beautiful setting to be able to do that,” Barnes said.

What: Free Movie Series presentation of Victor/Victoria
When: Sunset (anytime between 8:15 and 9 p.m.), Saturday, June 15
Where: Lawn outside of Macbride Hall
Admission: Free

Check out the other Free Movie Series films:
June 22 — Ice Age
June 29 — The Help
July 13 — Real Genius
July 20 — Vertigo
July 27 — Hairspray
Aug. 3 — Lincoln
Aug. 10 — The Princess Bride & 16 to Life
Aug. 17 — Monsters Inc.
Aug. 22 — The Hunger Games

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