All You Need to Know About Chicago’s Millennium Park Summer Film Series 2022

The Millennium Park Summer Film Series returns to the Loop this July, with a wide variety of movies, from blockbusters to musicals and teen inspired romances, many films from the lineup being inspired by dance, to honor “2022 Year of Chicago Dance” .  

Eight weeks of free movie showings

Hosted by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the annual programming series brings eight weeks of free movie showings to a 40-foot LED screen at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. This is the same location where the Millennium Park Summer Music Series is taking place, Mondays and Thursdays, from June 20th till August 18th, 2022, featuring  a wide variety of music from established and emerging artists.

Going back to the movies though, among a respectable amount of blockbusters on the lineup (hello, Encanto and Dirty Dancing) you may find that many of the films on this year’s schedule are inspired by the 2022 Year of Chicago Dance, including the Lin Manuel Miranda musical In the Heights and teen dance romance Save the Last Dance. 

The movies are coming to the city after the 38th Chicago Latino Film Festival, which offered 86 movies, some of them with really significant local connections, starting April 21st. Led by the locally produced Bye Bye Chicago, the Chicago Latino Film Festival featured two World Premieres, five North American Premieres, ten U.S. Premieres and ten Midwest Premieres, offering 50 features and 36 shorts from all over Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States.

Tuesdays at 6:30 PM, it’s a date in the park!

The 2022 Millennium Park Summer Film Series runs July 12–August 30, screenings taking place on select Tuesdays at 6:30pm. If you are the type who thinks of everything in advance, you might want to take a look at the dates below, to choose your favorite movie and go ahead planning your weeknight movie dates. If your significant other is the one planning your nights out, but they do not get it perfect every time, you might want to send them the link to this article, so they have a good starting point. 

Here you have this year’s selection of movies, and there are some for every taste out there.

  • July 12: In the Heights
  • July 19: Encanto
  • July 26: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • August 2: Dirty Dancing
  • August 9: Knives Out
  • August 16: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings
  • August 23: Save the Last Dance
  • August 30: Strictly Ballroom

What do we need to know about attendance conditions 

Admission is totally free. You need to know that chairs within the pavilion’s seating bowl and space on the Great Lawn are first come, first served, so you will have to arrive earlier to make sure you get seats. Guests can bring their own food and beverages to the Summer Film Series events, so pack a picnic and make a night out of it.

Bright enough to be completely visible in the daylight, the screen illuminates the entire viewing area with crisp, clear images and combines with the Pavilion’s concert-hall quality sound system to create one of the most memorable movie going experiences, no matter where you sit.

  • All films are open captioned (including pre-show)
  • Assistive listening devices and wheelchairs are available at all Millennium Park events from the Patron Service Tent
  • Accessible seating (with companion seats) is available throughout the Jay Pritzker Pavilion seating bowl

If you do not want to pack your own picnic basket, refreshments, including food, beer and wine, are available for purchase from the concessions tent located to the east of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. In addition, concessions can be purchased throughout the Park, including from the concession carts located on the Chase Promenade and at the Park Grill and Café on the McCormick Tribune Plaza. Alcohol may only be consumed in the seating area and the Great Lawn during the events. Alcohol sales in the Millennium Park concession tent end one half-hour prior to the end of the event.

If movies are not your thing, you have a pick from Chicago’s other summer festivals

Of course, there are other options available if you want to watch outdoor movies in Chicago this summer, either on a rooftop or in parks, but, if movies are not your cup of tea, do not worry, there’s plenty more to do in the city throughout the next few months.  Chicago has many world-renowned festivals and events which came back this year, after the pandemic suspended celebrations for a long two years, for people to enjoy music, food, music, culture, art, and history. Although the Windy City has enough festivals to fill all seasons, the summer brings the best ones. We put together a guide for you, in case you need some help to choose from festivals and events scheduled in Chicago for the summer of 2022. Dates might be subject to changes, so keep checking them on the organizers’ pages.


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