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Every season is film season. But summer is the Fun Movie season. It’s a time when the industry eschews serious Oscar bait and gives us only the dumbest, loudest, most bombastic crap it can produce. School’s out; no thinking here.

Below we’ll highlight some of the best/weirdest movie screenings in town this summer, focusing on the classics that time has slowly forgotten, the hard-to-find indie flicks of yore, the crowd favorites that keep coming back to the parks, and the oddities that somehow stick around. Whether you prefer to sit outside with a joint and a layer of bug spray, or pamper yourself indoors with comfortable air conditioning and canned wine from your pocket, you’ve got plenty of (often free or cheap!) options.

The Heights Theatre

Built in 1926 by Arthur Gluek, heir to the Gluek Brewery, The Heights is an old venue with delightful charm. There’s a motorized velvet curtain that opens and closes the stage, there’s an orchestra pit housing a mighty Wurlitzer organ, and there are antique chandeliers that sparkle with thousands of Egyptian lead crystals. Oh, and there are always movies. This summer’s program includes a variety of series and individual films. There will be tributes to Steve McQueen (Thomas Crown is unfathomable, The great escape, Once upon a time… in Hollywood) and Liz Taylor (Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Secret ceremony, Boom!) and Heights’ Celebration of Cinema collection offers a little bit of everything: Godzilla, A Hard Day’s Night, Napoleon Dynamite, Imitation of Life. Tickets for most shows are just $12. 3951 Central Ave. NE, Columbia Heights; heightstheater.com.

Films in the Commons

Enjoy free movies on the lawn every Wednesday evening at dusk through August. The program includes The outsider; To Wong Fu: Thank you for everything! Julie Newmar; Hook; The sandbank; TopGun; and more. US Bank Stadium. 425 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis; minneapolisparks.org.

Movies in the parks of Minneapolis

This year, the Minneapolis Park Board is hosting over 70 free film screenings in various parts of the city. This year’s program includes current hits (Barbie, Wonka, The Little Mermaid) and wonderfully kitschy films from back then (Drop Dead, Jaws, Clue, Best in Show, O Brother, Where Art Thou?). All of these shows start at dusk. Bring a blanket, snacks, and most importantly, bug spray. For more information, visit the Park and Rec’s handy website: mplsmusicandmovies.com. Movies are showing now. until 31 August.

Movies in the parks of St. Paul

St. Paul is also hosting a series of film screenings in parks and gardens this summer. The selection here includes Turning Red, Barbie, Muppets – Treasure Islandand more. For the full schedule, visit stpaul.gov. 18 July to 23 August

The river view

This venue has it all: old-school signage outside, $5-$7 movie tickets, real butter on the popcorn, and a mix of current and retro films. There’s a lot new this summer (Fall Guy, Civil War, I saw the TV light up are all currently showing), $5 late-night movies (The Big Lebowski, Call My By Your Name, Paprika, Never Forget Me!) and $1 morning kids’ movie matinees (The Land Before Time, Hotel Transylvania, Cloud with a Chance of Meatballs). 3800 42nd Ave. S., Minneapolis; riverviewtheater.com.

Sound for silent films: film + music

A selection of silent films from the museum’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection will be shown outside on the Walker’s grassy knoll, all accompanied by a newly commissioned score performed live by composer deVon Russell Gray, with an ensemble that includes Ariadne Grief, Davu Seru, Nathan Hanson and Andrew Broder. The event begins at 7 p.m. with music from a local DJ. Best of all, the event is free. For more information, visit walkerart.org. Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. 15th of August

Summer on the Main

Yes, new films are shown regularly in the Main (The Challengers, Maxxxine, Inside Out 2), but also offers a number of special events, including the Minnesota Made series, the late-night Midnight Mayhem (Big Shark, the brother from another planet) and National Theater Live, which offers live recordings of productions in London’s West End. The Main Cinema, 115 SE Main St., Minneapolis; mspfilm.org.

Trash film excesses

Every third Wednesday of the month, see some incredible crap that time forgot on the big screen at the Trylon. This summer’s series kicks off June 19 with The Badge, The Bible and Bigfoot, a really silly-looking 2019 film about a cop who must battle the notorious cryptid with his faith… and guns. Guns, mostly. $5. 7 p.m. Trylon Cinema, 3258 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis; trylon.org.

Trylon Cinema

Trylon offers all kinds of films throughout the year, including classics, obscure films, world premieres and cult films. This summer’s series include tributes to the Long Shot (Children of Men, Oldboy, Goodfellas), David Lean (Blithe Spirit, Brief Encounter), as well as Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins (Play it as it is, Pretty Poison). Other oddities include the monthly Tape Freaks, where $5 gets the audience a surprise film that time forgot, Sound Unseen films leading up to the big festival in the fall/winter, and Arabic film screenings with Mizna. Check out their schedule at trylon.org. Trylon Cinema, 3258 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis.

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