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20 Flick Picks For The Movies In The Park Series

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on May 20, 2013 3:30PM

Photo credit: Bob Segal

Chicago Park District announced the schedule for the 13th annual Movies in the Parks series last week, with screenings of films ranging from classic cinema treasures to recent hits set for 150 parks across the city between June 13 and Sept. 14. Most of the movies are forgettable, but cull the chaff and you'll find some gems.

Some of the highlights of the series include screenings in Grant Park of Dr. No, June 24 and Young Frankenstein Aug. 19. A sing-along version of Grease is scheduled for July 18 at Normandy Playground Park (6660 W. 52nd Street). Belmont Harbor will be the setting for screenings of The Birds June 17 and It Happened One Night July 29. We're personally looking forward to biking all the way down to Calumet Park for In the Heat of the Night Aug. 19.

Foreign films are represented, as well, with Bollywood film music and dance medleys scheduled for June 23 at Bosley Playground Park and July 14 at Midway Plaisance. The Latino Film Festival will also program eight movies at seven parks, beginning and ending at Harrison Park June 19 and Aug. 14.

Our film reviewer Vicki Pietrus recommends the Oscar-nominated Life of Pi and you have ample opportunities to do so, starting June 18 at Harold Washington Playlot Park (5200 S. Hyde Park Ave.) and ending at Nichols Park (1355 E. 53rd St.)

Samantha Abernethy recommends underrated '80s gem John Hughes' Uncle Buck June 25 at Fulton River Park (353 N. Desplaines St.); possibly the best baseball movie ever The Sandlot July 30 at Montrose Beach's Cricket Hill; and Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom Aug. 22 at Kelly Park (2725 W. 41st St.).

The Park District got ahead of the game this year and added an interactive map allowing you to search by park, neighborhood, film title and film rating, so you don't mistakenly take the toddlers to see an R-rated film. This year's series is part of the park District's ambitious Night Out in the Parks program featuring a dizzying array of performances, dance, music and other activities aimed at making Chicago's parks safe havens and getting residents out to enjoy them.