Options abound for cheap summer movie options

Movies are back.

Through a year in which most theaters were closed, opportunities for film lovers were almost non-existent. But with summer heating up, special film events and unique weekly screenings will have people mesmerized by the big screen in all kinds of ways.

Spread out under the stars for family-friendly films at area libraries or parks, or take part in a dive-in movie at the local pools. Take in a summer night watching cult classics and other carefully curated movie selections at the home of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Step back into Hollywood’s golden age with vintage favorites. Beat the heat with Tuesday morning kids movies at the Historic Artcraft Theatre.

Options are plentiful around Johnson County and central Indiana for local movie buffs. Here are some of the best opportunities for fans of any genre or film style:

Summer Break Series

Details: 10 a.m. Tuesdays through July 27, Historic Artcraft Theatre, 57 N. Main St., Franklin

What: With school out for the summer, parents and caretakers are on the lookout for ways to keep the kids occupied over the coming months. The Historic Artcraft Theatre has some ideas. The theater is again staging its Summer Break Series. Every Tuesday, families can gather to watch a kid-friendly favorite on the big screen.

Selections cover a variety of time periods and genres. Cartoons such as “Madagascar,” “All Dogs Go to Heaven” and “Daffy Duck’s Fantastic Island” share the slate of live-action films such as “Troop Beverly Hills” and “The Little Rascals.” Comic book fans and older youths can enjoy the gritty adventure of “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.”

Admission is $5 per person, which includes not only the movie but a small popcorn-and-beverage combo.

Dive-in Movie and Pool Party

Details: 7 to 11 p.m. June 24, Franklin Family Aquatic Center, 396 Branigin Blvd.

What: Two of the best warm-weather activities team up for a night of free fun at the Franklin Family Aquatic Center. The pool party starts at 7 p.m., allowing kids and adults the chance to try out the water slide, diving boards and other activities at the pool. Then at 9:15 p.m., settle in to watch a movie on the portable big screen.

Family Fun Night Dive-In Movie

Details: 8:15 to 10:15 p.m. July 8, Freedom Springs, 850 W. Stop 18 Road, Greenwood

What: Freedom Springs’ lazy river is the perfect place to relax and catch a movie, and families will have the chance during this spectacular summertime event. Open swim will be 8:15 to 9:15 p.m., with the film starting at 9:30. Concessions will be open through the end of the movie.

Regular admission to Freedom Springs still applies, though season pass holders get in free. Admission is $8 for resident adults, $10 for non-resident adults, $6 for resident children or seniors, $8 for non-resident children and seniors, and $6 for military personnel. All water features will be turned off during the movie with the exception of the lazy river.

Summer Nights Film Series

Details: Fridays through Aug. 27, Saturdays June 19 and Aug. 21; Newfields, 4000 N. Michigan Ave., Indianapolis. Doors open at 7 p.m., films start at dusk.

What: Few summer experiences are as unique as this annual tradition at Newfields. People spread out their blankets on the terraced grass of the campus’ amphitheater, to enjoy everything from classic black-and-white films to modern blockbusters.

This year’s slate of films was selected in collaboration with guest curator Coye Lloyd, who worked with Newfields in the past on a film project for Martin Luther King Jr. Day earlier this year. Some of the featured movies are “His Girl Friday,” a fun film from 1940 starring Cary Grant; “Yojimbo,” an Akira Kurosawa film inspired by Westerns and detective novels; “They Live,” a beloved John Carpenter splatterfest, and the Jack Nicholson classic “The Shining.”

Guests to Summer Nights will be required wear a face mask any time they are moving around the facility or waiting in line. They may only remove masks when seated in their designated area.

Vintage Movie Night

Details: 9 to 11 p.m. June 19, July 10 and Aug. 7, Garfield Park Arts Center, 2432 Conservatory Drive, Indianapolis

What: Once a month, organizers at the Garfield Park Arts Center set up their movie screen and show classic movies underneath the stars. This year’s series will pay tribute to 3-D movies that gained popularity in the 1950s. With each registration, people will get a pair of 3-D glasses that will be distributed at the event.

Selections for the series include “It Came From Outer Space” on June 19, “The Maze” on July 10 and “The Mask” — about a cursed mask bringing evil to the archaeologist who found it — on Aug. 7.

Due to safety restrictions, the films will be shown drive-in movie style at the Corporate Shelter adjacent to the arts center. People can watch the films from within their cars, or bring lawn chairs to watch around their vehicle. Admission is $5 and can be bought at gpacarts.org.