Films 2016

Telluride Film Festival, Sept. 2-5

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Colorado saw a population increase of 101,000 from July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2015. They come from all over for a variety of reasons, but let’s be honest, they are here because the weather is spectacular and the beer is delicious. And with another summer upon us, they demand entertainment. They want to be outside, they want to enjoy an adult beverage or two and they want to watch a movie. Thankfully, the Centennial State has them covered.

Here are a few of Colorado’s cinematic options. No self-respecting Coloradoan will want to miss these. For all of you transplants out there, these are the places to go if you want to start building that “native” cred, so throw on some fleece — it can get mighty chilly when the sun goes down — grab a choice microbrew and catch a classic under the stars.

Outdoor Cinemas

Thanks to inflatable movie screens and portable projectors, outdoor cinemas are just about everywhere these days. Just make sure to double check the website as to what you can and cannot bring to the show.

Film on the Rocks

Red Rocks Amphitheater


18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison

The crème de la crème of outdoor moviegoing belongs to the Denver Film Society, and they know how to put on one hell of a show. This year, Film on the Rocks is screening nine movies at Red Rocks, and the offerings run the gamut from cult classics to blockbuster entertainment, including arguably the greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane.

Both Citizen Kane and Red Rocks are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year — Citizen Kane debuted on May 1, 1941 and Red Rocks Amphitheater officially opened on June 15 — and if you’ve never seen this pillar of cinema, or have yet to experience a movie under the Colorado stars, start here. Kane will screen on 35mm — that in itself is cause for travel — various heads of state will deliver a keynote address and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra will perform beforehand. That’s a whole lot of Coloradoness packed into one fantastic evening.

A word to wise: if you have yet to accept Colorado’s embrace of marijuana as a form of recreation, or just plain hate the smell, Red Rocks might not be your cup of tea — particularly the Memorial Day screening of The Big Lebowski. Considered yourself warned.

Each movie will be preceded by a musical act.

May 23: Grease sing-a-long

May 30: The Big Lebowski

June 15: Citizen Kane

June 20: Ferris Bueller’s Day off

July 11: The Sandlot

July 25: Labyrinth

Aug. 23: Deadpool

Sept. 6: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Boulder Outdoor Cinema

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art


1750 13th St., Boulder

Boulder’s Outdoor Cinema has been a summer staple since 1995. Featuring weekly movies with a focus on pop contemporary classics with pre-show activities, music and plenty of food. Check the website regularly for updates to movie showings.

June 11: ET: The Extra Terrestrial

July 17: The Big Lebowski

Historic Elitch



4655 W. 37th Ave., Denver

“To not see Elitch’s is to not see Denver” boasts the website, and we’re inclined to agree. The series is short, just four showings across two months, but the location is lovely and all proceeds from concession sales go to restoring the historic theatre — so leave that picnic basket at home. Admission is $5 per person and children under 6 get in free.

June 10: Raiders of the Lost Ark

June 24: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

July 8: Jaws

July 22: Hairspray (2007 musical)

Monday Movie


Infinity Park at



950 S. Birch St., Denver

Don’t worry about admission costs — all the movies are free and the screen is huge. Bring some friends, some food and a blanket.

June 13: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

June 27: The Goonies

July 11: Mamma Mia!

July 25: Mrs. Doubtfire

August 8: Aladdin


Just because you want to see a movie under the stars doesn’t mean that you have to sit outside. Why not load the whole gang into the station wagon and catch a double feature at the local drive-in?

88 Drive-In Theater

8780 Rosemary St., Commerce City

Its $8 a person, children under 12 free. Opens at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and shows three current releases nightly. The snack bar serves pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, candy and soda.

Mesa Drive-In

2625 Santa Fe Drive, Pueblo

Opening in 1951, The Mesa Drive-In has three screens, each showing two movies a night. Tickets at $8.50 for adults, free for children under 12 and all shows begin at dusk.

Tru Vu Drive In Theater

1001 CO-92, Delta

Current release double features every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. $8 for anyone over 12, free for those younger. Cash only.

The Star Drive-In Theatre

600 E. Miami Road, Montrose

Just like the rest, only this one sports a “Back to the ’60s Nite” classic car show on June 4.

Film Series

Chautauqua Silent Film Series

Chautauqua Auditorium


900 Baseline Road, Boulder

Not all of Colorado’s summer cinematic offerings are al fresco. Chautauqua’s Silent Film Series is held in their gigantic wooden auditorium. However, Chautauqua is a historic landmark — the only Chautauqua west of the Mississippi River that is still in continuing unbroken operation since the Chautauqua heyday of the 1920s — and it’s the perfect venue to dive into cinema’s past, namely, silent movies.

Live musical accompaniment is a key component to silent film, and Mont Alto will be on hand for three of the shows, the Silent Film Trio will lend at hand with The Big Parade and ace silent film pianist Hank Troy will tickle the ivories for five of them.

They don’t make ’em like the used to, but at Chautauqua, they sure do show ’em that way.

June 1: The General

June 7: Show People

June 22: Bardelys the Magnificent

June 29: Beauty and the Beast

July 6: The Cameraman

July 13: Why Be Good?

July 20: The Kid

July 27: The Big Parade

Aug. 3: Daughter of Dawn

Aug. 9: For Heaven’s Sake and Number Please

Art House Cinemas

Boulder Art Cinema

1001 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder

Thursday-Saturday evenings

The Boulder Art Cinema is a partnership between the Boulder Public Library and Downtown Boulder, Inc. Head down to the Boulder Public Library’s Canyon Theater for first-run, independent films.

Boedecker Theater at the Dairy Center for the Arts

2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-444-7826, ext. 110

The Boedecker Theater at the Dairy Center for the Arts has quickly proven itself as a unique and exciting addition to the Boulder film scene. Boasting a 60-seat theater, 5.1 Surround Sound and Hi-Def DLP projection, this is a great place to enjoy a glass of beer or wine while viewing first-run independent and international films, live opera and ballet broadcasts via satellite, and other quality programming.

Film Festivals

Telluride Film Festival

Sept. 2-5, Telluride

Skiing, bluegrass and now films. Telluride has become a year-round destination for indoor and outdoor fun. If you’re looking for another reason to go to Telluride, the 43rd annual Telluride Film Festival could be your excuse. Like every year, the lineup is hush-hush. Festival organizers keep the list of titles secret until opening day, making this one of the most anticipated, exciting film festivals of the season. See or call 510-665-9494 for more details.

Annual Breckenridge Festival of Film

Sept. 15-18, Breckenridge,


Ah, beautiful Breckenridge. Did you really need another reason to call us into the mountains? Capturing both the grand and the intimate, this is quite possibly a perfect film festival. For information on movies as they are announced, as well as tickets and lodging info, check out or call.

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