Big Screen Love: Where to Catch Some Summertime Cinema

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For summer activities, an inside setting is often necessary. Perhaps it's the butter-drenched popcorn or the near-arctic temperature, but summertime screams movie time and we have just the right places to cool off and catch a film. And while getting out to see a movie can be costly, especially at a few corporate film spots around town, there are some cooler, cheaper alternatives. Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy the silver screen -- from independent theaters and art houses to museum film series.

Farrelli's Cinema Supper Club
Location: 14202 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Phone: (480) 905-7200 (reservations recommended, but not required)
Film Genre: Regular big name Hollywood hits about one month of showings at Harkins and AMC; they have big screen DVD players, so you can also host private events and show a film of your choice.
Prices: $8.50 Adult / $5 Kids / $7 Matinee (Anniversary special prices through July 11: $7 Adult / $4 Kids / $5 Matinee)
Concessions: Wide ranging full menu, leaning more to Italian American cuisine; full bar.
Atmosphere: Spacious and comfortable, great for families, and a friendly staff; socializing takes place 30 minutes before show time, during which you order drinks and food.

Farrelli's is only one of many. Check out the rest after the jump.

MADCAP Theaters
Location: 730 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe
Phone: 480-355-6060
Film Genre: Old and new B-movies, horror flicks, pulp, grindhouse, and exploitation films; contemporary films are limited release (The Summer Break Movie Madness is a G and PG film program through August with screenings on Wednesday)
Prices: $7 to $10 ($2 to $7 for the 'Summer Break Movie Madness' G & PG Film series)
Concessions: The usual movie fare: candy, popcorn, sodas, coffee, Capri Suns; sometimes an event will have alcoholic beverages, but not often (on that note, you are allowed re-entry in case you want to head over to a bar and grab a drink before the previews).
Atmosphere: Depending on the event, sometimes energetic, other times quiet, peaceful, and lazy (in a good way); usually open only Thursdays through Sundays.

Pollack Tempe Cinemas
Location: 1825 E. Elliot Road, Tempe
Phone: 480-897-0677
Genre: Big name movies once they've played about two weeks at Harkins and AMC; occasionally play independent and foreign films.
Prices: $3 ($2 on Tuesdays) *CASH ONLY
Concessions: the usual movie theater rundown
Atmosphere: Like a boardwalk amusement park, lots of stimulation.

Harkins Camelview 5
Location: 7001 E. Highland Avenue, Scottsdale
Phone: 480-947-8778
Film Genre: Contemporary new-release foreign and art house, independent films
Prices: $7 matinee / $9.50 after 6 p.m. / $6.50 Seniors, $7 Students and Military
Concessions: Just about the same selection as a larger Harkins, but no ICEEs and not as much hot food.
Atmosphere: A lot calmer than other Harkins locations and often filled with indie and larger-released films.

Harkins Valley Art
Location: 509 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe
Phone: 480-446-7272
Film Genre: More independent features than the more mainstream features at Camelview, and often documentaries (only one screen)
Prices: $7 matinee / $9.50 after 6pm / $6.50 Seniors, $7 Students and Military
Concessions: A slightly limited selection of the universal Harkins concessions, but no pretzels or ICEEs.
Atmosphere: Quiet, tiny, and cozy old-school space.

West Wind Drive-In
Locations: 8101 E. McKellips, Scottsdale and 5650 N. 55th Avenue, Glendale
Phone: Scottsdale - 480-949-9451; Glendale - 623-939-9715
Film Genre: New release, big name films
Prices: $6.50 Adults / $1 Kids 5 to 11 (Tuesdays are Family Fun Nights, $4.50 Adults) *CASH ONLY
Concessions: Sodas, water bottles, churros.
Atmosphere: Drive-Ins are always fun if you do them right -- lots of friends, blankets and a good stereo system.

The Paisley Violin
Location: 1030 NW Grand Avenue, Phoenix
Phone: 602-254-7843
When: Movies are every Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Film Genre: Selection varies, depending on the chosen theme: now through August 31, the theme is 1950s Sci-Fi (The next four films: July 13: From Hell It Came; July 20: Them!; July 27: Forbidden Planet; Aug. 3: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman)
Prices: Movies are free (but it's pretty much expected that you'll have a drink or a bite to eat)
Concessions: Food is mainly Mediterranean, with some classic sandwiches; decent liquor and beer selection.
Atmosphere: Quaint brick interior, full of regulars and visitors

Changing Hands Bookstore "Community Movie Night"
Location: 6428 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe
Phone: 480-730-0205
When: Once a month, day varies, usually at 6 p.m. on Fridays 
Film Genre: Independent films and documentaries; check events website for updated information (Next Film: Fuel on July 23, 6pm, a documentary on the US and foreign oil)
Prices: Free
Concessions: None, but Wildflower Bread Co., other restaurants, and Trader Joe's are nearby. You can bring drinks with lids, and you can bring something to snack on, such as a cookie or a scone (no soups, salads or bigger dishes).

Phoenix Art Museum
Location: 1625 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix
Phone: 602-257-1222
When: Usually 1 p.m. on Sundays or 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, but no regular schedule; check here for the list of upcoming shows
Film Genre: Varies, sometimes based on a selected theme or related to an ongoing exhibit
Prices: Free
Concessions: Food not allowed in museum or theater, but Arcadia Farms Cafe is located in the musuem, and closes one hour before the museum closes.

Heard Museum "Movie Mondays"
Location: 2301 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix
Phone: 602-252-8848
When: Mondays at 1:30 p.m.
Film Genre: Feature length films, documentaries, and animations concerning Native American subject matter -- the next film on July 12 is about painter and sculptor Allan Houser Haozous
Prices: Free
Concessions: Food and drink not allowed in museum or theater.

Summer Movies at the Tempe History Museum
(Click on 'Events' for details)
Location: 809 E. Southern Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85282 (in the Museum's 'Community Room')
Phone: 480-350-5100
When: Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., July 10 to August 1
Film Genre: G and PG films (Schedule: July 10 to 11: Toy Story 1; July 17-18: Wall-E; July 24-25: A Bug's Life; July 31-Aug. 1: Finding Nemo)
Prices: Free
Concessions: None (no food in the museum), but you can bring your own water bottles.

"Talk Cinema" at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Location: 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale
Phone: 480-994-2787 (Ext. 2)
When: Once a month, at 7pm; for 2010-2011 season, starts October 19 and ends June 7
Film Genre: Sneak previews of independent and foreign films before hitting major theaters
Prices: $21 Adults + $2.50 fee / $10 for students + fee
Concessions: Bottled water (though there are many restaurants nearby open for dinner)

Scottsdale Public Library Film Series
*N.B. The SPL's five branches all play movies according to their own schedule, so it is best to regularly refer to the film series website, for up-to-date details.
Phone: (Central Line) 480-312-7323
Film Genre: Contemporary blockbusters, foreign, independent, and documentaries
When: Day depends on branch, but usually at 1:30 p.m. or 6 p.m.
Prices: Free, but requires library membership

Branch Locations:
Civic Center Library
3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

Arabian Library
10215 E. McDowell Mtn. Ranch Road

Mustang Library
10101 North 90th Street

Palomino Library
(On campus of Desert Mountain High School)
12575 E. Via Linda, Suite 102

Appaloosa Library
7377 E. Silverstone Drive

Outdoor Movie Screenings
Now, you're probably thinking that it's a little too hot to watch movies outside in the summertime, even in the evening. Well, you're right. But the time will come again when the weather is nice enough to spread out some blankets or lawn chairs to enjoy a film outdoors. So bookmark this list for the time being, and we'll refresh your memory in the fall when the various programs begin anew.

Biltmore Fashion Park
Location: 2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
(Film shown on the Center Lawn in front of Saks 5th Avenue)
Phone: (Management Office) 602-955-8401
When: October through first two weeks of December (showing holiday films), and throughout March and April
Film Genre: American Classics, from 1940s to 1980s
Prices: Free
Concessions: Nearby restaurants (many offer discounts or special treats for movie-going picnics)

Tempe Parks & Recreation's "Movies in the Park" Series
Location: The Fire Circle at Kiwanis, on S. Mill Avenue and All America Way, Tempe
Phone: 480-350-5200
When: FALL Series (Oct. 1: Up, Oct. 8: The Princess and the Frog, Oct. 15: Monsters vs. Aliens, Oct. 22: How to Train Your Dragon), Fridays at Dusk (6pm); SPRING Series (April - May, for about 6 weeks), Fridays at Dusk (7 p.m.)
Film Genre: G and PG movies
Prices: Free
Concessions: Self-provided picnic refreshments

Westgate City Center Waterdance Film Festival
Location: 6770 N. Sunrise Blvd, Glendale, AZ 85305
Phone: 623-772-4000
When: Every Friday, May to June, at 7:30 or 8 p.m.
Genre: Family-friendly films
Prices: Free
Concessions: Many nearby restaurants in the center, plus coffee, ice cream, and candy shops.

Lastly, folks, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the opening of an UltraStar Cinemas theater at the 101 and Indian Bend in October (where the old United Artists movie theater used to be). Films to be played are first run as well as art house films. Ticket prices are still unknown, and food will be of a more "gourmet" sort, ranging from hummus and paninis to restaurant-style nachos. Alcohol availability is still uncertain.

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