All About Santa Barbara’s Free Summer Cinema Series

What says summer better than a movie night under the stars with the family? Expect just that (and more) when you visit a showing that’s part of the Santa Barbara Free Summer Cinema Series! Find details about the series, upcoming shows and a nearby place to stay, below.

What is the Free Summer Cinema Series?

Great question! Each year, the UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures hosts a series of outdoor movie showings, free and open to the public. In the heart of Downtown Santa Barbara, families and friends have the chance to enjoy a movie each Friday during July and August, while experiencing the beautiful Santa Barbara atmosphere.


Where are they located? 

The Santa Barbara Free Summer Cinema Series takes place at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens on Anacapa Street. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own blankets or low chairs to sit on throughout the movie. Keep in mind: food is not provided at these events, so make sure to either bring your own snacks or grab food ahead of time.


What’s the lineup?

This summer’s Cinema Series’ theme is “Those Fabulous Fifties” with each featured movie celebrating a hit from the fifties. All showings start at 8:30 p.m., however you can set out blankets and chairs anytime after 12 p.m. on the day of the movie. Here are the remaining movies for this summer:

  • July 26: Some Like It Hot
  • August 9: On the Waterfront
  • August 16: High Noon
  • August 23: Sunset Boulevard


Where should I get food?

Since the Summer Cinemas Series are in the heart of Downtown Santa Barbara, there’s lots of nearby options for food. Stop by Chase Bar & Grill for flatbreads, pasta dishes and other Italian favorites. Looking for something lighter? Stop by South Coast Deli and choose from a wide variety of panini sandwiches and tossed salads. Benchmark Eatery is another great option, serving up a little bit of everything for adults and kids.


Stay at Inn at East Beach 

If you’re attending a movie with the family, make sure to stay at a family-friendly hotel afterwards! During your visit to Santa Barbara, stay at Inn at East Beach. This property offers budget-friendly rooms, located right near the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens.


Before summer is over, treat the family to a movie night under the starts! And as you plan your visit to Santa Barbara, don’t forget to book your stay the nearby Inn at East Beach.




Inn at East Beach
Whatever makes your ideal California weekend getaway, the Inn at East Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara is here to help you stay well- and well within your budget! 1029 Orilla Del Mar, Santa Barbara, CA 93103. 805.965.0546