Credit: Courtesy

As the warm summer sun makes its return to Santa Barbara, so does UCSB Arts & Lectures’ (A&L) free summer film series. A&L will present seven free beach-inspired movies under the stars at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens, beginning on Friday, July 5, at 8:30 p.m. with Steven Spielberg’s beach thriller Jaws. The film is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and will kick-start the series, aptly titled “Sun, Surf, and Cinema.”

The movie nights will occur every Friday through August 23, with the exception of August 2 in recognition of Fiesta. 

Following Jaws is Point Break on July 12. The film follows an FBI agent who goes undercover to infiltrate a group of surfers suspected to be a gang of bank robbers. The next week will feature the classic rom-com 50 First Dates on July 19, Blue Crush on July 26, and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou on August 9. To round out the series, showings will include the timeless musical Mamma Mia! on August 16 and then conclude with Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians on August 23. 

Attendees can start setting up on the lawn as early as noon on the day of screening and are encouraged to picnic and bring friends. However, attendees may only bring blankets that are permeable (no plastic/nylon/tarps), and chairs that are low-backed and low to the ground in order to respect lawn maintenance and fellow filmgoers.

K-LITE 101.7 FM and Catherine Remak host pre-screening events including deejays, giveaways, and, for the kickoff movie Jaws, a “sharkcuterie” picnic photo contest. Early attendees are encouraged to post their Jaws pre-screening picnic on Instagram and to tag @artsandlecturers with #sharkcuterie and #sbsummercinema for a chance to be featured and win prizes.

This summer series is free to the public and is presented in association with the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture and sponsored by Montecito Bank & Trust. For more information, see

Get News in Your Inbox


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.