Lakeside Cinema’s new film series provides vehicle for summer fun


Even if you’re not going anywhere this summer, the UW-Madison’s Lakeside Cinema series, which projects free movies on the UW Memorial Union Terrace every Monday night through the summer, will set you in motion.

That’s because the theme of this summer’s series, announced this week, is all about vehicles. Planes, trains, automobiles, spaceships, balloon-powered houses, Snowpiercers — you name it, it’ll be gassed up and ready to go at dusk every Monday night this summer. If you’ve never been to Lakeside before, it’s a really fun way to watch a movie — the screen’s set up on the stage against the water, prizes are given away before the show, and everybody shouts out their favorite lines during the flick.

I imagine you’ll hear “Those aren’t pillows!” shouted out pretty loudly during the opening film, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” on Monday, May 25. While it may seem strange to see a Thanksgiving movie on Memorial Day Weekend (though maybe not so strange if these low temperatures keep up), John Hughes’ comedy is a stone-cold classic.

Here’s the rest of the Lakeside Cinema schedule. For more information, visit the Wisconsin Union Directorate Film Committee’s site at

June 1: “Speed”

June 8: “North by Northwest”

June 15: “Cars”

June 22: “Mad Max” (the original!)

June 29: “The Fast and The Furious”

July 6: “Up”

July 13: “Thelma and Louise”

July 20″ “WALL-E”

July 27: “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”

Aug. 3: “Con Air”

Aug. 10: “Snowpiercer”

Aug. 17: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl”

Aug. 24: “Airplane!”

Aug. 31: “Top Gun”

UW Lakeside Cinema’s summer 2014 series feels like the very first time


It’s a summer of sequels — not only “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the sequel to a reboot of a series that already had a “Spider-Man 2,” but “22 Jump Street,” “Step Up All In,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Think Like a Man Too,” “How To Train Your Dragon 2,” “Expendables 3” and more.

So the Wisconsin Union Directorate Film Committee, which sponsors the Lakeside Cinema free outdoor movie series Monday nights on the UW-Madison Terrace, had an original idea. Why not just show the original movies?

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UFOs (Ultra-fun Films Outdoors) descend on the Terrace this summer


One of the best ways to spend a Monday night in Madison during the summer is at a Lakeside Cinema movie on the UW Memorial Union Terrace. Okay, one of the best ways to spend any summer night in Madison is on the Terrace, so I’m cheating a bit.

Still, the long-running free Lakeside series is a pretty much guaranteed good time. They set  up a screen by the lake, and people cluster around with their popcorn and beer. There’s usually a trivia contest or some kind of other giveaway before the show starts at dusk. And the Union has greatly improved the projection and sound in the last few years, so you can actually appreciate the movie, which wasn’t always the case.

Every summer program has a theme, and this summer’s is “Outta This World” — movies both serious and silly that feature aliens and outer space. It kicks off next Monday at 9 p.m. with “E.T. The Extraterrestrial.” Which I know just played at Olbrich Park as part of Madison Parks’ own outdoor summer movie series. But, come on, it’s “E.T.”

Then comes “Spaceballs,” “Alien,” the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and many more. It’s all free, so keep watching the skies! And the screen by the lake.

Here’s the full schedule. Visit for more information.

May 27: “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”

June 3:   “Spaceballs” 

June 10:  “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”

June 17: “Mars Attacks!”

June 24: “Alien”

July 1:  “Muppets from Space”

July 8:  “Men in Black”

July 15: “The Last Starfighter”

July 22: “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”

July 29: “Galaxy Quest”

Aug 5: “Little Shop of Horrors”

Aug 12: “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”

Aug 19: “WALL-E”

Aug 26: “Total Recall” 

Sept 2:  “Space Jam”