The Hills Are Alive! …Or At Least IV Theater Is


Lacy Wright

When Pitch Perfect 2 hit theaters in May, it quickly became the highest grossing musical comedy of all time, and this summer, Arts & Lectures is reminding us of the musicals that started it all. For the sixth year in a row, University of California, Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures is holding its annual Summer Film Series, titled Over the Rainbow: Great American Movie Musicals.

Each of the films in the seven-week series will be shown twice a week—Wednesdays at 7:30 PM in IV Theater and Fridays at 8:30 PM outside of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens— starting with Singin’ in the Rain on Wednesday, July 8; with the exception of Mary Poppins, which will only be shown Wednesday, August 5th. The events are free to attend and include groundbreaking and acclaimed films, such as The Wizard of Oz and Cabaret.

As if we did not already love Arts & Lectures enough, we have even more reason to be grateful that they are holding this series, due to the recent cancellation of Movies at Bonnet Park and Movies at Stearn’s Wharf, two other outdoor summer movie series in Santa Barbara.

While a movie theater has always been considered superior to watching a good musical on your laptop in bed, there is something to be said about the outdoor movie experience. Yes, it’s less quiet, with the sounds of the world butting in, and yes, your butt is getting wet in the grass. However, sitting under the stars, snacking atop a picnic blanket, and laughing outside all make out-in-the-open viewing a communal experience. Musicals (and music in general) are meant to bring us together, which makes the public garden setting even more unique. And who knows, if we are really lucky, maybe some of the films will turn into a mass sing-a-long!