Mom’s Guide to Free/Cheap Summer Movie Screenings

Summer is finally here and the Iowa City corridor is buzzing with community events, activities and family-friendly fun!  If you are looking for a fun way to beat the heat on an especially hot day or looking for a fun excursion for your whole family be sure to mark your calendar for these family-friendly summer movie screenings!  It’s a special treat that will be enjoyed by kids of all ages, plus it’s either cheap or FREE.  So grab the kids, load up the car and head to the movies this summer!Summer Movies2

Theater Deals

Marcus Theatres (Coral Ridge Mall & Sycamore Mall locations)

Kids Dream Summer Movies features family flicks for just $3 each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday starting at 10:00am.  They also offer specials on popcorn and fountain drinks ($2.75 each). Learn more at

June 14-15, 17: Penguins of Madagascar
June 21-22, 24: Paddington
June 28-29, July 1: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
July 5-6, 8: How to Train Your Dragon 2
July 12-13, 15: Curious George
July 19-20, 22: Spongebob Movie
July 26-27, 29:  Horton Hears a Who
August 2-3, 5: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
August 9-10, 12:  Home
August 16-17, 19:  Hotel Transylvania

FilmScene (118 E College St, Iowa City)

The Picture Show is a family and children’s series featuring the best in all-ages programming. Summer shows are on Saturday & Tuesday at 10am and Thursday at 3pm. All tickets are only $2.50! Learn more at

June 20, 23 & 25: The Sound of Music (1965)
June 27, 30 & July 2: Roar (1981)
July 4, 7 & 9: The Music Man (1962)
July 11, 14 & 16: Kung Fu Panda (2008)
July 18, 21 & 23: Willy Wonka (2008)
July 25, 28 & 30: The Goonies (2008)
August 1, 4 & 6: Monsters VS Aliens (2008)
August 8, 11 & 13: E.T. (1982)

Collins Road Theater (1462 Twixt Town Road, Marion)

FREE Movies Monday-Friday at 10:00am for kids ages 18 and under, just $1 for adults. Discounts at concession stand are also available.  Learn more at

June 15-19: How to Train Your Dragon 2
June 22-26: Boxtrolls
June 29-July 3: Lego Movie
July 6-10:  Penguins of Madagascar
July 13-17: Paddington
July 20-24: Spongebob: Sponge Out of Water
July 27-July 31: Home
Aug. 3-7: Dolphin Tale 2
August 10-14: Rio 2
August 17-21: The Nut Job

Cedar Rapids Galaxy 16 Theater (5340 Council Street NE, Cedar Rapids)

Family Summer Series offers $1 admission to these special screenings each Wednesday and Thursday at 10:00am.  Discounts at concession stand are also available. Learn more at

June 17-18: Annie
June 24-25: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
July 1-2: The Boxtrolls
July 8-9: The Lego Movie
July 15-16: Dolphin Tale 2
July 22-23: Paddington
July 29-30: SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
Aug. 5-6: Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Outdoor Screenings

Iowa City Summer of the Arts Saturday Movie Series (outside MacBride Hall, Iowa City)

FREE family activities and a special movie screening. Movies start at sunset (between 8:15-9pm) on the east side of MacBride Hall.  Bring your own blankets, lawnchairs and snacks!  In case of rain, show will move inside and start at 8:30pm. Learn more at

Saturday, June 20: I Now Pronounce Chuck and Larry
Saturday, June 27: Jurassic Park
Saturday, July 11: Spaceballs
Saturday, July 18: The Da Vinci Code
Saturday, July 25: Frozen
Saturday, Aug. 1: To Kill a Mockingbird
Saturday, Aug. 8: Mary Poppins
Saturday, Aug. 15: Back to the Future 2
Saturday, Aug. 22: The LEGO Movie

Movies on the Beer Garden (outside Backpocket Brewing at 903 Quarry Rd. Coralville)

Every Thursday night Backpocket Brewing hosts a FREE movie screening outside the brewery. Movies start at sunset (weather permitting).

Thursday, June 18: Jurassic Park
Thursday, June 25: Despicable Me
Thursday, July 2: The Neverending Story
Thursday, July 9: Jumanji
Thursday, July 16: The Hobbit The Battle of The Five Armies
Thursday, July 23: Elf
Thursday, July 30: Frozen
Thursday, Aug. 6: Finding Nemo
Thursday, Aug. 13: Wall-E
Thursday, Aug. 20: Iron Man
Thursday, Aug. 27: Guardians of the Galaxy
Thursday, Sept. 6: Furious 7

CRBT Movies on the Riverbank (McGrath Amphitheatre at 475 1st St SE, Cedar Rapids)

FREE Kids activities and movie. Food vendors will be onsite to purchase from, but outside food/beverages are allowed (no hard-sided coolers). Gates open at 6pm, free kids activities start at 7pm and the movie begins at sunset. Bring your own blankets and lawnchairs! Learn more at

Saturday, June 20: Annie (2014)
Saturday, July 11: Paddington
Saturday, Aug. 8: Big Hero 6movie

Hiawatha Movie on the Square (Boyson Square, Behind NY Life at 4250 River Center Ct NE, Cedar Rapids)

FREE Kids activities and movie projected on the side of the New York Life building. Food vendors and activities start at 5:30pm and the movie at 6:30pm. New York Life will also be sponsoring a child identification screening for your children at 7pm (great opportunity to have your children finger printed and photographed for emergency services). Please note that patrons are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to support Hacap. Learn more at

Friday, July 10: The Sandlot

Movie Night at Kinnick Stadium (825 Stadium Dr, Iowa City)

This is a new event featuring FREE admission to special screening of the football classic “Remember the Titans” on the field at Kinnick Stadium! Gate G will open at 6:30pm for 2015 Iowa Football season ticket holders and Junior Hawk Club members, and Gates E and H will open at 7pm. for the general public. The movie will begin at 7:30pm. Everyone will have access to the playing field and the north and west grandstands. Limited concessions available for purchased. Note that regular game day procedures will be in place so patrons can only bring one, unopened bottle of water into the stadium, but no outside food or beverages will be allowed.

Saturday, June 27: Remember the Titans

Movie Night at the Ballpark (CR Kernels Field at 950 Rockford Rd SW, Cedar Rapids)

FREE movie on the baseball field. Gates open at 6pm, movie starts at 7:00pm.. Bring your own blankets (no lawnchairs allowed in the field). Limited concessions available.

Tuesday, June 30: Angels in the Outfield

Movies at the Library

Iowa City Public Library (124 S. Linn Street, Iowa City)

Stop by the ICPL for Monday Matinees each week at 2pm in the Storytime Room for a screening of some of our favorite family movies! This is a FREE event and is open to children of all ages. For more information, call the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Monday, June 22: Shrek
Monday, June 29: Kung Fu Panda
Monday, July 6: Brave
Monday, July 13: Wreck-It Ralph
Monday, July 20: WALL-E
Monday, July 27: Mulan

Teens are invited to a special screening at 2pm as part of the ISPL Teen Summer Reading Program event series! This is also a FREE event, open to students in grades 7-12.

Thu, Jun. 25: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Coralville Public Library (1401 5th Street, Coralville)

CPL has a few special screenings on the calendar this summer. These movies are FREE and open to the age group specified below.  Popcorn is provided!

Tuesday, June 30 (6:30pm): Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (Open to teens, grade 7-12)
Thursday, July 9 (6:30pm): Big Hero 6 (Open to grades 5-12)
Wednesday, July 15 (1:00pm): Despicable Me 2 (Open go grades 1-4)
Tuesday, July 21 (6:30pm): The Avengers (Open to teens, grade 7-12)
Thursday, July 30, (2:00pm): The Incredibles (Open to all ages)

Keep this link handy for the next time you’re looking to beat the heat or take the family out for some special summer fun! Have a blockbuster quality summer!

Jessi is a creative, organized and enthusiastic girl mom with a soft spot for country music and all that it entails. She's a single mom to two sassy little girls (born in 2014 & 2018). She's putting down roots in West Branch, Iowa, just a few miles from her hometown of West Liberty. Jessi works in fundraising, event coordination and community development and enjoys hiking, crafts, bargain hunting, party planning, and taking in the simple joys of life. She is admittedly addicted to funny memes, is passionate about philanthropy, and is completely smitten by the adventure of motherhood.


  1. I just wanted to add that the North Liberty Community Library has some free movie showings this summer also

    June 30; 10a – Big Hero 6 (k-6th)
    June 30; 1p – Guardians of the Galaxy (teen)
    July 7; 6:30 – Monuments Men

    A date in August that I can’t remember at the moment but showing Beauty & the Beast.

    All are in the Summer Programs & Events Brochure at

    Thanks for compiling this list. So any awesome offers.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.