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Free Summer Movies at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens Begin Friday

Animated Nights — this year’s theme — kicks off series with '19th Animation Show of Shows'

Courthouse Sunken Garden filled with people. Click to view larger
The Courthouse Sunken Garden in downtown Santa Barbara fills up with move-goers during the summer for free outdoor film screenings. This year’s series, Animated Nights, kicks off at 8:30 p.m. Friday with the ‘19th Animation Show of Shows.’ (Eric Isaacs photo)

Grab a beach chair and snacks, because there's no shortage of free outdoor movie screenings in the Santa Barbara area this summer.

Animated Nights — this year’s theme —offers eight weeks of smash hits, and is sponsored by UCSB Arts & Lectures, the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture and the County Parks Division.

The summer-long series kicks off with the film 19th Animation Show of Shows at 8:30 p.m. on Friday at the courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. in downtown Santa Barbara. The movie features 16 short films.

The annual nighttime cinema tradition runs through Aug. 24.

Movies offered range from animated comedy films and animated stop-motion films to animated science fiction.

The movies selected include: The Triplets of Belleville, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Ratatouille, The Iron Giant, Persepolis and Loving Vincent.

Movies will be shown twice, at 8:30 p.m. Fridays at the courthouse and at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays at UC Santa Barbara’s Campbell Hall, an indoor venue that seats more than 800 guests, with the exception for Ratatouille, which will be shown only at UCSB during the week in August due to an Old Spanish Days Fiesta event at the courthouse.

Large crowds tend to gather for the event on the courthouse lawn.

Around noon on the day of the movie, film-goers will often lay out their blankets and set up low-back chairs on the courthouse lawn.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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