The Free Summer Cinema is back and better than ever! On Friday evenings in July and August, join the UCSB Arts & Lectures department—and nearly every local in town—for some spine-tingling, intergalactic fun the whole family will enjoy. One of Santa Barbara’s most beloved traditions, this series of free events takes place under the star-studded skies at the tropical sunken garden surrounding the illustrious, historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse.
Before you go, here is everything you need to know about the Free Summer Cinema lineup.
Film Series Lineup
Each year, the film series takes on a new theme and features fan-favorite movies that span multiple decades and genres. All films begin at 8:30 p.m., shortly after sunset. Stay tuned for the 2024 lineup!
What to Expect
Guests can begin arriving at the courthouse garden anytime after noon to set up their viewing space. Low-back chairs are welcome as are non-synthetic blankets, which help to keep the lawn lovely for future events and movie screenings. We also recommend bringing a jacket—it can get chilly after the sun goes down—as well as any food and beverages you’d like to snack on during the film.
About the Santa Barbara County Courthouse
A legendary Santa Barbara landmark, the County Courthouse is one of the region’s most popular attractions. Designed in the Spanish-Colonial style the city is known for, the fully operational courthouse showcases a distinct red tile roof, elegant arches and verdant landscaping. The courthouse offers free one-hour tours Monday through Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. as well as on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Knowledgeable docents guide guests throughout the entire property, including the acclaimed Mural Room and Clock Tower, while sharing historical insights and information on the artisans, architects and other community leaders who brought this iconic building to life. No reservations required.
Other Things to Do This Summer in Santa Barbara
Warm, Cali-coastal weather. Outdoor adventures. Miles of pristine beaches. World-class festivals and events. There’s truly no end to the unforgettable experiences that await you in Santa Barbara during the summer. Find out more in our definitive guide to summer in Santa Barbara.