A tribute to Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert will launch a new series of free outdoor film screenings at Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion this summer. The 10-week series, presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, will begin June 18, with a screening of the Oscar-winning "Chicago" (2002), based on the hit Kander-Ebb musical. June 18 is the birthday of the late critic, who died April 4 at age 70.
The films will be shown on a 40-foot-long, 22.5-foot high, state-of-the-art LED screen, purchased especially for this series, with sound projected from the pavilion's concert-hall-quality system. The Tuesday-night series, with films starting at 6:30 p.m., runs through Aug. 20. Seating is first come, first served.
"Kicking off the film series with a tribute to Roger Ebert will remind us of how he championed Chicago as a center for filmmaking and critiques," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement.
June 25, "Funny Face" (1957), with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn, directed by Stanley Donen.
July 2, "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942) with James Cagney, directed by Michael Curtiz.
July 9, "Amadeus" (1984) with F. Murray Abraham and Thomas Hulce, directed by Milos Forman.
July 16, "Moulin Rouge" (2001): with Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, directed by Baz Luhrmann.
July 23, "The Jungle Book" (1967), Disney animated feature.
July 30, "The Buena Vista Social Club" (1999), documentary directed by Wim Wenders.
Aug. 6, "Singin' in the Rain" (1952), with Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds
Aug. 13, "Cabaret" (1972), with Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey, directed by Bob Fosse.
Aug. 20, "Dreamgirls" (2006), with Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce, Eddie Murphy, directed by Bill Condon.
Earlier in June, there will be two "pre-screenings," also at the Pritzker: "Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones: Live at the Checkerboard Lounge, 1981" on June 4, to salute the Chicago Blues Festival and "The Triplets of Belleville" (2003) on June 11, as part of Chicago Bike Week. The latter film will start at dusk. For details, go tomillenniumpark.org.
PHOTO: Roger and Chaz Ebert are honored during a CSO Night at the Movies concert in 2011. Sun-Times photo by Scott Stewart