FREE Summer Films at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden 

By Giving List Staff   |   May 21, 2024

UCSB Arts & Lectures and the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture present Sun, Surf and Cinema, Friday nights under the stars July 5 through August 23

UCSB Arts & Lectures and the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture present the FREE outdoor summer film series, Sun, Surf and Cinema, seven classic flicks celebrating the thrills and delights of beach and ocean life, Friday evenings under the stars from Fri. July 5 through Fri. Aug 23 at 8:30 p.m. at the County Courthouse Sunken Garden. This year’s totally tubular lineup includes: JawsPoint Break50 First DatesBlue CrushThe Life Aquatic with Steve ZissouMamma Mia! and Crazy Rich Asians. Bring breathable blankets, low chairs, a picnic and your friends!

Filmgoers are asked to respect the lawn and fellow attendees: Please bring blankets that are permeable (no plastic/nylon/tarps) and chairs that are low-backed and low to the ground. Attendees may start setting up at noon on the day of the Courthouse screenings. (Please note: There will be no film screening on Aug. 2 due to Fiesta activities.)

Miles of blue ocean, towering waves and the carefree pleasures of a summer holiday make beach movies one of the most enduring genres of modern cinema. Sprinkle in a spine-tingling soundtrack and jumpscares ala Jaws, belt out ABBA classics while gallivanting on a Grecian isle (Mamma Mia!), or while away the evening dreaming of extravagant yachts (as in Crazy Rich Asians). Sun, Surf and Cinema invites you to bring your beach blanket, stretch out under the stars and explore the various ways that Hollywood has imagined the shore and the ocean: as playground, as romantic idyll or even as a site of confrontation with nature in all her wildest power.

“The FREE summer film series has been a community favorite from the beginning, and we are delighted to bring it back to the Courthouse Sunken Garden for another fun-filled season of entertainment where all are welcome,” says Celesta M. Billeci, A&L’s Miller McCune Executive Director. “We’re celebrating something that’s sure to resonate with all of us in Santa Barbara – Hollywood’s long standing love affair with the ocean and the beach. All of us at A&L are grateful to Montecito Bank & Trust and its Chairman and CEO Janet Garufis for partnering again to make movies under the stars possible! We invite everyone to join friends and neighbors for this favorite local tradition in the incredible place we call home.”

“Montecito Bank & Trust is excited to continue partnering with A&L to bring the community together for A&L’s free summer film series under the stars!” says Chairman and CEO Janet Garufis. “This lively program is a wonderful way for families and friends to engage with one another and enjoy what we hope will be beautiful Santa Barbara summer weather this year, while enjoying some all-time favorites featured in this year’s Sun, Surf and Cinema themed line-up! “

Presented with the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture
Premier Sponsor: Montecito Bank & Trust

July 5 – August 23 | 8:30 PM: (no screening Friday, August 2 during Fiesta)


UCSB Arts & Lectures

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Senior Director of Development & Special Initiatives: Stacy Cullison


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Enriching Program at Santa Barbara’s Doorstep

Art teaches abstract thinking; it teaches teamwork; it teaches people to actually think about things they cannot see.
Bill T. Jones, Choreographer and MacArthur Fellow

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It’s a popular misconception that UCSB Arts & Lectures is fully funded by the university, when the truth is that support from patrons and other individual donors is essential. There are myriad ways to contribute to the organization beyond purchasing tickets, from major endowments to event sponsorships to joining the Producers Circle.

“We definitely need help from the community to keep doing what we do,” Billeci says. “Without that support, this world class program and these educational offerings could not happen for the community.” 

Key Supporters

Advisory Council members and leaders who have helped make A&L a vibrant part of Santa Barbara:
John & Jody Arnhold
Paul & Patricia Bragg Foundation
Marcy Carsey
Marcia & John Mike Cohen
Audrey & Timothy O. Fisher
G.A. Fowler Family Foundation
Connie Frank & Evan Thompson
Martha Gabbert
Eva & Yoel Haller
Luci & Rich Janssen
Dorothy Largay & Wayne Rosing
Kath Lavidge & Ed McKinley
Patty & John MacFarlane
Manitou Fund
Sara Miller McCune
Jillian & Pete Muller
Natalie Orfalea & Lou Buglioli
Maxine Prisyon
Sage Publishing
Heather & Tom Sturgess
Anne Smith Towbes
Sherry Villanueva
Lynda Weinman & Bruce Heavin
Merryl Snow Zegar & Chuck Zegar
Dick Wolf