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Summer Guide 2012: Cheap Family Movie Series

A number of Chicago-area movie theaters sponsor summer movie series aimed at kids, with admission prices usually $1 or $2 a person. Here's a guide to all the series we could find in Chicago's western suburbs; read on to find info about cheap summer movies in Warrenville, St. Charles, Elgin, Addison, Batavia, Oswego and more. You'll find these movies also listed in the Go West Calendar.

"Charlotte's Web" is among the movies being shown at the Studio Movie Grill in Wheaton this summer.The Studio Movie Grill in Wheaton just opened in June. It's located in Rice Lake Square, near the Whole Foods Market. Studio Movie Grill has nine locations around the United States, and it features theaters with leather seating and a full food and drink menu; you push a button to bring a waiter or waitress to your seat and the food is served to you before and during the show. Sounds good to me!

Studio Movie Grill's Children's Summer Series features one movie shown every weekday at 11 a.m. through mid-August. Tickets are $1 for children and $2 for adults.

Here's the lineup:

June 25 through June 29: Bee Movie

July 2 through July 6: How to Train Your Dragon

July 8 through July 13: Kung Fu Panda 1

July 16 through July 20: Madagascar 1

July 23 through July 27: Charlotte's Web

July 30 through Aug. 3: Megamind

Aug. 6 through Aug. 10: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Aug. 13 through Aug. 17: Stuart Little

You'll find all of these movies in the Go West Calendar, as well as the theater's monthly "Special Needs Screening." Next up in that series is "Brave" on Saturday, June 30, at 11 a.m.  


Regal Entertainment Group calls its series the "Summer Movie Express" and it will feature G- or PG-rated movies shown for $1 on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. Regal's western suburban location is the Cantera Stadium 17, in Warrenville right off I-88. (It also has a location in Crystal Lake.)

Here's the lineup for the Summer Movie Express at Cantera Stadium 17:

June 12: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (Rated PG)

June 13: Kit Kittredge: American Girl (Rated G)

June 19: Dolphin Tale (Rated PG)

June 20: Happy Feet Two (Rated PG)

June 26: Legend of the Guardians (Rated PG)

June 27: Yogi Bear (Rated PG)

July 3: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (Rated PG)

July 4: Hugo (Rated PG)

July 10: Adventures of Tin Tin (Rated PG)

July 11: Puss in Boots (Rated PG)

July 17: Kung Fu Panda 2 (Rated PG)

July 18: Rango (Rated PG)

July 24: Rio (Rated G)

July 25: Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (Rated PG)

July 31: Chimpanzee (Rated G)

Aug. 1: Hoodwinked Too (Rated PG)

Aug. 7: Arthur Christmas

Aug. 8: Smurfs 

Goodrich Quality Theatres' $1 Kids Summer Movie Series will take place over nine weeks starting June 11. GQT has a number of theaters in the Midwest, including the Kendall 10 in Oswego and the Randall 15 IMAX in Batavia. Each week, Monday through Friday, GQT will be offering a different PG-rated movie at 10 a.m. The cost is $1 per ticket for all ages.

Here's the lineup:

June 11-15: Rango (Rated PG)

June 18-22: Kune Fu Panda 2 (Rated PG)

June 25-29: Puss in Boots (Rated PG)

July 2-6: Big Miracle (Rated PG)

July 9-13: Despicable Me (Rated PG)

July 16-20: The Lorax (Rated PG)

July 23-27: The Smurfs (Rated PG)

July 30-Aug. 3: Zoo Keeper (Rated PG)

Aug. 6-10: The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Rated PG)

Marcus Theatres' "Kids Dream Summer Film Series" features family-friendly films shown at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from June 19 through Aug. 16. Admission is $2. Marcus Theatres has several locations in Illinois, including in Addison, Chicago Heights, Gurnee, Orland Park and on Randall Road in Elgin. 

Here's the schedule:

June 19-21: Dolphin Tale (Rated PG)

June 26-28: TinTin (Rated PG)

July 10-12: Journey 2: Mysterious Island (Rated PG)

July 17-19: Big Miracle (Rated PG)

July 24-26: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Rated G)

July 31-Aug. 2: The Lorax (Rated PG)

Aug. 7-9: Mirror Mirror (Rated PG)

Aug. 14-16: To be announced later this summer

Classic Cinemas features a "Wednesday Morning Movie Series." Each Wednesday morning from June 13 through Aug. 8, Classic Cinemas will show a family-friendly film (rated G or PG) with admission of $1 per person.

The show time is 10 a.m. but the doors open at 9 a.m. and you're encouraged to come early to meet costumed characters and participate in games and fun activities. Classic Cinemas will take reservations for groups of 15 or more (the series is popular with summer camps and daycare programs), and the group rate of $4.75 per person includes admission, a Kiddie Combo and reserved seating.

Classic Cinemas has theaters all over northern Illinois, including the Charlestowne 18 Theatre at Charlestowne Mall in St. Charles. Other Classic Cinemas participating include those in Carpentersville, Elk Grove Village, Fox Lake, Oak Park, Freeport, North Riverside, Naperville, Kankakee, Downers Grove, Woodstock and Elmhurst.

Here's the lineup:

June 13: Kung Fu Panda 2 (Rated PG)

June 20: Mr. Popper’s Penguins (Rated PG)

June 27: Puss In Boots (Rated PG)

July 11: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Rated G)

July 18: Arthur Christmas (Rated PG)

July 25: The Smurfs (Rated PG)

August 1: Disney’s Winnie the Pooh (Rated G)

August 8: Surprise Movie (Rated PG)