The Traverse City Film Festival will present a slate of free films at the Open Space in downtown Traverse City every evening from Monday, July 29 (a test night) through Sunday, August 4.

Projected onto a 65-foot inflatable screen, the featured films at the Northern Michigan festival include a Disney animated classic, iconic rock doc and a nostalgic ’80s staple. Bring your lawn chairs and fluff out your outdoor blankets: it’s going to be a fun week!

Each screening will begin at dusk (approximately 9:30 p.m.) but will be preceded by live music, entertainment and a large-scale photo booth complete with props and costumes. The featured movies are as follows (movie descriptions by TCFF):

  • Stop Making Sense, Monday, July 29: “The best dang concert movie of all time.” Special Monday night public test screening (no concessions) that will have everyone itching to dance.
  • Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, Tuesday, July 30: It’s the epic battle for the fate of the galaxy. Expect a night of fun and games at the Open Space.
  • The Little Mermaid, Wednesday, July 31: Treasures untold wait for you and your family as this special 30th Anniversary screening of the film.
  • Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music, Thursday, August 1 (special start time: 9:15 P.M.): Fifty years ago, nearly half a million people attended the Woodstock Music and Art fair, becoming rock and roll’s most famous event.
  • Back to the Future, Friday, August 2: The People’s Choice Winner! This is heavy, Doc: not only must Marty McFly (national treasure Michael J. Fox) somehow make his way back to good old 1985 from the year 1955, but he’s also inadvertently caused his own teenage mother (Lea Thompson) to fall in love with him! Can he get out of it?
  • Captain Marvel, Saturday, August 3: With an awesome ’90s soundtrack, fantastic performances, serious girl power, and quirky comedy, this nostalgia epic from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (that has a cat in it!) is headed the Open Space.
  • Mary Poppins Returns, Sunday, August 4: Everyone’s favorite magical nanny is BACK, and stepping into Julie Andrew’s iconic role, the practically perfect heir, is Emily Blunt. She’s joined by an absolutely powerhouse cast including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, and even Dick Van Dyke in this magical, memorable, and musical family extravaganza.

For more details on Traverse City Film Festival 2019, visit

Photo(s) by Taylor Brown