We would probably be a bit remiss around these parts if we didn't bring up two summer screening series the Academy is launching this year: "Oscars Outdoors" and "The Last 70mm Film Festival."

The former was initiated at the organizations new outdoor facility in Hollywood with an exclusive screening of "Field of Dreams" on May 19. Highlights of the upcoming schedule, which kicks off June 15 with an already-sold-out screening of "Casablanca," include "The Goonies," "Shane," "The Dark Crystal," "North by Northwest" and "Back to the Future." The idea is to screen classic and contemporary adult gems on Fridays and family-friendly fare on Saturdays.

Meanwhile, a press release issued today promoting the latter program asserted that "as theaters increasingly move towards digital projection, there has never been a better time to celebrate these vibrant, clear 70mm prints." That program kicks off on July 9 with a screening of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."

I was lucky enough to attend my film school at a time when it had a considerable film print collection (which has largely been parsed out since). Part of that collection was an impressive set of 70mm prints and I was able to bask in the big (BIG) screen glory of films like "Aliens," "Baraka" and "2001: A Space Odyssey."

The latter film will be part of the Academy's series, screening on August 6. Others include "Sleeping Beauty," "Grand Prix," "The Sound of Music" and a new print of another Stanley Kubrick epic, "Spartacus."

If you are or will be in and around the Los Angeles area, I'd certainly encourage you to give these two series a shot, particularly the 70mm program. Tickets for "Oscars Outdoors" are $5 for general admission and $3 for students and Academy members. Series passes for "The Last 70mm Film Festival," meanwhile, are $20 for general public and $15 for students and Academy members. Tickets for individual 70mm screenings will go on sale Friday, June 29, if any are available.

Oscars Outdoors

The Last 70mm Film Festival

For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.

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