"Due to the density of programming being organized by the Walker, Music & Movies in Loring Park will take a hiatus this summer." -- Walker Art Center press release

Well, it's a shame their programming is so darned dense. It's a one-year hiatus for the long-running series, says Sheryl Mousley, the Walker's film and video maven.

The situation for Loring Park summer film programming is in flux, with several organizations poised to launch a program. We'll be following the story as it develops.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other summertime options for free film programming, outdoors and inside. Here are a few of note.

My favorite is the monthly Italian Cineforum. It runs January through June and is organized by the Italian Cultural Center of the Twin Cities. The films are not all masterpieces, but the locations and the performers are usually gorgeous. And the price (free) is unbeatable.

On May 28, it's "Romanza Criminale," a bullet-riddled gangland saga based on the career of a real-life master criminal who set out to conquer Rome's underworld in the politically violent 1970s. Director Michele Placido's 2006 gangster pulp-fiction is a tribute to Coppola, Scorsese and Fellini's "I Vitelloni," exploring the shady connections linking politics, the Mafia, terrorism and business.

The season finale (June 25) is "Respiro," an intimate dramedy set in a picturesque fishing village. Valeria Golino ("Rain Man") plays a mother whose morose-to-manic mood swings threaten her family's stability.

All films are in Italian with English subtitles. Doors open at 7 p.m. and screenings begin at 7:30 at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design auditorium. (2501 Stevens Av. S., Mpls. 612-874-3700.)

A couple of downtown Minneapolis restaurants offer no-cover-charge rooftop movies at dusk.

Solera hasn't announced its schedule yet, but the 2009 season was a cavalcade of top-notch mainstream crowd pleasers ("Rushmore," "Juno," "Reservoir Dogs" and "The Dark Knight," to name a few). This year's series runs Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Memorial Day through September. (900 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-338-0062.)

Brit's Pub will present its usual selection of United Kingdom-themed movies on its rooftop lawn every Monday in August and on Labor Day. (1110 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. 612-332-3908.)

The weekly outdoor music and film program Cinema and Civics has brought film fans, families, musicians and politicos to Stevens Square Park in Minneapolis for the past 15 years. The Stevens Square Community Organization hasn't announced its 2010 lineup yet. If past programming is any indication, expect a mix of cult classics and local short films, and a brief discussion with a local community representative or officeholder. Last year the series ran six consecutive Wednesdays in June and July. (1801 Stevens Av. S., Mpls. 612-508-3901.)

Patrick's Cabaret is presenting its fourth annual free summer movie series on consecutive Thursdays, June 17 to July 8. Entertainment and music begins at 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot; films screen inside the air-conditioned cabaret at 8. "Hip Hop Beyond Beats and Rhymes" kicks off the series; the following week will feature a gay-themed movie related to Pride Week. Melody Gilbert's documentary "Urban Explorers," about adventurers who explore storm sewers, tunnels and abandoned buildings around the Twin Cities, will be shown July 1. The final film is to be announced. (3010 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls. 612-724-6273.)

On St. Paul's West Side, the Riverside Economic Development Association is again hosting a six-part free outdoor entertainment series, with craft activities for kids at 6:30 p.m., early evening music and a family classic movie at dusk. The series runs every Thursday June 24-July 29. (149 Cesar Chavez St., St. Paul. 651-222-6347.)

The Arden Hills branch of the Ramsey County Library will present two evenings of outdoor movies. On Tuesday, June 22, it's "Babe," the all-ages classic based on the juvenile fiction title "Babe, the Gallant Pig" by Dick King-Smith. The film screens at 9 p.m. On Thursday, Aug. 5, it's Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express," also at 9, with music at 8. (1941 W. County Road E2, Arden Hills. 651-628-6831.)

St. Paul's Rice Street Branch Library offers kid- and teen-friendly free movies every Saturday at 2 p.m. Call or drop in to check each week's offering. (1011 Rice St., St. Paul. 651-558-2223.)

Colin Covert • 612-673-7186