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The Ten Best Geek Events in Denver in June

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Summer is here at last —- or at least it will be before the month is over. That means that it's time to get outside, even for geeks! No, there aren't any camping events on this month's list of great geek events, but there are a few that might require sunscreen. And even if you demand strict adherence to stereotypes and refuse to let the sun touch your skin, there are plenty of indoor activities for you to enjoy in June, too. Here, in chronological order, are ten of the month's best ways to embrace the geeky.

10) Fantastique: Time Bandits
Time travel, little people and the divine madness of Terry Gilliam come together in one rollicking adventure across time and space in Time Bandits. The story of a young boy who ends up traveling across time and space with a bunch of thieves was, in many ways, Gilliam's breakthrough film. That, along with its loopy humor and rollicking story, have helped make it a cult classic, not to mention one of the most fun films in his catalogue. The film will be introduced by Fantastique co-hosts Frank Romero (co-founder of Denver Comic Con) and local author Jason Heller.

See Time Bandits, on 35mm, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 4 at the Alamo Drafthouse. For tickets and more info, visit the Fantastique: Time Bandits event page.

9) Film on the Rocks: The Shining
June is a particularly geeky month for Film on the Rocks, with three of the four selections qualifying as nerdtacular (only Super Troopers breaks the mold, but hey, stoners need to have fun, too). The feast of geek film kicks off with The Shining on June 9, and what needs to be said about The Shining at Red Rocks? Stanley Kubrick, Stephen King and Jack Nicholson under the stars, at the world's most beautiful concert venue, will make for a magical evening, and the music of Munly & The Lupercalians and Stella Luce will provide the perfect warm-up. The following weeks offer up The Princess Bride and Jurassic Park, so maybe just plan on heading to Morrison every week all month, okay?

See The Shining at Film on the Rocks Tuesday, June 9 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Get there by 6:30 p.m. to be seated by the time the bands start at 7 p.m. Movie kicks off at dusk. Tickets are $12 in advance (slightly higher at the door), or drop $42 and up on a VIP package. For tickets and more information, visit the Red Rocks website.

8) Films on Tap: Armageddon
Nobody does mindless orgies of explosions and stupidity like Michael Bay, and there's no better way to enjoy a Michael Bay film than with the help of our old friend booze. Rejoice, then, for Films on Tap is serving up the explosions-in-space classic Armageddon in convenient drinking-game form! Something blows up? Take a drink! Someone expounds on the nobility of being a driller? Take a drink! American flags wave in slow motion while patriotic music swells on the soundtrack? DRINK! By the end, the film may even make sense. Or at least you won't mind a bit that it doesn't. As always, the first fifty folks in the door get a free beer from the good people of Breckenridge Brewing.

Drink and cheer for the asteroid-busting heroes of Armageddon at 10 p.m. Friday, June 12 at the Sie FilmCenter. Tickets are $11, or $7 for Denver Film Society members. For tickets and more info, visit the Denver Film Society website.

7) Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown
No matter how advanced video games get, there's still something special about smacking a metal ball around a ringing, blinking maze of machinery. Celebrate the bliss of pinball with collectors, enthusiasts and exhibitors at the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown and Gameroom Expo. If you got the skills, you can compete in the official tournaments — or just play a few friendly games on one of more than a hundred pinball and vintage arcade machines, all set to free play. It's like the ten-year-old you died and went to to arcade heaven!

The event starts at 11 a.m. Friday, June 12 and runs through Sunday, June 14 at the Denver Marriott South at Park Meadows. Weekend passes are $65, or $25 for a day pass, with reduced price tickets for kids under 12. For tickets and more info, visit the Pinball Showdown website.

6) Colorado Renaissance Festival
Hear ye, hear ye! For the 39th consecutive year, the King declares that it's time to get post-medieval with the grand olde tradition of the Renaissance Festival. Immerse yourself in a lovingly recreated slice of 16th-century heaven, with minstrels, merrymakers and maidens aplenty wandering about, eating enormous turkey legs. Seven stages of olde tyme entertainment will keep you smiling, and where the hell else are you going to go to see some jousting this summer? It's the next best thing to a time machine, and probably the best reason you'll find o wear that leather corset you bought on a whim last time you went to a renaissance fest.

The Colorado Renaissance Festival opens Saturday, June 13 in the Renaissance Festival Village. Tickets start at $19.50 for adults ($8 for kids age 5 to 12) if purchased online. Get your tickets, and more info, at the Colorado Renaissance Festival website.

5) Zzang!!! The Last Starfighter
In 1984, every nerdy gamers' fantasy came true — or at least came to theaters — when The Last Starfighter was released. Let's face it — who among us hasn't wished that the video game we spent countless hours mastering wasn't just a game, but was instead a way for super-advanced aliens to find the best of the best and recruit them into their kickass alien army. Sure, it never happened for most of us, but for Alex Rogan it sure did, and plenty of us '80s kids lived vicariously through him. The inspiring wish-fulfillment story, some pioneering CGI effects and a surprising amount of humor created a beloved cult classic that rarely makes it to the big screen. Don't miss this opportunity to see it!

See The Last Starfighter at 2:15 Sunday, June 14 at the Alamo Drafthouse. For tickets, $5, and more info, visit the Zzang!!! The Last Starfighter event page.

4) Con on the Range
If you like your cons small, friendly and intensely focused (on gaming), then Con on the Range should make you happy. Three days of tabletop gaming, tabletop gaming and more tabletop gaming are on the menu, making this a great place to go on some adventures by rolling dice — and maybe make a few new friends in the process. The focus here is on pen-and-paper roleplaying games, with a side of miniatures (HeroClix and X-Wing Miniatures) thrown in for good measure. Plus, the good people of Tethered by Letters, a nonprofit for writers and people who love reading, will be on hand to look for new writers and spread their mission of helping nurture new, creative voices in literature.

The games start at 8 a.m. Friday, June 19 at the Hilton Garden Inn Highlands Ranch. Three-day passes are $30 until June 14, then $40, and day passes are also available. For tickets and more info, visit the Con on the Range website.

3) Kinetics Longmont Summer Solst-ish Happening 2015
If you're going to go outside, it may as well be for a crazy reason like watching a bunch of lunatics peddle a mechanical shark across a reservoir, right? The annual Kinetics race is like an amalgam of cosplay, a Makers Faire and a picnic, all rolled into one. Build yourself a crazy, human-powered boat, enter it in a race around the reservoir, and make sure you look good in costume while doing it! Or just watch a bunch of other geeks do all that while you sit safely on shore and enjoy a nice picnic lunch. Either way, it's a day out of the house that makes both all that sunscreen and a trip to Longmont seem worthwhile.

The race starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 20 at Union Reservoir in Longmont. Just $10 will get a carload of folks in, or $2 if you're on foot/biking in. Bring a seat if you don't want to sit on the dirt, or build yourself a boat and register to compete. For more information, visit the Kineticists website.

2) Mondo X Chiller: The Beyond
Horror movies don't come much more insane — or much more awesome — than The Beyond. The 1981 film could be the apotheosis of Lucio Fulci's career, a triumph of bizarre, grotesque imagery and hallucinogenic atmosphere over such trivialities as plot, character and making a damn lick of sense. People are melted by acid. Faces are eaten by spiders. And there's one really fucking gross bathtub. Beautiful in its ugliness, profound in its lack of meaning and just a generally great time, The Beyond is one of those rare horror obscurities that has no business being obscure. 

See The Beyond at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 24 at the Alamo Drafthouse. For tickets, $7, and more info, visit the Mondo X Chiller The Beyond event page.

1) Videogames. Live! Mario Kart Double Dash
Comedians Roger Norquist and Jay Gillespie like video games a lot, as documented by their webseries Videogames., which chronicles their attempt to play 1,000 classic games and have a few laughs along the way. Now you can experience the magic of comedians playing classic games at Videogames. Live, as the hosts and guests such as Jordan Doll, Nathan Lund and Sara Wilson get together to play the GameCube classic Mario Kart Double Dash. Turtle shells will be deployed, trash talk will ensue and one Kart team will be crowned as champion. Plus, free pizza, Shasta and prizes, and you can stick around afterward for Christopher Baker's equally geek-friendly Cartoons and Comedy show.

The gaming begins at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 25 at Deer Pile. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Videogames. Facebook page.

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