Outdoor movie screenings are as LA as kale, quinoa and terrible traffic. Next time you go, make sure to leave early to avoid that traffic and be prepared to meet the acquaintance of these types of people.
1. The wine-and-diners. This isn't just an outdoor movie—it's a chance to have an epicurean experience. Their bottle of syrah perfectly complements the nutty notes of their over-priced cheese and organic charcuterie. They sit in pairs on king-size blankets that each take up enough valuable lawn space to accommodate a family of eight.
2. The chatterbox. They're not hear to see Chinatown, they're here to catch up on the latest plot lines of each other's love lives, with more twists and turns than Roman Polanski's classic. It's a riveting psychological drama and not nearly as convoluted as the film—so I actually see it as a blessing that their chatter drowns out all of Jack Nicholson's lines.
3. Dog and/or kids. In Los Angeles, having a dog and having a kid are pretty much the same experience. They're both given the same love, attention and privilege, and they're both just as annoying during an outdoor movie. Both will make loud noises at inappropriate times, then make their way onto your blanket.
4. Stinky food eaters. If you're unlucky enough to sit next to the person eating Los Burritos, you're going to be basking in the smell of chimichangas and guacamole for the full 191 minutes of Grindhouse. The wind wafting the scent of onion in your direction can be just as bad and uncomfortable as the stench of ganja, without the contact high.
5. The stoners. You know what’s great about going to an outdoor screening? Laying beneath the stars and watching classic films. You know what’s not great? Getting a contact high from those eight pot-smoking hooligans who smell like a Downtown weed dispensary made love to the LAX In-N-Out.
6. Tall chair people. The tall chair people have been sent from the deepest pits of hell and have resurfaced at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Did they not read the guidelines on the website? How did they get past security? And where did they get the gall to think that they have a right to put a three-foot-tall chair in between you and Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd.? “I'm ready to punch this guy in the head, Mr. DeMille.”
7. The PDA couple. They clearly like each other. They might even in be in love. However, their plethora of public displays of affection seem to make a mockery of your singledom. It's hard to enjoy Ferris Bueller's Day Off when the sound of smacking lips and muffled groans drown out the film. If this grassy field were a living room, and that screen was a laptop, then it would be appropriate to enjoy each other's... stuff. But it’s not. We’re all adults. And we know what you're doing underneath that checkered blanket.
8. The loner. He’s sitting off to the side, wearing a black, full-length trench coat and you're pretty sure he's not a film critic. This is probably the 1000th time he’s seen Edward Scissorhands. He silently mouths all the lines as he picks through a big box of Red Hots. It's creepy.
Ready to meet these characters? Here's a list of the outdoor movies screening this summer.