It isn’t summer in L.A. until the first cemetery screening brings hoards of movie-lovers to Hollywood Forever, toting folding chairs, picnic blankets, snack spreads and lots of booze.
Each year, Cinespia brings classic cult favorites to the hallowed resting place of such Hollywood greats as Rudolph Valentino and Bugsy Siegel. This year’s first batch of screenings includes The Neverending Story, Drive, Almost Famous and Casablanca.
Angelenos line up for hours to partake in the concept—and to enjoy DJ sets, dance parties, sleepovers and more magical mischief otherwise strictly forbidden behind the cemetery gates. It’s an L.A. rite of passage, a quintessential summer experience and one of the best film venues in the city. Just be sure to get your ticket early, arrive early (doors open at 6:45pm), pee early... it’s getting a bit overcrowded, to say the least.
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A rite of passage for any self-respecting Angeleno! The pre-picnic in the line is almost as fun as the real thing. Such a great excuse to gather friends for good food, lots of drink and a great movie or two—look out for the all-night slumber parties! And when you go, make sure to check out the photo booth and any other side offerings; they really go all out.
My biggest beef with the Cinespia screenings at Hollywood Forever is that it's creepy! I can't get over the idea of chatting, hanging out with friend and watching a film amongst the remains of people. Gross. With all the other outdoor movie options available in the summer, why pick the most macabre? Beyond the locale, I had problems with the sound quality of the film I saw (Close Encounters). Either the sound system was not strong enough, or the audience was too noisy - either way, I struggled to hear the film's dialogue which didn't make for the most enjoyable film-watching experience.
One of the greatest things that LA has to offer. Take a tourist, take a local. This place is great for everyone and anyone. They show a range of movies, nothing too recent. Be prepared to see some of the most beautiful, pinterest-worthy picnic settings in your life. Head to your favorite eatery, pack a couple of dishes to go, take plenty of blankets and something to support your back with, and enjoy a unique and fun night in LA.