Summer Outdoor Cinema 2012


I love the heat.  Summer is my favorite time of year, because under normal circumstances (read: 60 degree weather) I am bundled up like an eskimo.  ‘Tis the season for picnics, bug bites, and romantic rendezvous’ under the stars.  As the drive in movie theater fades further into history, a new twist on the idea is popping up all over the LA area, just in time for summer. No matter what your cine tastes may be, there is something for everyone. So without further ado, here are a few select choices for movies sans theater:

Hipster Gourmet

Street Food Cinema wants your belly to be happy. Like the Cemetery screenings, they offer parking, grass & music… but that my friend is where the similarities end. If you have been itching to try some of LA’s gourmet food trucks, here is an opportunity to sample a few at once AND get your summer movie on. The movie selection reads like your dorm movie collection if you went to college in the last 5 years: Napoleon Dynamite, Talladega Nights, Bridesmaids, & the 40 Year Old Virgin.  But, they did throw in a few cult classics like Rocky Horror Picture Show, Sixteen Candles & Weird Science, if you wanted to get your ’80s on.  A band plays before every screening (check the schedule for listings) and your dogs on a leash are permitted.

Nacho Food Truck

PROS
  • Food Trucks! Quintessential Los Angeles gourmet food trucks
    (so you don’t have to over think the picnic thing)
  • Bring your furry friend. Dogs are allowed.
CONS
  • Exposition Park has quite a few helicopters flying overhead.
  • Food truck lines can get long & you should bring cash because not all of the trucks take plastic.

Check out their screening schedule online.
Tickets $10 | Reserved Seating $15 | Parking $10
T: @stfoodcinema | FB: stfoodcinema

Cemetery Dance Party

Photo by Kelly Lee Barrett

Cinespia has been showing movies in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for 10 years. DJs spin before and after the movie, so there is more of a party vibe. That could also be because they allow alcohol. They pick great classic movies to show as diverse as Lolita, Nightmare on Elm Street, Chinatown, Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke & Labyrinth.

PROS
  • It’s in a cemetery. Kinda cool, if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • Great movie selection
  • Alcohol is permitted
CONS
  • To park in the cemetery you have to prepay online.
  • Lines to enter get pretty long.
  • Bringing your own food is the only option
  • No Dogs allowed

Check out their calendar for their upcoming screening schedule.
Tickets $10 | Parking $10.
T: @CINESPIA | FB: cinespia

Thank the Academy

Oscars Outdoors is a summer screening series at the Academy’s new open-air theater, located on the Academy Hollywood campus.  If you’re not an Academy member, this will probably be your one chance to see their new campus.  There will also be food trucks provided by Roaming Hunger, but no fuzzy friends allowed.  Their screening schedule is full of Academy greats ranging from Casablanca, to the Goonies, to the Princess Bride, to a Wizard of Oz Sing-Along!  Tickets are super affordable ($5 for non-Academy members and $3 for Academy members) and there is free on-site parking. Picnic baskets, beer, & wine are permitted. There will be a different movie EVERY Friday & Saturday through August.

PROS
  • Free Parking
  • Cheap tickets ($5 for non-Academy members)
  • The selection of films is very Family Friendly
CONS
  • Movies are selling out FAST.  There is a standby option, but if you want a guaranteed seat, you gotta buy online.
  • Patrons must have an advance ticket in hand in order to access the Academy’s free parking lot on Homewood Avenue.

See Calendar for screening schedule.

Tickets $5 | Parking FREE if you buy tickets in advance

Outdoor Cinema Ninja Tips

  • Bring low chairs: so you don’t obstruct anyone’s view
  • Bring Blankets: picnic blankets / warmth for when the sun goes down / claims your space on the grass
  • Get there early for the best seating: you can always picnic while you’re waiting
  • Check Goldstar Events for deals on tickets