Entertainment » Movies

L.A.'s Outdoor Movie Scene: Bigger and Better in 2018

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Apr 11, 2018

It's that time of year again, and the never-ending list of outdoor and rooftop screenings gets bigger and bigger every year. What started out with the most famous venue Cinespia - which takes over the park area of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery every summer Saturday night - has expanded to venues that utilize rooftops, outdoor parks, beaches, and museums.

Beginning in April, there are numerous options for your fresh air movie-going needs and we're here to give you the scoop on all your favorite locations and a few new ones to boot!

Arguably the most popular outdoor movie-going experience is now entering its seventeenth season with a full summer of movies for the thousands of guests that show up weekly. You start out the night in a queue outside the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. What might seem like an annoying wait to get inside is really just the start of the party. Guests line up in spacious rows, spread out their blankets and start enjoying the fresh air, wine, and snacks. Once the venue opens, guests head inside to a large grassy area away from the gravestones so as to not disturb the "residents." From there, everyone sets up their blankets and chairs, dances to the mixes of popular DJs, gets a picture in a themed photo booth, and munches on food they've brought or bought on the premises. The night is long, but so much fun and is a weekly event for many of LA's faithful.

The May Calendar is up with "The Neverending Story," "Drive," "Almost Famous," and "Casablanca" on the docket.

For more information, visit the Cinespia website.


Rounding into their fourth season, The Rooftop Cinema Club (which began in London and then opened locations in New York, LA, Chicago, and San Diego) recently expanded their LA locations to include the rooftop of LEVEL - a fully-furnished luxury apartment complex downtown. Add to that the rooftop of the Montalban Hotel in the heart of Hollywood, and you have two ways to enjoy films old and new all Spring and Summer long. Screenings occur Tuesdays through Saturdays so there are more nights to enjoy your favorite films along with food truck style treats, a full bar, and traditional snack bar. Guests sit in oversized deck chairs and wear stereo headphones to keep the noise level of the film to a minimum, as well as the city noise out of your enjoyment of the film.

The April and May Schedule is already available with classics like "Chinatown," "Lost Boys," and "Raiders of the Lost Ark," to new films like "Lady Bird" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

For more information, visit the Rooftop Cinema Club website


One of the newest additions to the rooftop screenings in LA is next to the rooftop bar of the Asian fusion restaurant EP & LP. Located separate from bar is the Melrose Rooftop Theatre, which guests can access via elevator or stairs. While they offer many new releases, they schedule some oldies as well. There is a Dinner & a Movie option that includes reserved seats and a three-course meal. Guests are seated in bean bag chairs and utilize headphones as well, to block out the noise of the street below and the bar next door.

Their schedule from May 1st ("Pretty Woman") to June 28th ("Mean Girls") is out now.

For more information, visit the Melrose Rooftop Theatre website


From May through September, Eat|Sea|Hear takes over a variety of parks and beaches in LA every Saturday for twenty consecutive weeks. Screening films on an oversized three-story, 52-foot wide inflatable screen, they take place in different locations that include North Hollywood Recreation Center, the Autry Museum in Griffith Park, the Centennial Square at Pasadena Hall, La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles State Historic Park, the Rose Bowl, and Santa Monica High School Amphitheatre. The venues are punctuated with a row of tasty food trucks and freebies.

The entire schedule is out now at the event's website. Coming up are "E.T.," "The Big Lebowski," "The Land Before Time," "The Princess Bride," and more.


Similar to Eat|See|Hear is Street Food Cinema, which utilizes many of the same locations and offers both popular gourmet food trucks and live music. Additional locations include Will Rogers State Historic Park, Park Center in Griffith Park, and Poinsettia Rec Park in West Hollywood.

Their list for the summer is out as well at visit the Street Food Cinema website. Upcoming are some fun options like "Dazed and Confused," "Spice World," "Grease," and "Xanadu!"

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.


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