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7 Ratings: 4.3
summer movie screenings at Hollywood Forever cemetery

Cinespia    Movie screenings at Hollywood Forever cemetery.      Hollywood Forever Cemetery  6000 Santa Monica Blvd.          

Tags: Events, Hollywood, Los Angeles Events, Cinespia, Hollywood Forever
1 review about Cinespia

Cemetery Cinema

  • May 27, 2009
  • by
The start of the summer in Los Angeles signals Cinespia time!  The Hollywood Forever cemetery hosts weekend screenings of films.  This is the super-amped up LA version of a drive-in, outdoor screening.  People line up several hours before the 8:30 movie start with picnic goodies and lawn chairs.  Don't bring a tall chair, unless you like to be yelled at and have things hurled at you. 

!!! Alcoholic beverages are permitted. !!!

It's best to arrive at least by 7, and probably even before then, as parking on Santa Monica and Gower is disgusting.  [Plan on circling the area twenty-three times before finding a space].  There is also $5 parking inside the cemetery.  The car line to park inside may get incredibly long, but it grants you cutter-admission, bypassing everyone in line.  There is an adjacent shopping center where parking is $10 if you are willing to dole out a few bucks to avoid hunting for a space.  By 6pm typically there is already a crowd queued up, sitting on blankets, enjoying their picnic+wine as they wait for the gates to open.  Bringing a travel board game helps with the wait time ... 

The Hollywood Forever cemetery ropes up the entrance in a Disneyland-line fashion, but this wait is so much better, since you can't wait in line for Haunted Mansion with a plastic cup of pinot.  Depending on the popularity of the film, Cinespia screenings typically sell out, so be sure to coordinate with your mates to ensure all your friends get inside before they stop admitting people.  The "suggested donation" is $10, but they're pretty firm about it not being "suggested" at all.  Cinespia began airing classic films such as Psycho, Rebel Without a Cause, and other films starring some of the celebrities buried there, but now show more crowd-pleasing, popular films like Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Valley Girl.  

Along with the kooky/errie factor of watching a movie in a cemetery, the energy of Cinespia is electric.  Strangers huddle together in the dark to recite lines from their favorite movies, and share this weirdo experience.  The recent the showing of Dazed and Confused was sold out, and in the spirit of film, some people brought kegs and were doing keg stands during the film.  DJs spin until the movie starts, and it's great to watch the sun set with the backdrop of palm trees.  It does get chilly, so bring blankets for sitting and for keeping warm.  There are rows of well-maintained port-a-potties.  Don't worry about disrespecting the dead people since the film is projected on a mausoleum wall in front of a large lawn, so the crowd does not sit on actual graves.  So don't worry bout spilling yr Tecate all over Johnny Ramone's tombstone.  The array of picnic dinners vary from a last-minute pizza from Little Ceasar to the uber-elaborate seven-course affair, with people bringing in tiny tables and adorned with tablecloth and candles.      

Previous years had the screening listings more in advance, but it seems like for the 09 season, Cinespia sends email alerts a week or two before.  Their website offers a Recommendation tab.  The Hollywood Forever is kind of an all-day ordeal, between preparing the picnic foods, getting there early enough to find parking, getting a decent space in front of the mausoleum, but considering the $10 entrance fee + food stuffs + [potential parking $] ... this is such a small amount to pay for half a day's worth of entertainment, and where else can you eat chicken and drink in public with your friends while watching a great movie.        
Cinespia 5.23.09 - Dazed and Confused

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June 28, 2009
Hi....FYI and thought you might like to know that they're several "Forever" Cemeteries. Two brothers from St. Louis (where I live) purchased 3 in St. Louis, one in Independence, MO, and two in California.....Los Angeles and Mill Valley. They also produce "Life Story Video".......the life story of the deceased person.....it's quite a trend. I didn't know "Forever" existed either, until I decided to do some research on this......very interesting and quite profitable!
May 28, 2009
I'll be out there in the next couple of months and will definitely check on this. I especially like that they show Psycho in this cryptic environment. The "Forever" cemetaries are actually owned, I believe by a firm here in town. They purchased several cemeteries around the nation and renamed them "Forever." How appropriate, as James Dean and "Norman Bates" will never really die!
May 28, 2009
Last Halloween Cinespia had a special showing of Carrie. Talk about scary! ... Esp. the ending at that setting. The ending terrified me as a child. I did not know there are other "Forever" cemeteries. Very interesting.
June 27, 2009
Carrie is the most frightening movie I may have ever seen. Wow, and watching it in a cemetery would probably blow me away! Sounds like an amazing event. Wish I lived closer:) I'm a huge fan of movies in the park and drive-in theaters.
May 27, 2009
Hi.....it's weird, but I like it.....something different! It's so L.A. I used to live there, so I know what it's like, but I don't think it would go over in St. Louis......that's where I live now. The next time I visit Los Angeles, I'll check it out. Thanks!
May 28, 2009
it IS so LA! I hope you get to check out cinespia the next time you're in LA.
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