Summer in other cities means beaches and barbeques but that's available almost every month of the year in L.A. What, then, signals the start of a Los Angeles summer? The return of outdoor movies, that’s what. Nothing says “summer nights" like watching a film under the stars with a beer and several hundred of your closest friends.
In addition to sporadic screenings that take place all around town (including the Third Street Promenade, Malibu, and the L.A. River), our city boasts several season-long series.
Cinespia at Hollywood Forever
Held at the iconic cemetery where Estelle Getty, Cecil B. DeMille, and Johnny Ramone are buried, L.A.’s longest-running outdoor movie series draws huge crowds. The Cinespia schedule veers between beloved classics (Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much) and more recent cult faves (Pulp Fiction, The Princess Bride). Bring your own beer or wine and settle in among Hollywood’s ghosts.
6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. $12.
Electric Dusk Drive-In
One of the city's best-kept secrets (and one we’ve shared before), Electric Dusk Drive-In transports the drive-in experience to a downtown L.A. rooftop. After settling into its new location atop City Market in the Fashion District, EDD has plenty of room for cars as well as a patch of Astroturf for those without wheels.
1000 San Julian St., Los Angeles. Most Saturdays; gates open 90 minutes before showtime. $10-$13.
Eat See Hear
Food-music-movie event series Eat/See/Hear, which launched in 2012, takes place each Saturday through September 14. Though the venue changes each week, the itinerary is the same: One ticket buys you access to a bevy of food trucks, a live band, and a movie (mainly 1980s and '90s flicks). Get down with a drive in screening of Boogie Nights on June 29th. Events start at 5:30 p.m., movies at 8:30. $10.
Street Food Cinema
Like Eat/See/Hear, Street Food Cinema boasts a triple-threat combo of movies, music, and munchies. Most events will take place at Exposition Park near USC with a few scheduled for L.A. Historic, Grand Hope, and Poinsetta parks. Get a double-dose of St. Elmo’s Fire and Reality Bites on June 29 or a heaping of action-comedy with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz on July 13.
700 Exposition Drive, Los Angeles. Saturdays through August 17; events start at 5:30 p.m., movies at 8:30. $10-$15.
There’s something for everyone in the Oscars Outdoors movie series: King Kong, Point Break, and Rushmore are just a few of the titles set to show at the Academy’s Hollywood campus this summer. Food trucks will be on hand but feel free to bring your own treats. The next batch of tickets goes on sale June 28, so plan ahead; popular movies sell out fast.
1341 Vine St., Hollywood. Weekends through August 24; gates open at 6:30 p.m. $3-5.
Friday Night Flicks
Friday Night Flicks is free and meant for the whole family (pets are welcome but not booze). The films playing at Pershing Square are grouped by theme: July is all about buddy flicks, August is animated movies, and it’s back to school in September.
532 S. Olive St., Los Angeles. Fridays, July 5-Sep. 27; movies begin at 8:30 p.m. Free.