It has been on my Los Angeles bucket list for a while to attend a Cinespia movie screening at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and when I was trying to find something exciting to do for the 4th of July this year I came across their 4th of July movie screening. I am now overall obsessed with going to see movies at the Forever Cemetery, and I may have found my new 4th of July tradition.
Notes On Film Screenings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery:
- Started in 2002, Cinespia is a company that organizes classic movie screenings every summer in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. From May through September, the group screens a film almost every Saturday.
- From The Graduate and Casablanca to Practical Magic and Footloose, the movie screening lineup seems to balance between cinema school classics and cult films.
- Almost every screening sells out beforehand. I would suggest trying to purchase tickets at least two weeks in advance, although for especially popular hits the tickets will sell out even earlier. Since the entire summer schedule is released at the beginning of the summer, people tend to go for their favorite films, so tickets for Raiders of the Lost Ark end up selling out faster than tickets for Austin Powers (shocker).
- The movies are projected on a wall surrounded by the graves of celebrities and wealthy people. A strange mix of cool and morbid, the perfect description for Hollywood.
- With the screening being outdoors, the setup for the evening is picnic style. The temperature definitely cools down by the end of the night so make sure to bring extra cozy blankets and a layer to provide cushion on the ground, whether that is just an extra tarp or an actual seat. You obviously cannot bring tall chairs, as it blocks the view for other people, but I would suggest these folding seats. They are made for bleachers, but I am now obsessed with bringing them to other places like the beach or a Cinespia screening since they are so light to carry and give great support. I actually purchased them at Costco but a few other stores have them as well.
- You can prepay for parking that is either on site or in a lot nearby. The problem with parking right at the Cemetery is the crowds. It can take forever to leave at the end of the night when everyone is trying to drive out at the same time, plus the other people who are walking to their cars parked offsite. Once you get to the Cemetery a few local businesses open their lots for parking, so I ended up paying the same amount to park steps from the entrance to the Cemetery and I avoided extra traffic.
- Since I attended the 4th of July special screening of Footloose, my night of course included fireworks. And not exaggerating whatsoever, this was the best fireworks show I have ever seen. The fireworks were set to music, and now I think every firework show should be set to rock n roll music.
- A good movie night must included snacks, so make sure to bring a really great spread. You can also bring in alcohol, and what cracked me up is that since it is first come first serve basis for seating, a lot of people arrived early and started opening their bottles of wine and eating food in line. A pre-movie party.