For years I have been wanting to see a movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (an event put on by Cinespia). I was finally able to get a few close friends together to see the cult classic Empire Records (1995) a few weeks ago and let me tell you -- What a blast!! This was such a fantastic way to spend a Saturday night in the summer than spending too much money on a fancy dinner or going out to a bar. It was an experience, an ADVENTURE and the best part is that it would be appropriate for a group of friends, family, colleagues or.. even a date night. [hint hint guys]
Even though Los Angeles has some of the greatest weather [almost] year round, the movie nights only run from May through September and tickets (almost always) sell out a few weeks before the event.
Speaking of planning ahead, here is what I learned and wish I knew going into the experience. I want to pass along to those of you who are reading this; consider it a bit of a “How To” or “Do’s and Don’ts” (alter accordingly of course)
Do not wear heels. No – I did not go to the movies in a cemetery and wear high heels but I did wear a boot with a heel and even that was too much. Chances are you will be standing in line for quite a bit of time on cement, uneven grass and dirt and then walking to the massive field where you eventually find your spot. I took my shoes off immediately upon settling down and had to put them on and off to make trips to the bathroom. Next time, I will wear flip flops.
Bring a jacket or sweater! Even though our summers have hot days as soon as the sun goes down it gets chilly and a little damp.
Food: if you have time to pack your own picnic great! If you don’t and probably for about the same cost you can pre order picnic boxes from the amazing Food + Lab and save yourself a bunch of time. Food + Lab is literally down the street and you can pick it up with just a quick stop over. The picnic boxes are twenty bucks and include a big sandwich, deli salad, side salad, cookie and small bottle of water. All of the food is delicious.
Beverages. Ok, for fear of running out of wine we packed way too much and didn’t get through it all. The biggest drag about that is that glass is heavy! These days there are great boxed wines you can get from wine shops or Target and I would probably do that next time to lighten the load. They allow beer and wine only.
I have a few other tips that I think could be useful: If you can get a seat near the edge of the field it makes it so much easier coming in and out throughout the movie and when you are ready to leave. The one thing, that hopefully they will maybe come up with in the near future, is creating some marked out pathways because, as of now, people literally have to walk through your picnic to get to the inner seating areas. This is clearly because this has become such a popular thing to do and they want to maximize the amount of people they can invite to enjoy.
Remember: Movies are always on Saturday nights. Buy your tickets at least a few weeks in advance. Gates open at 7pm (with a long line so get there early) and shows start at 9pm.
Oh – and one last important thing. For those of you that feel it’s kinda creepy to be in a cemetery, don’t worry! You aren’t sitting on gravestones (unless you are in the smoking section which is ironically appropriate) and it really wasn’t strange at all!
For additional “How To’s” you can visit their website for the basics.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicole Woods is a California native who has worked in the entertainment industry for sixteen years. She is an internationally traveled entertainment executive by trade, yet a California woman at her core. California identifies who she is; down to earth, successful, beautiful (inside and out), positive and always looking for more.
With a passion for finding her own journey and a love for all categories this publication includes, now, no matter where she is in the world, she can always have a part of home with her and a community to share it with.