A User’s Guide to All of LA’s Outdoor Cinemas
Out of many, these are the 7 we recommend hitting this summer
Good weather and the movies: in Los Angeles, these are not just benefits, but existential qualities.
And plenty of enterprising operations around town have had the good sense to pair them, in the form of the various and sundry outdoor-movie series that pop up each summer.
Today, we’re giving you a rundown on the seven best games in town, complete with dinner pairings and our picks for the best flicks on their upcoming schedules.
Whether it’s on a rooftop, at a drive-in or poolside, there are more than enough options to help you get your fix.
Rooftop Cinema Club
This year, Rooftop Cinema Club is paying homage to the best films of the ‘90s, and they’ve also got sing-along and non-sing-along versions of Grease and Bohemian Rhapsody.
Pre-Movie Bite: Check out our Dinner Plan for pre- and post-flick snacks and drinks.
The Picks: Do The Right Thing, May 31; Romeo + Juliet, June 1, Mad Max: Fury Road, June 20
Melrose Rooftop Theatre
Located in the heart of West Hollywood, Melrose Rooftop Theatre puts you within spitting distance of a number of post-movie bar and club options. Kick your night off with a movie here instead of using it as the nightcap.
Pre-Movie Bite: Since they share an entrance and are rooftop adjacent, the food at E.P. & L.P. (and the drinks from that matter) are a wonderful convenience for your cinema outing.
The Picks: Goonies, June 3; Drive, June 26
Eat | See | Hear
Griffith Park, Various Locations
Make sure to check out the Eat | See | Hear site to get tips on directions, parking tips, rules about dogs, free parking and bike parking options, admission and chair guidelines for each of the venues. Remember, what’s kosher at one spot might not be the case at another.
Pre-Movie Bite: With six different venues stretched throughout the city, it’s best to pick your flick before you settle on a bite. But if you’re headed the The Autry in Griffith Park, hit up Atrium or Ceviche Project just south of the venue in Los Feliz.
The Picks: Casablanca, July 13; Fargo, August 10; The Shining, August 31
Compared to the other locations on the list, doing Cinespia right can make all the difference in your enjoyment. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with a Dinner Plan that will give you the tips and tricks to perfecting your night.
Pre-Movie Bite: If you’re not packing a picnic, check out Auburn for a minimalist, food-forward four-, six- or nine-course meal.
The Pick: Jaws, June 22
Rooftop Movies at The Montalbán
The Montalbán’s season is a little over a month, but it’s chock-full of some of Hollywood’s greatest achievements. Running roughly five films a week, there’s something for everyone in their schedule. Above all, the challenge will be cutting the wish list down.
Pre-Movie Bite: It’s hard not to suggest the only Chik-Fil-A in the area, which happens to be just around the corner and down the road. But if you’re looking for something a little less fast, try Luv2eat Thai Bistro, and don’t let the name fool you.
The Picks: Kill Bill I & II, May 23 & 24; Saving Private Ryan, May 29; Tropic Thunder, July 7
Poolside Cinema at Mr. C
Embracing the Beverly Hills aesthetic in every sense of the word, Mr. C’s will give you more of a classic Los Angeles, Hollywood-vibe, for anyone who’s looking for an immersive viewing experience.
Pre-Movie Bite: One of the best meals in Los Angeles is behind a locked door under a dilapidated sign that says Teriyaki House. But Totoraku, the price-fixed, beef-centric Japanese restaurant run by Chef Kaz, is truly one of the finest spots in town. We warn you: it’s tough to get a table, so you’ll need to flex all your muscles to find a way in.
The Pick: Thelma & Louise, August 27
San Fernando Valley Summer Drive-In
Embracing the original outdoor movie experience, the Summer Drive-In series is the only drive-in on the list. I’ve you’ve never been to one, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
Pre-Movie Bite: If you’re headed to the South Bay, might as well take the time to hit up Jame Enoteca, which quite possibly has the best pasta in the Southland. Choose between classic Italian dishes or let your palate wander with some incredible new combinations that young prodigy Chef Jackson Kalb has been whipping up.
The Pick: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, August 1