The L.A. Outdoor Summer Movie Experience

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If the upswing of people at my gym in the morning tells me anything, it’s that summer is right around the corner. For many people, this signals lazy beach days, outdoor concerts, al fresco dining and vacations on the horizon. For me, the impending season means the return of one of my favorite Southern California past times…outdoor cinema!

 I grew up when the halcyon days of summer equated to countless nights at the local drive-in with remnants of stale concession stand popcorn forever littering the floorboards of my car. With the closest full-time drive-in located some thirty odd miles away from me in the City of Industry, I feared I would never be able to share that same type of experience with friends and family. Luckily, times are a changing, and now the selection of fantastic outdoor movie options grows with each passing season. Below are just a few of my favorites:

One of the first companies to launch outdoor screenings in Los Angeles was Cinespia and they continue to be one of my favorites. With venues around the city and focusing on cult classics from the 1930’s to 2000’s, Cinespia’s biggest draw occurs at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The giant picnic-like party atmosphere attracts thousands of Angelenos to each movie. Information on shows and tickets can be found at 

 Rooftop Cinema Club kicks it up a notch. They bill themselves as the “Ultimate Film Experience” and they definitely deliver on their claim. With wireless headphones, comfy deckchairs, iconic movies and spectacular views from their three venues, Level in downtown, and both NeueHouse and The Montalban in Hollywood. Level and Montalban are 18 and over, while NeueHouse is 21 and over. Tickets and a calendar can be found at

 With several locations throughout Los Angeles, Street Food Cinema brings the best of pop culture, music and street food together creating more of an event feel than just an evening out. With a 50-foot High-Definition screen and QSC speakers, the picnic style screenings take on a party atmosphere while attendees dine on the latest offering from some of LA’s finest gourmet food trucks.

 In addition to the paid events above, Los Angeles also offers several free screenings (most geared towards a younger crowd). If you are interested in more information on outdoor screenings or have an event you think we would like, drop us a line.