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Hollywood Forever Cemetery Screenings Still A Morbidly Good Time

Didi Beck |
September 15, 2011 | 3:22 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

(Didi Beck / Neon Tommy)
(Didi Beck / Neon Tommy)
 After ten years of screening old movies in the eerie cemeteries of Los Angeles, Cinespia’s Saturday night showings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery are still—if not more—popular than ever.

Every Saturday night of the season (which usually runs from May through September), Cinespia screens a classic movie that could be as romantic as Breakfast at Tiffany’s but as terrifying as The Shining. Present at the graveside shows are usually upwards of 250 people, all of whom fit comfortably on the large cemetery lawn. John Wyatt, the founder of Cinespia, also appears beside the mausoleum almost every weekend to personally welcome us moviegoers. At just $10 (and an additional $10 if you would like on-site parking), the screenings are an eerily charming and affordable way to spend part of your Saturday night. The gate opens at 6:30, and the movie starts at 8:00. Usually, running time does not exceed two and a half hours, leaving the socialites in the crowd with just enough time to go out on the town afterwards—although, the chills and excitement of the experience leaves little need to do so.

As you slowly approach the entrance of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, the first feelings of excitement start creeping through your veins as the Cinespia officials check your ticket and guide you through the shadows towards the mausoleum, which is the giant house of the dead, onto which the movies are projected. You and your friends, along with the constant trickle of moviegoers, tread along the graveyard walkways, through mammoth tombstones and mini coffin houses. Once at the mausoleum lawn, everyone starts spreading blankets and low-lying lawn chairs. You have the option of bringing a picnic and a nightcap (which you could also purchase towards the front of the graveyard lawn). A DJ spins old tracks while you enjoy good food (like homemade PB&Js) and good company. The laughter and hum of conversation floats through the air. This is all in complete darkness.

It’s a perfectly unconventional and low-key way to spend your Saturday night. Morbid? Maybe. A foolproof, guaranteed good time? Without a doubt!

Didi Beck can be reached here. Follow her on Blogger.


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