Even though no one’s come right out and said it yet, I’m pretty sure the reason Cinespia’s summer movie screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery are so rad is because the operation is put on by native Angelenos.
Sure, there are plenty of other factors contributing to the all-around wonderfulness of the Hollywood Forever film screening experience. For starters, there’s the setting — a lush, gorgeous, storied Hollywood cemetery marked by soft green grass, clusters of cypress trees, palm trees and Douglas Fairbanks’ tomb, to say nothing of the thousands of gravestones, which are themselves accessorized with fresh flowers, potted succulents and the occasional stuffed animal or dangling rosary.
There’s the well-curated assortment of classic films (Harold and Maude, Goonies, Grindhouse and the upcoming Best Picture winner It Happened One Night), which the Cinespia folks screen against the side of the cemetery's massive white mausoleum. There’s the kick-ass sound system. The open sky. The mysterious white orbs that tend to appear each summer in photographs people take during the screenings.
All generations attend Hollywood Forever Cemetery movies, restricted only by the age restrictions of the movie itself.
Mira Layne/Rouslan Ovtcharoff
There’s even a cute deejay girl spinning a pitch-perfect assortment of swinging 1960s classics while 4, 000 moviegoers trickle their way into the “theater, ” picnic baskets, blankets and beach chairs in tow.
“Want some, Dani?” asks the cool mom to my left, extending a plastic cup filled with red wine my way.
Jill introduced herself as soon as her clan plopped down next to me. Matt, her husband, is an avid reader. It’s their girls’ first time here, and they’re really into John Lennon. I’ve known the family for all of five minutes, and we’re already in love.
“Sure, ” I beam, taking the cup of booze from Jill’s hands as she offers me an affectionate upper-arm squeeze.
“It’s what makes the screenings so special, ” purports John Wyatt, who conceived of the whole let’s-watch-movies-in-the-graveyard concept 14 years ago, and has been facilitating the events ever since, “the coming together of so many people — so many different kinds of people.”
Wyatt, an L.A. native, is right. The at-capacity audience (every Hollywood Forever Cinespia screening has sold out for the past year) is as diverse as they come, encompassing all races, leanings, nationalities, generations, aesthetic sensibilities and socioeconomic categorizations.EXPAND
One section of 4, 000 people watching John Lennon in A Hard Day's Night at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
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