Recommended: Cinespia Summer Scares 2019

Cinespia's annual series of summer screenings under the stars is underway. Though not exclusively devoted to our favorite genres, the programming includes numerous horror, fantasy, and science fiction titles, most of them screened in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Perhaps surprisingly, this is a very good way to watch a movie. Of course, there is the atmosphere of experiencing a horror film in a graveyard, but beyond that, the audio-visual quality of Cinespia's presentation is excellent. Projected on a building wall, the image is sharp and colorful; the soundtrack is clearly audible. In short, the viewing experience is not compromised in exchange for the novelty of being on the grounds of Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Most screenings have a photo-op related to the evening's film. Sometimes a guest will provide an introduction. Two events this season will feature fireworks.

The major downside is that, although there are booths providing food and beverage, the lines can be so ridiculously long that your chance of eating or drinking anything before the film starts is virtually nil. Bringing your own picnic basket is advised; beer and wine are allowed. The only bathroom facilities are port-a-potties, for which lines can also be long.

Long lines for food

Seating space is at a premium on sold-out nights. You will need at least a thick beach blanket to mark out your space on the lawn. Folding chairs are a good idea, but they have to be low so as not to block the view of others.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Most events have on-site parking for an additional fee. There is additional parking at the Hollywood Production Center on Gower and the Lemon Grove Parking structure on Van Ness. The latter is particularly convenient because it is close the cemetery's side entrance on Van Ness, which is closer to the screening area than the main entrance on Sana Monica Boulevard.

Not all the screenings take place at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The films of the original Star Wars trilogy will screen individually at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre on Sundays in July.

See the schedule below:

  • Saturday, June 22: JAWS
  • Saturday, June 29: REALITY BITES
  • Wednesday, July 3: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD with fireworks
  • Thursday, July 4: E.T. with fireworks
  • Saturday July 6: BRING IT ON
  • Sunday, July 7: STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE at Ford Amphitheatre
  • Saturday, July 13: THE EXORCIST
  • Sunday, July 14: STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK at Ford Amphitheatre
  • Saturday, July 20: DUMB AND DUMBER
  • Sunday July 21: STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI at Ford Amphitheatre
  • Saturday, July 27: TWILIGHT

Screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery begin at 9pm; doors open at 7:15pm. Screenings at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre begin at 8:30pm; doors open at 6:30pm.

You can find all the fantasy, horror, and science fiction events listed in our L.A. Haunted Cinema calendar under Cinespia.

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.