Cinespia screens films in local cemetery

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Movie goers picnic in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery while waiting for CInespia's screening of The Graduate.

Marguerite Alberts, graphics editor

Ah, those summer nights. As students get back into the new school year, they can relieve stress through block parties, concerts at the Hollywood Bowl and plays at The Getty Villa. The most unique events, though, are Cinespia’s weekly graveyard screenings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Cinespia screens a wide variety of films, ranging from thrillers to classics.

On Saturday, Aug. 31, Cinespia played the 1967 film The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols. Cinespia is a completely unique movie going experience. Walking through the gates, a huge landscape of graves ranging from simple headstones to monoliths and mausoleums comes into view. Hundreds of excited people bring their own blankets and food, so there aren’t any expensive concession stand costs. Furthermore, with every film there is a free photo booth with a professional photographer and a set that was specifically designed for the screening,  where moviegoers either act out a scene or mock the movie’s promotional photos. All of the photos taken at Cinespia can be seen on their website’s photo archive, a few days after the event.

Senior Aaron Karlin sits perched on his blanket as he enjoys the pre-screening atmosphere.
Senior Aaron Karlin sits perched on his blanket as he enjoys the pre-screening atmosphere.

There were very few negative aspects to these outdoor screenings. The major one was the attitude of the security and the measures that they had set up to keep cars and pedestrians from mixing. In contrast to the beginning of the event, as everyone left, the security tried to keep cars and pedestrians from mixing in a way that was unnecessary and didn’t really make any sense.  Secondly, there were people smoking both cigarettes and marijuana and the fumes detracted from watching the movie. Also, it was annoying when people walking in front of the screen during the movie would stop to check their phones. Though the screen is huge, you will still block someone’s view.

Overall, sitting in one of the coolest graveyards with friends and family, picnicking and watching Dustin Hoffman try to figure out his life after he graduates college was such an amazing experience to . Tickets and parking passes for the last three movies of the season can be found on the Cinespia website for $12-13. Doors open between 6:30 and 7 p.m., depending on the movie, but get there early to get a good spot!


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