Graveyard Shift

Shakespeare in the Park? That’s for wusses.

Out here in L.A., we prefer Movies in the Cemetery.

Not just any movies. And not just any cemetery, either. Cinespia (say chin-eh-SPEE-uh), an organization that shows rarely screened classics in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, is the coolest way you’ll find to spend a Saturday night in this town. Founder John Wyatt, an L.A. set designer, started the tradition a few years ago, when his little film club began to outgrow its roots. These days Cinespia has been known to draw crowds of 1,200 — all “cool” people, Wyatt insists — all without a shred of advertising or promotion.

Imagine enjoying a picnic dinner under the stars while watching such underappreciated gems as Alexander Mackendrick’s Sweet Smell of Success. Add great DJs and a friendly vibe, all within a tombstone’s throw of the graves of Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, and John Huston, and you’ve got an event that puts your usual dinner-and-a-movie plans to shame.

To say nothing of a bunch of cred-seeking celebs prancing around in tights.

Cinespia’s next screening, Howard Hawks’ “Ball of Fire,” is on Saturday, June 28 at 8:30 p.m. at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, between Gower Street and Van Ness Avenue (323-469-1181). For more information, go to cinespia.org.

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6000 Santa Monica Blvd
@ Gower St
Los Angeles, CA 90038