West coast rapper Lil Rob sang "ain't nothing like them summer nights," and I couldn't agree with him more. Especially here and now in L.A., where when the sun goes down, the weather stays up in the low 70s and high 60s. What better way to enjoy all this great nighttime weather than by throwing together some fast and easy picnic foods, drinks, throw blankets and lawn chairs and venturing out to one of L.A.'s many outdoor movie screenings. It's perfect for a night out with friends, family or a special date. Here are some of my top picks for outdoor summer movie screenings in L.A. for 2012:
Watch classic films as well as new releases in the same setting as the late John Huston and Rudolph Valentino at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. DJs spin before and after the movie, and food and drinks are allowed (this includes alcohol). Tall chairs not recommended as a courtesy to other guests.
Upcoming screenings: Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Big Lebowski and more TBA.
Screenings run weekly every Saturday now through August.
Gates 7:30 p.m. / Movie 9:00 p.m.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles
Street Food Cinema
Street Food Cinema is the entertainment trifecta, offering up week after week a mouth-watering roster of L.A.'s most tasty food trucks (Kogi BBQ, A ROCKin ICE, The Munchie Machine, etc.), live music by talented emerging artists and a hit movie every night. Also, Street Food Cinema is pooch friendly, so your four-legged friends are welcome to join in on the fun!
Upcoming screenings: Little Miss Sunshine, Iron Man, Bridesmaids, Alice in Wonderland, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science and more.
Screenings run weekly every Saturday now through September .
Gates 5:30 p.m. / Band 6:30 p.m. / Movie 8:30 p.m.
Cost: General $10 / Children $5
Exposition Park, 700 Exposition Park Dr., Los Angeles
Located at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' swank newly debuted open-air venue, Oscar Outdoors delivers a motley line-up of film's greatest classics and newer releases, all shown in digital form. Roaming Hunger provides food trucks for hungry patrons, and free parking is provided with purchase of a ticket. Picnic baskets, beer and wine are permitted.
Upcoming screenings: Dreamgirls, North by Northwest, Young Frankenstein and more.
Screening run weekly on Fridays and Saturdays through the month of August.
Gates 6:30 p.m. / Screenings at sunset
Cost: General $5 / Students and Academy members $3
Academy Hollywood, 1341 Vine St., Hollywood
Devil's Night Drive In
Devil's Night is technically a drive in located in the heart of Downtown L.A., but they also offer seating on astroturf to accommodate those walking (or biking) in. Cult favorites are a staple at Devil's Night. DJ Morgan spins for guests before each feature, while car hops conveniently come around with popcorn and other snacks. The event is BYOB.
Upcoming screenings: Princess Bride, Pulp Fiction, Sixteen Candles, Pee Wee's Big Adventure and more.
Screenings run weekly on Saturdays through the month of August.
Gates and show times vary; see site for details.
Cost: Pre-sale $10 / At the gate $12
240 W. 4th St. (at Broadway), 2nd Floor, Los Angeles
Eat | See | Hear
Eat | See | Hear boasts having the "largest outdoor movie screen West of the Mississippi," a 52-foot widescreen that projects films in crisp quality digital HD. Each Saturday Eat | See | Hear visits different venues, accompanied by some of L.A.'s best up-and-coming musical artists and tasty food trucks, including Nom Nom, Border Grill and Grill 'Em All, just to name a few. Eat | See | Hear placed 3rd in L.A. Times' "100 Days of Summer" list, 4th on Vogue.com's "30 Days of Summer" list, and has been featured on Thrillist, LAist, LA.com, Where LA and The Huffington Post.
Upcoming screenings: Tommy Boy, The Princess Bride, Friday, Ghost Busters, Pretty in Pink, Kill Bill and more.
Screenings run weekly on Saturdays through the month of September.
Gates 5:30 p.m. / Band 7 p.m. / Movie 8:30 p.m.
Cost: General $10 / Kids 12 and under $8
Locations vary; see site for details.