Outdoor movies in Los Angeles are incredibly popular. It seems like every summer there is a new outdoor movie experience. In the very first episode of the LA Dreaming Podcast, I talk about Outdoor Movie Screenings in LA with my friend Casey Hempel. In this post, I’ll be recapping the ones we discussed on the show and sharing about other ones that we did not cover.

outdoor movies in la

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You can listen to Episode One of the LA Dreaming Podcast below.

melrose theatre
Casey & I at the Melrose Rooftop Theatre

If you would like to follow Casey you can find her on Instagram.

You can also check out her products on Gumroad.

Outdoor Movie Screenings We Talk About On the Podcast

Street Food Cinema

street food cinema los angeles

Street Food Cinema offers some of the best outdoor movies in LA. They have the largest variety of venues that are spread out through the Los Angeles area. This screening series typically takes place from April through September. They also try to do screenings for Halloween, Christmas & Valentine’s Day though some of the holiday screenings take place indoors. I have a full blog post on Street Food Cinema that you can check out. For discounted tickets please visit Goldstar.

Cinespia

cinespia photo booth

Cinespia is an outdoor movie screening series that takes place at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This experience has been shown in movies like Valentines Day & Under the Silver Lake. It sounds weird that you are watching a movie in a cemetery but you are not sitting on top of the graves. One of the best reasons to come to this particular series is for the fabulous photo booths. Shown above is the photo booth from when I saw ET on the 4th of July. They put on a pretty good firework show for the holiday!

You can get tickets for Cinespia here.

Boat Cinema


I have not experienced Boat Cinema myself so far. This is one of the newest outdoor movie series in the LA area and probably ties Cinespia for being the most unique. It is one of the most expensive experiences but, considering you are watching the movie from a boat, it makes sense. They did recently add beach seating which is $20 so that is definitely more affordable. You can find tickets and more information here.

Melrose Rooftop Theatre

melrose rooftop cinema

The Melrose Rooftop Cinema is located in the same spot as the E.P & L.P restaurant off of Melrose in West Hollywood. Your ticket includes a bean bag type chair that comes with a blanket and a headset so that you can hear the movie well. The general admission tickets are $32.40 with the service fee. They also offer a dinner & movie package for $56.05.  Ticket prices are per person. You can visit their website here.

Rooftop Cinema Club

rooftop movies los angelesI have been to the Rooftop Cinema Club location on the roof of the Montalban Theatre in Hollywood but they have two other locations as well. You can find this screening series in El Segundo as well as DTLA. This is a similar setup to the Melrose Rooftop Theatre. You do not have to bring a chair. That is provided for you as well as headphones. You can get tickets on their website here.

Hollywood Bowl

hollywood bowl sing a long

I highly recommend putting a movie night at the Hollywood Bowl on your LA bucket list. Each summer the bowl will host a Sound of Music sing a long which is one of the most fun events I have been to. They will also host movie screenings where the LA Philharmonic will play alongside the film. The events are truly spectacular.

Outdoor Movies In LA Screening Essentials

Since I go to several of these screenings I am constantly adding more items to my personal collection that make these events more comfortable & enjoyable for me. For the screenings where I need to bring my own chair, I use the Tommy Bahama beach chairs that I got from Costco but you can find them on Amazon as well. You can wear them on your back which makes them incredibly easy to transport.

The grass will get wet with the dew during the movies so I love having a blanket down on the ground so that my feet don’t get as cold. I use a pineapple blanket that zips up into a pouch. You can find something similar on Amazon. Other items I love using are a foldable pop-up table & a picnic basket with wheels.

Make sure to bring plenty of blankets & jackets so that you are not tempted to leave early because of how cold you are. Bring quarters in case you need them for parking meters.

Other Outdoor Movie Screenings in LA

Movies on Location
movies on location

I went to a screening of Top Gun at the Van Nuys Airport a few years ago as part of this screening series. Sometimes, the screenings do take place at a filming location that was used in the movie being shown. For example, Top Gun did film at the airport. The only bummer was that they never shared with us details about what part of the movie was filmed there. This is a cool way to experience the locations while watching a movie.

In 2021, they did a screening of Cars at the iconic Pink Motel. The Pink Motel was not animated and included in the movie but it fit the theming for it so it worked. You can find out more about Movies on Location here.

Hollywood Roosevelt Pool Screenings

The famous Hollywood Roosevelt hosts movie screenings by the pool. The events are open to anyone with a ticket regardless if you are a hotel guest or not. *Hotel guests do not need a ticket. For hotel guests, please email tspreservations@hollywoodroosevelt.com to reserve your spot. You are welcome to swim or lounge on a chair while you watch the movie. If you show up in a costume-themed to the movie they will give you a free cocktail or candy. You can get tickets for their movie nights here.

JW Marriott LA Live Movies

The JW Marriott at LA Live in DTLA has started showing movies by their pool as well. Their tickets include one appetizer & one entree for $45. You also get unlimited popcorn & soft drinks. You can get tickets here.

Movies at One Colorado in Pasadena

one colorado movie night

This is a series that I just found out about and am looking forward to experiencing myself soon. Movies are shown on the side of a building at One Colorado in Pasadena. There are a few different seating options. YOu can bring own your chairs, you can sit in chairs on the balcony for free, or if you spend $20 at one of the restaurants and show your receipt to the screening staff you can sit in a reserved seat. Complimentary popcorn is provided!! You can find out more information by visiting their Instagram.

Moonlight Movies on the Beach

movies on the beach in long beach

Moonlight Movies on the Beach in Long Beach is one of my favorite outdoor movie screenings in LA. Yes, it will be cold but listening to the waves while watching a movie is so relaxing. This was one of my favorite memories from 2021. The screening series takes place at Granada Beach in Long Beach. You can find plenty of free street parking on Ocean or you can pay to park if you don’t want to walk as far. You can find out more information from their website here.

2nd & PCH Movies

2nd & pch movie night

2nd & PCH is an outdoor shopping center near the water. They have a great selection of places to eat. I have truly enjoyed each place that I have tried so far. One of my favorite things about living close by is getting to to go their movie nights. They host free movie screenings at different times throughout the year. You can visit their website here.

“Come See” Movie Night at Westfield Century City

The Westfield Century City is one of my favorite malls in LA due to its fun events and beautiful photo spots. Each summer they host an outdoor movie series that they call “Come See”. Tickets are typically $10 for each movie which includes a lawn chair. Your ticket also includes a $5 gift card selected from a grab bag that you can use towards your dinner or a future purchase.

City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks

 

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A post shared by Pershing Square (@pershingsquare)

For September and October, they are showing free movies in Pershing Square in Downtown LA.

Outdoor Movie Screenings That I Hope Return in 2022

Street Style Cinema

street style cinema

I really hope this adorable outdoor movie screening series returns to The Grove in 2022. The Grove gives out free tickets to attend the screenings. They have cute photo ops set up and also provide candy, popcorn, and water for you to enjoy. My Mom and I had such a great time coming to see The Devil Wears Prada here.

Eat See Hear

 

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A post shared by Eat|See|Hear (@eatseehear)


This is another series that I still need to check out. They did not return for 2021 but have announced that they plan to be back in 2022. Eat See Hear is similar to Street Food Cinema. They host their screenings at various spots around LA and have food trucks at each one.

If you like Drive-Ins I have blogged about my experience at the Paramount Drive-In, the Mission Tiki Drive-In, and the Vineland location.

About The Author

Michelle Mink is the founder and creative director of LA Dreaming. I have a passion for Southern California and love sharing about my adventures and experiences with you. I love to travel, find new places to check out, and watch movies. You can follow me on Instagram @la.dreaming

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