Los Angeles

Everywhere You Can Watch Outdoor Movies in LA Right Now

From rooftop cinemas to screenings on the lake, plus drive-ins, and more.

Photo courtesy of Melrose Rooftop Theatre
Photo courtesy of Melrose Rooftop Theatre
Photo courtesy of Melrose Rooftop Theatre

Just because summer is drawing to a close doesn’t mean that our social lives have to go into hibernation. One of our favorite LA pastimes is outdoor movie screenings that happen everywhere from parks to rooftops-with some even gracing our favourite rooftop bars-to movies on the water and at swanky hotels. Food trucks, live music, boats, and photo booths-not to mention the star-speckled sky above-elevate these al fresco screenings above your ordinary movie-going experience. We’ve compiled this list of every single spot in every corner of the city to watch movies outdoors this fall, including family-friendly flicks and cinematic classics-there’s something for everyone.

Tribeca Drive-in

Rose Bowl/Pasadena
Select dates through August 26
Head to the Rose Bowl parking lot each week in August for a nostalgic cinema experience. Hosted by the same organization behind the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, some evenings offer double showings that you can enjoy from the comfort of your car. Grab concessions from local spots and enjoy blockbusters and classics such as Saturday Night Fever (August 20), Fame (August 25), and Little Shop of Horrors and Dreamgirls (August 26).
Cost: $30 per vehicle

JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE
JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE
JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE

Poolside Dinner and a Movie

JW Marriott at LA Live/Downtown
Sundays through August 29
Head to the rooftop deck on the fourth floor of JW Marriott at LA Live for screenings of Maleficent (August 22) and Legally Blonde (August 29). Dinner includes one appetizer and one entree per guest and of course, unlimited popcorn and complimentary soft drinks. Dress warm and bring blankets as heaters are not provided, although a full bar is available (not included in the ticketed price). For those who want to make a staycation out of it, overnight packages at the hotel are also available.
Cost: $45

Electric Dusk Drive-in

Glendale
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through August 29
Entertaining the kids just got a lot easier with Electric Dusk’s Drive-in, which hosts screenings three times a week in the old Sears parking lot. Sing-along to The Little Mermaid (August 22), join The Goonies for an adventure (August 29). Adult-skewed screenings include a double-feature of Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Dazed and Confused (August 28). Bring snacks, drinks, and blankets to enjoy the films from the comfort of your own car.
Cost: $8

Brentwood Country Mart

Santa Monica
Fridays through September 3
Head to the iconic barn-style Brentwood Country Mart for a kid-friendly dinner and a movie every Friday. Grab dinner at attached restaurants like Reddi Chick BBQ, Barney’s Burgers, Frida Taqueria, and Farmshop, and enjoy sweets that include Edelweiss Chocolates‘ movie night gold snack boxes and frozen treats from Sweet Rose Creamery before the show starts. Pixar shorts will roll before showings like Finding Nemo (August 27) and Monsters Inc (September 3).
Cost: Free to watch the movie.

The Hollywood Roosevelt
The Hollywood Roosevelt
The Hollywood Roosevelt

Tropicana Movie Nights

Hollywood Roosevelt
Mondays through September 4
Book ahead and snag a spot at the Hollywood Roosevelt’s Tropicana Pool & Cafe for a movie under the stars. Ticket options include a loveseat for two, poolside single and double beds for up to four people, and a VIP L-shaped couch for up to five viewers. Catch classic films like Road House (August 23) and Dazed and Confused (August 30), while enjoying complimentary popcorn. Towels, blankets, and heaters are available upon request on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cost: $16-44 + fees.

Cinespia

Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Weekends through September 5
Presented by Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Studios, check out this annual outdoor movie series at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Watch classics like Boogie Nights (September 4), and The Breakfast Club (September 5) screened on a mortuary wall with guests spread out on picnic blankets across a grassy field, with themed photo booths and a DJ spinning live music before and after the screening. Outside food and drink are permitted, so pack a picnic, but there are also food and drink vendors available if you get a craving for something else.
Cost: $20-30

Marina Drive-in Movies

Marina Del Rey
Fridays and Saturdays through September 5
Drive up to the boat launch ramp on Fiji Way in Marina Del Rey for an old-school screening from the comfort of your own car. The LA County Department of Beaches & Harbors presents these movie nights with two showings every Friday and Saturday. Catch films new and old, like Stand By Me (August 28) and A Quiet Place (September 5). Bring your own food and drinks, or order to-go from nearby restaurants for an impromptu dinner and a show.
Cost: $20 per vehicle

Rooftop Cinema Club
Rooftop Cinema Club
Rooftop Cinema Club

Rooftop Cinema Club

Downtown, El Segundo, and Santa Monica
Nightly through September 6
Catch cult-classics like Raiders of the Lost Ark (August 22), La La Land (August 26), and more at Rooftop Cinema Club’s Downtown location on the fourth floor rooftop of LEVEL. For those in the South Bay, movies are screened atop a parking structure under the stars in El Segundo, including Pulp Fiction (August 22), Forrest Gump (August 23), Get Out (September 1), and more. Reserve a love seat for two or a single adjustable lounge seat-there’s also a student discount for 10% off tickets and a full bar on site. Located on the Westside? The movie club also hosts a drive-in at the Santa Monica Airport with food trucks, designated tailgating areas, and new lawn box seating, for enjoying films like Love Jones (August 26), Queen and Slim (September 2), and A Nightmare On Elm Street (September 4).
Cost: $25-55

Seeing Red at the Wende Museum

Wende Museum/Culver City
Fridays through September 10
For a more historical outdoor screening series, head to the Wende Museum for a showing of films from the 1980s that examined the conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. The “Seeing Red: Cold War Blockbusters of the 1980s” series explores the heightened anxiety and fear of the last decade of the Cold War through films such as War Games (August 20), The Hunt for Red October (August 27) and Top Secret! (September 10). Complimentary freshly popped popcorn will be on offer, along with speakers prior to each of the free outdoor showings.
Cost: Free

@boatcinema
@boatcinema
@boatcinema

Boat Cinema

Castaic Lake
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays through September 19
Located just 30 minutes from Downtown LA in Santa Clarita Valley, you can rent a mini boat on Castaic Lake for an outdoor screening unlike any other. Expect food and drink (hello, boat-side concessions!), music, and even a pre-show, before the film rolls on the floating big screen. Cozy up on the beach with a picnic, reserve a mini electric boat, or bring your own boat after enjoying a day on the lake for this one-of-a-kind summer-into-fall series. Movies include some water-themed showings such as Jaws (August 29), Titanic (September 5), Pirates of the Caribbean (September 9), Blue Crush (September 10), and more.
Cost: $20-89

The Montalban
The Montalban
The Montalban

The Montalban

Hollywood
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays through September 19
Check out this three-week pop-up with nine showings under the stars. Head to the historic Hollywood venue’s rooftop to watch movies like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (September 17) and Pulp Fiction (September 19). Doors and the bar open at 6 pm.
Cost: $30

Street Food Cinema

Various Locations
Saturdays through September 25
Street Food Cinema is known for taking over outdoor venues across the city – from Men in Black in Pasadena and Big at Pacific Palisades (both on August 21) to Back to the Future (September 11) at LA Historic State Park-every Saturday through the end of September. Expect food trucks, live music, and dog-friendly seating with a premier reserved ticket. Some locations offer on-site bars as well.
Cost: $18-23 for adults; $6-11 for children ages 5-12.

Arena Cinelounge Hollywood
Arena Cinelounge Hollywood
Arena Cinelounge Hollywood

Cinelounge Outdoors Hollywood

Hollywood
Nightly through September 28
Snag a seat under string lights while reclining in striped chairs on astroturf in Hollywood. Order gourmet popcorn before watching little-known art house films like Annette, The Green Knight, Pig, The Big Boss, First Blood, Whirlybird and more, nightly. Movies are also screened nightly indoors (with capacity limited to 25%) on the lobby level of Cinelounge Sunset. Be sure to purchase tickets in advance.
Cost: $20

Photo courtesy of Melrose Rooftop Theatre
Photo courtesy of Melrose Rooftop Theatre
Photo courtesy of Melrose Rooftop Theatre

Melrose Rooftop Theatre

E.P. & L.P./West Hollywood
Nightly through September 30
This rooftop theatre series is attached to the recently revamped New American restaurant E.P. & L.P., and includes a convenient option to add a three-course, pre-theatre dinner to complete your movie date night. They screen a wide array of classics and newly released Hollywood blockbusters, with tickets still available for screenings of Almost Famous (August 22), Blade Runner 2049 (September 3), Clueless (September 13), and more.
Cost: $28-49 + fees.

Movies on Location

Various Locations
Fridays and Saturdays through October 30
The San Fernando Valley’s visitors’ guide, My Valley Pass, hosts this series of outdoor screening across various Southern California locations, featuring movies that were filmed at or relate to local landmarks that coincide with the films. Screenings include The Founder (September 18) at the first original McDonald’s Museum in San Bernardino, and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (October 1) at the Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser Plant) in Van Nuys.
Cost: $20-40Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Ramona Saviss¬†is an LA-native who has a finger on the pulse of everything going on in the city. She loves to have a packed social calendar and is always planning her next adventure; you can find her byline in publications likeThe Hollywood Reporter,¬†Variety,¬†Time Out LA,¬†Fodor’s Travel,¬†Business Insider,¬†Billboard,Los Angeles Confidential¬†and¬†Angeleno.

Los Angeles

How to Spend a Weekend in Topanga Canyon

Nature and the arts collide in this beloved canyon community.

Hanan Isachar/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images
Hanan Isachar/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images
Hanan Isachar/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images

Situated in the Santa Monica Mountains and known for its vibrant creative community, Topanga is one of Los Angeles’s most prized destinations for art and outdoor enthusiasts alike. And while LA boasts its own sprawling landscape of fun to tap into, you’d be remiss to miss a chance to explore this tucked-away collection of state parks, and cafes, and restaurants-especially when it all rests just 20 minutes away from the city. From a quaint caf√© with dazzling canyon views to a world-renowned, open-air theatre, here are the best ways to pass some time in Topanga now.

Photo courtesy of Inn of the Seventh Ray
Photo courtesy of Inn of the Seventh Ray
Photo courtesy of Inn of the Seventh Ray

Friday

Book dinner at Inn of the Seventh Ray
Owner Lucille Yaney opened this iconic restaurant in 1975 after spotting the property on a drive through the canyon with her late husband Ralph, and it’s safe to say she had a good eye. The land perfectly fits into Yaney’s vision of a romantic, alfresco dining space with tables tucked into cozy nooks and gazebos, all beneath canapes and fairy lights. Today, Yaney co-owns the venue with executive chef consultant Brad Miller. Together, they continue to fulfil the restaurant’s original mission to serve pure, natural foods reflective of the season’s best. That approach appears in dishes like 8-Hour Black Vinegar Braised Short Rib with creamy rosemary polenta, duck bacon Brussels sprouts, and caramelized onion and fig jam; Roasted Mushroom Toast with oyster mushrooms and sherry tarragon cream; and Beets & Whipped Black Pepper Creme Fraiche. Consider the carbs here. Pastas and sauces are made in-house and from scratch, as is the bread (available regular or gluten-free), an order of which you won’t want to miss. Check out the wine list, too, which offers a robust organic and biodynamic selection that has helped the restaurant garner some impressive accolades in recent years.

Check into Topanga Canyon Inn
In addition to plenty of excellent Airbnbs available to rent in the Canyon, there’s Topanga Canyon Inn, a charming bed and breakfast comprised of two Mediterranean-style buildings-Casa Blanca and Casa Rosa-both built by the owners. Guests can enjoy bespoke design details in each room, along with gorgeous mountain views from their own private balcony. Come morning, join other travellers for breakfast, served daily at Casa Rosa.

Saturday

Get coffee at Café on 27
Ready your camera for a coffee date at this AM eatery and caf√©, where ample (and busy) outdoor seating offers some of the Canyon’s best views. A full breakfast and lunch menu is available (complete with hearty orders like eggs Benedicts, soups, and club sandwiches), but for lighter morning fare, spring for a pastry and any of their specialty drinks, such as the turmeric latte or Moroccan mocha.

Bradley Allen Murrell/Shutterstock
Bradley Allen Murrell/Shutterstock
Bradley Allen Murrell/Shutterstock

Hike Topanga State Park
Spanning 11,000 acres and 36 miles of trails, Topanga State Park is the largest state park within the Santa Monica Mountains and one of the world’s largest parks within city limits. Visitors can access the grounds via more than 60 entrances. Once on the trails, enjoy sweeping vistas while exploring the region’s range of plants, habitats, and wildlife, including several resident bird species.

Grab lunch at Topanga Living Café
Guided by their Topanga upbringing and need for a community gathering spot with great eats, sibling team Agustina Ferguson and Bayu Suryawan opened this daytime eatery in 2016. Ever since, locals and visitors have found refuge in the caf√©’s warm, airy space and nourishing, hyper-fresh fare-all California-inspired with global influences. Check it out in plates like the Island Style, a breakfast salad with Balinese corn fritters, a poached egg, and house-made chilli jam, or the tacos (Baja Fish or Baja Shrimp, Carne Asada, or Kabocha Squash), made-to-order and served on handmade tortillas. If you’re seeking something shareable, try the Farmers Market Crudite, a seemingly humble order whose bright beet hummus reminds us that eating your vegetables is, indeed, very cool. And take a drink to-go. The team here takes great pride in their coffee (organic espresso, courtesy of their iconic pink La Marzocco machine) and a lineup of made-to-order smoothies, juices, and teas. Shop your way through town
Visitors can stroll through the town centre’s most popular shops for various fun finds, including Moona Star, Pebbles, and Topanga Homegrown. Be sure to stock up on specialty, local snacks at Canyon Gourmet and satiate your sweet tooth while you’re at it. The organic soft-serve there is a must. Pro tip: Top it with any of their artisanal syrups for a winning combo, namely, the vanilla with cardamom.

Photo courtesy of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
Photo courtesy of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
Photo courtesy of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum

Catch a show at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
This beloved open-air theatre has hosted productions for decades and is recognized worldwide for its Shakespeare interpretations. In addition to its annual summer season, which includes works like Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the venue hosts concerts, rehearsals, and classes throughout the year for budding actors and playwrights of all ages.

Snag a slice at Endless Colour
This family-run pizza joint specializes in from-scratch pies with clever topping combinations (think purple potatoes, fontina, and truffle oil in the Purple Molly Potato or spinach, leeks, and goat cheese in the Super Greens). Bring some friends, order a pie or two, and check out the drinks list, which includes offbeat options like orange wines and hard kombucha.

Photo courtesy of The Canyon Bakery
Photo courtesy of The Canyon Bakery
Photo courtesy of The Canyon Bakery

Sunday

Check out The Canyon Bakery’s “Sunday Funday”
Situated on the grounds of the aforementioned Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, this bakery specializes in naturally leavened breads, pastries, cakes, and cookies using locally sourced, whole grain flours. There’s a takeout window on Sundays, from 9:30 am until the bakery sells out. A strong following lines up for favourites, such as whole grain croissants and gluten-free pizza, so be sure to arrive early to get your fill.

Try tacos to-go at La Chingona
On your way out of town, grab some tacos at La Chingona, where a team puts forth fresh, organic, gluten- and dairy-free tacos. Orders range to include options like grass-fed beef (carne asada), shrimp (wild-caught), and soy chorizo and can be fashioned into plates beyond tacos, too (think tostadas, salads, and bowls). Open only on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays; this taco stand sees good demand. Plan accordingly, pending your travels, especially to savour an order or two of the churros.

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Nicole Schnitzler is a contributor for Thrillist.

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