5 Great Free Things to Do in L.A. This Week

The Broad museum lobby
The Broad museum lobby
Photo by Iwan Baan

Get a glimpse of the future at LACMA, where the annual Ghetto Film School Los Angeles Fellows Screening kicks off the weekend. Ten short narratives — all of them dialogue-free and six minutes long — selected by the students make up this year's program, which is followed by a Q&A moderated by Elvis Mitchell. Three lucky Fellows chosen by a jury of filmmakers and other industry folks will receive scholarships. Like the 30-month GFS program itself, the evening's festivities are free. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Fri., Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

Hobbits know how to party: with delicious food, games and plenty of booze. At the annual Baggins Birthday Bash, local Lord of the Rings fans dress up and make merry on the fields of Griffith Park. Stonemarch Brewing Company is bringing four hobbit-themed beers to the potluck picnic. A costume contest, birthday cake–decorating contest, a Sauron piñata and Pin the Black Arrow on the Dragon round out the festivities. Get there at 12:30 p.m. for a book club discussion on The Silmarillion. Mineral Wells, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Griffith Park; Sun., Sept. 20, noon-6 p.m.; free, RSVP to garfeimao@theonering.net. bitly.com/bilbolaweekly. —Sascha Bos

Designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, the new 120,000-square-foot, $140 million contemporary art museum known simply as the Broad finally opens to the public (see story, page X). Home to more than 2,000 works from the Broad Art Foundation and the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection, it's also the seat of the foundation's global lending library. The Broad opening installation showcases highlights from the Broads' postwar and contemporary art collection, featuring more than 250 works by artists such as Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger and Ed Ruscha. It also exhibits recent acquisitions, including Takashi Murakami's 82-foot-long painting about the 2011 Japan earthquake and Yayoi Kusama's immersive Infinity Mirrored Room — The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. The Broad, 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sun., Sept. 20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. (213) 232-6200, thebroad.org. —Tanja M. Laden

For some lighter fare, indulge in the original Journey to the Center of the Earth at UCLA. Enjoyment of this Jules Verne adaptation may be a bit different now than when the film was first released in 1959, given the dated look of its scenery and effects, but anyone able to overlook such superficial matters and allow themselves to sit in wonder at the story unfolding in front of them should find this a fine way to close out the weekend. Journey screens as part of UCLA’s Family Flicks program, a series of free movies taking place on Sunday mornings once a month. UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd.; Westwood; Sun., Sept. 20, 11 a.m.; free. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

Former NFL athlete Kermit Alexander will discuss the slayings of his family members, which he describes in his new book, The Valley of the Shadow of Death: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption. Raised in Watts, Kermit was an All-Pro cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers and a star at UCLA. In August 1984, his mother, sister and two nephews were murdered by gang members in a botched home invasion. Two of the gunmen got life in prison; a third was sentenced to death but has yet to be executed. In the book, Alexander chronicles growing up in South Central in the 1950s, his marriage in the aftermath of the murders and his battles with the legal system over capital punishment. Eso Won Books, 4327 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park; Mon., Sept. 21, 7 p.m.; free, book is $26. (323) 290-1048, esowonbookstore.com. —Siran Babayan

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