8 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week

8 Cheap and Free Things to Do This WeekEXPAND
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A showcase of disappeared female-made films from the '70s and '80s, a Valentine's Day mixer at UCB, a tribute to Daria's best friend Jane Lane and more to do and see in L.A. this week for 10 bucks or less.

The two-week-long Lunar New Year celebration that kicked off on Jan. 28 is in full swing. How appropriate that the Year of the Rooster coincides with a bright orange cock's entry into the White House! Celebrate our city's diversity while it's still a thing at the 118th Golden Dragon Parade. Floats, marching bands, dignitaries and more colorful dragons than you can or should shake a stick at weave their way through Chinatown (beginning on Hill at Temple, cutting right on Bernard, right on Broadway and back to Temple). According to the parade's site, "1.5 million persons of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese descent in Southern California" celebrate the Lunar New Year. Sounds like they're on to something. Chinatown (Hill Street, Bernard, Broadway); Sat., Feb. 4, 1 p.m.; free. lagoldendragonparade.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Despite having weather the rest of the world envies, SoCal winter sometimes argues for a cozy night by a warm fire and Santa Monica happily complies with Fireside at the Miles, the midwinter series of dance, music and other performances. The couches are comfy. The candles cast flattering light. The snacks and beverages are organic. This week's event spotlights a trio of contemporary dance companies — locally based Angela Todaro, Rebekah Brown's H20 Dance Company from San Diego and Pressology Dance Company. There is even free validated parking. Reservations recommended. Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; Sat., Feb. 4, 8 p.m.; $10, $5 seniors & 18 years & under. (310) 458-8634, smgov.net/Departments/CCS/MilesPlayhouse/content.aspx?id=26314. —Ann Haskins

As part of What a Difference: Women and Film in the 1970s and 1980s, UCLA celebrates Donna Deitch with three shorts and a feature. A new digital restoration of 1986's Desert Hearts will be preceded by She Was a Visitor (1970), Berkeley 12 to 1 (1968) and Memorabilia (1969), with all three shorts screening on 16mm. Deitch — who will appear at the event — made her feature debut with Desert Hearts, a sapphic romance set in late-'50s Reno. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

Upcoming Events

It's soup and bowl when mouthy comedian Doug Benson has a potluck and watches football on the Cinefamily's large-ish screen at Doug Benson Interrupts the Super Bowl. A welcome distraction from whatever shenanigans the president is up to at the time, the 2017 Super Bowl (edition LI, for those of you who follow ironic homophone fans), pits Patriots against Falcons in an audacious display of seething athleticism. When you bring a dish for the potluck, you can't half-ass it and bring chips or something — you actually have to cook or bake a dish for everyone to share. Do it for the team! Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Sun., Feb. 5, 2 p.m.; free with RSVP, first come, first served. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —David Cotner

Fast food for dinner? Drugstore chocolates? Date was a no-show? If you've ever been a fatality of Cupid's arrow on the most romantic day of the year, UCB's Valentine's Day Singles Mixer wants to hear from you. Cast members Ronnie Adrian, Lilan Bowden, Alex Fernie, Dan Gregor, Anne Lane, Betsy Sodaro, Deborah Tarica and Paul Walsh perform improv scenes based on brave audience members' stories of Valentine's Days gone wrong, even if they scare away your date or spouse. UCB Franklin, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; Mon., Feb. 6, 11 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, franklin.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

It Happened One Night has as much claim to the title of greatest romantic comedy of all time as any other exemplar of the genre. In a rare feat, Frank Capra's lovely film won all five major Oscars (Best Picture and Director for Capra, Actor for Clark Gable, Actress for Claudette Colbert and Screenplay for Robert Riskin), which was all the more impressive considering it deserved them all. Gable and Colbert play a reporter and a disenchanted heiress, respectively, brought together by necessity and kept together by, well, you know. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Feb. 7, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

In the past, local pop culture collective Vis-à-VHS has hosted screenings of witchy '90s staple The Craft alongside an episode of the much fluffier Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Pieces of April alongside eps of Gilmore Girls. Then last October, the collective hosted a tribute to the ultimate disaffected '90s teen girl, Daria Morgendorffer, of the MTV animated series (and Beavis and Butt-head spinoff) Daria. As a follow-up to that event comes Daria Anti-Social: Sweet Jane, an evening dedicated to Daria's equally angsty best friend, Jane Lane. Along with two Jane-centric episodes of the show, Vis-à-VHS screens the movie-length Daria feature Is It Fall Yet? What better time to embrace the alternative teen that lives within us all. Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Thu., Feb. 9, 8-10 p.m.; $5 suggested donation. (213) 484-8846, echoparkfilmcenter.org/events/vhs-social-daria-anti-social-sweet-jane. —Gwynedd Stuart

If you're not in a repertory mood, USC's ongoing Outside the Box [Office] series has a sneak preview for you: A Cure for Wellness. The film is Pirates of the Caribbean helmer Gore Verbinski's first since the ill-fated Lone Ranger of a few years back, and it boasts what's easily the strangest premise of his career: It concerns a wellness spa in the Swiss Alps whose treatments include bathtubs full of snakes, rituals involving deer masks and — perhaps most troublingly — noted Death Eater Lucius Malfoy heading the proceedings. The screening is free, but to ensure your spot in the spa you'll need to RSVP online. USC, 900 W. 34th St., University Park; Thu., Feb. 9, 7 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (213) 740-2804, cinema.usc.edu. —Michael Nordine


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