The Cinespia film screenings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, otherwise known as “I see movies with dead people,” started in 2002 with a handful of hardcore film buffs and has evolved into a several-thousand-people weekly summer pilgrimage. On Saturday and Sunday evenings through mid-September, people traipse across the cemetery lawn toting picnic baskets, pillows and low folding chairs. Classic midcentury films and cult favorites are projected onto the white-marble wall of Rudolph Valentino’s tomb. His Girl Friday, Rebel Without a Cause, Ace in the Hole, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Touch of Evil ... nothing is more spookily romantic than watching these films outside on a warm summer night, sitting on a blanket, sipping from a plastic cup of wine, a cute girl snuggled next to you, with dead people underfoot. Not just any old dead people but the crème de la crème of Hollywood dead. The fact that the actors, writers, directors and crew members who made these films are interred at this cemetery is cool and creepy at the same time. Was Alfred Hitchcock’s spirit looking in from the beyond at those gathered for this season’s recent, packed screening of his masterpiece Rear Window? Or is old Hitch just a rotting pile of dust buried in a nearby plot, literally silent as the grave? Who’s to say? One can only hope for a zombie cameo.
6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, www.cinespia.org.
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