The Best Things to do in Los Angeles this Summer

LA’s outdoor movie series is Cinespia at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, is one of the best things to do in Los Angeles this summer. Picnic and watch cult and popular films projected on a mausoleum wall.

Los Angeles nightlife goes alfresco. We’ve rounded up the best things to do in Los Angeles on the endless summer evenings ahead.

Adapted from Summer in the City by Gillian Glover and Suzanne Ennis from the July 2016 issue of WHERE Los Angeles Magazine

Los Angeles nightlife goes alfresco. Outdoor film screenings are a Southland summertime staple, especially when food trucks, DJs and more join the party. Listening to live music under the stars is another must, whether your beat is indie rock, jazz or global. Even the Bard gets into the act, as Shakespearean comedies and tragedies unfold against verdant backdrops. So grab your picnic blanket and get ready to have some fun, because we’ve rounded up the best ways to spend your summer evenings.

Outdoor Movies in Los Angeles

The scene-iest of LA’s outdoor movie series is Cinespia at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where crowds picnic and watch cult and popular films projected on a mausoleum wall. This summer’s lineup includes Purple Rain and Grease. Roving film series Eat, See, Hear is a multisensory experience where you can hear bands, screen flicks and order from food trucks outside the likes of the Autry Museum. Street Food Cinema brings movies, music and gourmet street food to locations including Exposition Park, where you can catch flicks like Mad Max: Fury Road. For alfresco films with a view, head to the top of Hollywood’s Montalbán Theatre for Rooftop Cinema Club. The series provides guests with seats, blankets and headphones Taste the good life at Mr. C’s Poolside Cinema every other Tuesday in Beverly Hills. While films like The Grand Budapest Hotel roll, lounge on a pre-reserved daybed and enjoy a choice of prix-fixe menus, mini bottles of Moët & Chandon and more. Find more great places to watch outdoor movies in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Outdoor Summer Concerts

The Hollywood Bowl, the Greek Theatre and the Ford Amphitheatre are beloved outdoor music venues, but they’re not the only places to enjoy top-notch alfresco programming. Radio station KCRW presents dozens of free performances across the city as part of its Summer Sounds series. On Thursday nights, catch its Twilight Concerts on the Santa Monica Pier. This summer’s buzz-worthy lineup includes Mayer Hawthorne and the Psychedelic Furs. Also on Thursdays, Disappear Here: Music Made in L.A. brings local musicians to the Hammer Museum, in celebration of its Made in L.A. exhibition. A happy hour, DJ sets and extended gallery hours complete the experience. On select Saturday nights, the station also presents concerts at the Annenberg Space for Photography. In other musical programming, LACMA presents Jazz at LACMA Friday nights at the BP Grand Entrance, and you can hear more jazz Tuesday nights at Hollywood & Highland’s Wine & Jazz summer concert series. In Pasadena, Levitt Pavilion’s summer music series offers 50 free, family-friendly concerts at Memorial Park, and in La Cañada Flintridge, Descanso Gardens celebrates summer with World Rhythms Tuesday nights, and Music on the Main jazz nights on Thursdays. At downtown’s California Plaza, Grand Performances presents performances by global and local artists. Nearby, the Music Center’s Dance Downtown and DJ Nights series, which take place in its plaza or in Grand Park, alternate every Friday night this month. Across town, the Getty’s free Friday Flights series features music, art, poetry and film by L.A.-based artists. And just up Sepulveda Boulevard, the Skirball Cultural Center kicks off the 20th season of its Sunset Concert courtyard series. Discover more top spots for outdoor summer concerts in Los Angeles.

Outdoor Theater in Los Angeles

On Wednesday through Sunday nights, Independent Shakespeare Co. presents the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, performing on the slopes of the Old Zoo at Griffith Park. This year’s shows are Richard III and The Tempest. This year, Shakespeare by the Sea presents Cymbeline and Othello at parks across the South Bay. In Topanga Canyon, you’ll find Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, which started as a theater for blacklisted actors and folk singers. Today, you can still take in plays—including A Midsummer Night’s Dream—in its amphitheater.




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