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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Presented Beneath (and Above) the Stars at the World Famous Hollywood Forever Cemetery Saturday, June 24th at 9:00 pm (Gates open at 7:30 pm)

Cinespia (pronounced chin-eh-SPEE-uh) is a nonprofit organization sponsoring an ongoing summer series that shows rarely screened classics in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Cinespia is self described as “a film society created to bring together the community of film enthusiasts in Los Angeles”, particularly focused on fulfilling the classic film fan’s desire for big screen viewings of cinema’s greatest achievements.

The big screen in this case is the large white wall of a mausoleum. Located directly behind a functioning studio lot (Paramount), this unique venue offers the quintessential southern California surroundings of swaying palm trees and a serine pond full of swans. In addition, you are surrounded by some of the most famous (and infamous) members of the Hollywood elite. The impeccably groomed gravesites and memorials range from the elaborately ornate reflection pool built in remembrance of silent film screen star Douglas Fairbanks, to the simple plain marker for the man of a thousand voices, Mel Blank. Spend a little time pursuing the grounds and see how the great stars of yesterday have chosen to mark their eternal resting spots (I think I like Tyrone Power’s the best – it’s very functional) and see who has whom for a perpetual neighbor (Rudolph Valentino is located directly across from Peter Finch in the mausoleum, and Hattie McDaniel’s obelisk is next to a bust of Joey Ramone).

Founder John Wyatt, a professional set designer, begin the tradition of having the outdoor screenings when his film club became so popular that it outgrew its resources. Now, the much-anticipated summer past-time regularly draws quite a crowd, known to have accommodated as many as 1,200 people, without advertising or promotion other than word of mouth. So, if you’re looking for something different to do on a beautiful summer night in Los Angeles, pack a picnic dinner and bring a blanket to lay on as you stretch out under (and above) the stars while watching a screen gem. DJs provide music before and after the screening.

This week’s classic film is director Sergio Leone’s epic masterpiece, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. This is the archetypal spaghetti western. Although this is the third film in a trilogy, it is not necessary to have seen the other films in order to enjoy the story of three dangerous men who search for a hidden treasure. They must work together, for each man knows only a part of its secret location. Beautiful landscapes, rich characters, and an ingenious score by Ennio Morricone paint the backdrop for one of the greatest and most entertaining adventure stories ever told.

Parking is free within the cemetery grounds. The suggested $10 donation tickets are available at the gate. As a courtesy to other moviegoers it is requested that you do not bring any tall chairs. The Hollywood Forever Cemetery is located at 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, between Gower Street and Van Ness Avenue (323) 243-2366. No reservation necessary. For more information, go to or to join the email list visit

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