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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Memorial Day Weekend Classic Movie Events

I’m not a big fan of War movies in general, however, some of the best are simply great films regardless of genre. One of my favorites in particular is “The Longest Day”, which has a star-studded (and I mean studs) cast, terrific cinematograph, and an enthralling story about the D-Day invasion airing on AMC on Memorial Day, 4:00pm (PST).

In addition to all the great films airing on the classic movie channels this holiday weekend (check out the TV page for links to listings) there are many special event screenings happening around town that are sure to satisfy just about every classic movie fan imaginable. I really don’t know how I’m gonna chose. I love the selection, and appreciate the enthusiasm the venues are displaying for the love of classic cinema, I just wish they could have spread their enthusiasm out a bit, so I could do and see everything.

First off there’s the Cinespia screenings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Saturday the famed mausoleum will be projecting Alfred Hitchcock’s, “Vertigo”, and then on Sunday fans can catch Mel Brooks’, “Young Frankenstein”. Neither are representative of the holiday, but both are absolute masterpieces, and ideal films to watch in a cemetery under (and above) the stars of Hollywood. For details on the best time to arrive and how to get tickets go directly to the official Cinespia site. While there check out the calendar of films the film organization has planned for the rest of the summer at the cemetery as well as at the Silent Movie Theater.

If you prefer the indoors for your movie-going pleasure, the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica has a “Back to the Future” triple feature set for Saturday the 28th starting at 5PM. You can check out the details for this event on their FaceBook page by following this link. Again, not exactly in spirit with the holiday, but then most people traditionally use the last weekend in May as a time to bond with their families, and that is very much in line with the tradition of Memorial Day. And the “Back to the Future” films have over the years grown to be considered definitive family classic films, enjoyable for all ages. What better way to bond with the family than to experience something you’re all going to like?

And if you like to combine the indoors with the outdoors try the Mission Tiki Drive-In Theater. One of the few remaining, fully functioning drive-ins left in the United States, the Tiki has everything you remember so fondly from your childhood (or that of your parents and grandparents). Completely refurbished and brought up to date, the films shown on these screens (you have four to chose from) are the latest releases, but the atmosphere is definitely old school, complete with a concession stand and a park for after sunset walks and hand holding. I don’t think I’ve been to a drive-in since I was in high school, and I bet most people under 30 don’t know first hand what I’m talking about, but when I was growing up summer just wasn’t complete without a visit to the drive-in. In fact, that’s where I saw “Lady and the Tramp” for the very first time. With everything to see and do, a drive-in could be a great way to start off the summer viewing season.

Whatever you do this weekend, I hope you take some time to remember the meaning behind the holiday, and the people honored. Personally, I have two grandfathers, my dad, and an uncle to thank, as well as a brother who is currently working for the DOD in Afghanistan. I look forward to the next movie we see together.

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