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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Cinespia Presents: The Big Sleep

Saturday, July 15th at 9:00 pm

Gates open at 7:30 pm

At the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

6000 Santa Monica Boulevard at Gower

If you missed out on the screening of The Big Sleep at the Skirball last week you have another chance to see it. Oh you lucky, lucky people.

The temperatures this weekend are expected to be in the 90s. This means the nights ought to be wonderfully cool and just the right temperature for a moonlit t screening. And, although it may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of romantic settings, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery actually has a lot to offer. You can watch a classic noir from the Golden Age of cinema while sitting beneath swaying palm trees on manicured lawns plush with Old Hollywood appeal.

If you have never been to the cemetery you’re in for a treat. Far from being gruesome or creepy, the surroundings are enchanting and quite glamorous. If you take some time before the film to stroll among the grounds you’ll see the final resting spots of some of Hollywood’s most famous names. It seems only apropos that Cecil B. DeMille, Tyrone Power and Rudolph Valentino (among many others) are forever interred in the only cemetery located smack up against a functioning studio lot. In fact, Paramount was once in dire financial trouble and in the 1970s and was nearly bought up for a planned expansion of the cemetery.

You’ re bound to see little surprises everywhere you turn, from voice actor Mel Blank’s humble little marker to an obelisk honoring Hattie McDaniel. And then there are the ostentatious and ornate markers of such luminaries as Douglas Fairbanks, whose memorial is a large and beautiful reflection pool complete with Grecian columns. Standing in its presence you get a real sense of the magnitude of the popularity he enjoyed.

Directed by Howard Hawks, The Big Sleep stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Their real-life chemistry keeps the screen alive while the entertaining but convoluted plot gets a bit confusing. Nevertheless, it’s just fun to watch two unparalleled icons match wits, spar with snappy dialogue, and bubble with attraction. This is arguably the penultimate example of a genre that helped define the quality of filmmaking Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Bring blankets, drinks, and a picnic dinner for this special screening below (and above) the stars. DJ Chris Curtis spins before and after the screening. No reservation necessary, but a $10 donation for tickets is requested at the gate. And remember, as a courtesy to other moviegoers, NO TALL CHAIRS

For more info or to join the CINESPIA email list visit their website.

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