Street Food Cinema

Photo by tedeytan Used under a Creative Commons license.

Photo by tedeytan
Used under a Creative Commons license.

Summer is upon us, which means it’s once again time for two of my favorite evening activities: food trucks and outdoor movies. Both are reasonably inexpensive, often surprising, and always entertaining. In the greater Los Angeles area, there are a lot of places where food trucks can be found congregating in large numbers, creating a mobile “restaurant row” offering a wide variety of cuisine, from the fancy and exotic to the cheap and simple.

In previous years, we’ve enjoyed Wheel Food Wednesdays at Jones Coffee, but they aren’t doing that anymore. They are doing a lot of other special events, so check their calendar. In a similar vein, the Chefs Center usually does their Friday Food Festival, but they haven’t posted any announcements for this year yet. Keep your eyes peeled; a number of their clients have gone on to local success, and a few have ended up on reality TV cooking challenge shows like Cupcake Wars. If you want to find the next hot thing before your neighbors do, this is the place to do it.

For all your street food needs, you can check the handy US Food Trucks Map, which will tell you where the rolling bistros are at any given moment, all across the country.

Photo by Yaletown Business Improvement Association Used under a Creative Commons license.

Photo by Yaletown Business Improvement Association
Used under a Creative Commons license.

A quick search online turns up a bunch of outdoor movie dates; one of the more popular, and one of the pioneers of the field, is Cinespia; their screenings, which usually feature a band or DJ beforehand, are at the Hollywood Forever cemetery, which is right next to Paramount Studios. Films include classics like Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much and crowd-pleasers like The Princess Bride.

Showtime is the sponsor for Eat | See | Hear, which is one of the series of movie / band / food truck events scheduled for this summer; venues range from Pasadena to Santa Monica, and the movies range from the Rodney Dangerfield comedy Back to School to the ’70s remembrance Almost Famous.

A similar series is Street Food Cinema, taking place at parks from Hollywood to Downtown. The films in this one are a mixed bag, including Stand By Me, Silver Linings Playbook, Mean Girls, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

For those with kids in tow, here’s a schedule of family-friendly outdoor movies, covering venues from Woodland Hills to Long Beach.

Now go. Sit under the stars, watch an ’80s comedy and eat something wonderful from a unique food truck. Have a great evening.




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1 comment

  1. Yes! We were at Eat|See|Hear in Pasadena a few days ago, and it brought back memories of drive-in movie theaters from childhood. And the kids loved watching Ferris Bueller with us. Good times.

    One caution: not all food trucks are created equal, and some are definitely not budget-priced. Next time we go, we will either a) bring our own food to the movie, or b) choose food-truck options with the bottom line in mind.

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