At this point, your streaming services have dried up, you’ve watched everything on Netflix (including all the auto-play previews), and you even caught yourself contemplating dropping $20 to rent that Pete Davidson movie. Don’t feel bad - you’re not the only one. People everywhere are looking to break up their quarantine routine, as evidenced by the sudden resurgence of the drive-in movie. All of a sudden, they’re the hottest tickets in town. So we put together this list of eight upcoming movie screenings near(ish) to LA that still have tickets available (as of publishing), and paired them with five fantastic restaurants nearby where you can pick up some dinner beforehand.
Movie Pairing: Field Of Dreams/A League Of The Own Double Feature in Castaic Lake
OK, Castaic Lake is pretty far from most of LA - about 40 minutes north of Hollywood. But that’s also how long you used to sit in traffic on Beverly Blvd. when you had an office to drive to. And for a double feature involving two of the greatest baseball movies around - Field Of Dreams and A League Of Their Own - it’s worth the trek. Chances are that no matter where you live in town, you’re taking the 5 to get their - so stop at Brent’s Deli on the way, for some of LA’s best Jewish deli food. The black pastrami Reuben (order it with curly fries) and stuffed cabbage are our two favorites, and both should keep well for the rest of the drive to the hinterlands.
Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25, 8:20pm. Tickets available here.
Movie Pairing: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse/Hook Double Feature in City Of Industry
Lao Xi Noodle House is - and we don’t say this lightly - our favorite place for noodles in the San Gabriel Valley. So when you’re heading to City Of Industry for a free(!) Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse/Hook double feature, make sure you pick up dinner in Arcadia first. This spot serves a number of excellent noodles, but the best are the Wife’s Special Noodles, handmade mian topped with bok choy, pork belly, egg, tomato, and ground pork with fermented soy. Get those, and the fried noodles with fried pork, and you’ll be full for the whole night - even though this screening starts at 10:30pm.
Wednesday, July 29, 10:30pm. Sign up for free tickets here.
Movie Pairing: Catch Me If You Can at Brandeis Bardin Campus in Simi Valley
Simi Valley is a quick drive up the 5 (and then over on the 118), and on your way there, you can make a stop at Lum-Ka-Naad, the family-run Northridge Thai spot with turmeric and fish soup that’s ideal for watching Leo and Tom Hanks go head-to-head. Get some kang ho, too - excellent drunken noodles tossed with vegetables and curry powder. They’ve also got a location in Encino, which is also on the way to Simi from parts of LA.
Thursday, July 30, 6:30pm. Tickets available here.
Movie Pairing: Shrek at the Roadium in Torrance
There aren’t a lot of kids movies are great as Shrek - that’s why seeing it at the Roadium Open-Air Market in Torrance is a no-brainer. And while you’re in the neighborhood, use this opportunity to pick up Sushi Yoshi, which serves some of the best affordable sushi in LA County. The most expensive combo is $15.50, and that gets you nine pieces of fish and two rolls. The selection changes seasonally, but whatever you’re getting, you can count on it being fresh.
Friday, July 31. Gates open 7pm. Tickets available here.
Movie Pairing: Knives Out at Zion Lutheran School in Anaheim
A trip to Orange County usually means a stop at Forn Al Hara - so there’s no reason to deviate from that plan when you’re going down for a screening of Knives Out. Forn Al Hara is a Lebanese restaurant and bakery that is one of our favorite restaurants in OC, period. Its menu is as star-studded as the movie you’re about to see - from the tremendous cheese boat and the sweet and spicy muhamara, to the next-level sujuk and cheese manaeesh.
Friday, July 31, 8:30pm. Tickets available here.
Movie Pairing: Despicable Me in Castaic Lake
If you’ve got kids, taking a mini-road trip up to Castaic Lake for Despicable Me is an ideal way to kill time one of these summer weekends. Lola’s, the Baja-style Mexican spot in Granada Hills, is a great place to stop on your way up. Both your kids and you will be extremely happy about their beer-battered, deep-fried fish and shrimp tacos, served with cabbage and pico de gallo on soft flour tortillas. Don’t skip the guacamole, either.
Saturday, August 1, 8:20pm. Tickets available here.
Movie Pairing: The Princess Bridge at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado
The Princess Bride is a film with everything: Rob Reiner’s directing, Robin Wright’s acting, and Mandy Patinkin’s chest hair. So head down to OC for the Street Food Cinema screening, and pick up pizza and some sandwiches from Cortina’s on the way there. Our favorite thing from this family-run market in Little Arabia is the Cortina’s Special (which involves two kinds of salami, plus capicola and mortadella), but you can’t go wrong with the meatball sub, either. As far as pizzas go, get the Italian White with aglio olio, alfredo, ricotta, and broccolini.
Saturday, August 8, 8:30pm. Tickets available here.
Movie Pairing: Jurassic Park at the Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks
The fact that there wasn’t a Boneyard Bistro inside Jurassic Park is a major missed marketing opportunity, but you can make up for it by picking up dinner from this Sherman Oaks spot before heading to the drive-in. Boneyard is about five minutes away from the Westfield Fashion Square, so your baby back ribs, brisket sandwich, and fried mac & cheese will still be hot by the time you park. Pick up some of their house cocktails while you’re there - specifically, the Citrus & Smoke - because you’ll need a little cooldown by the time Jeff Goldblum unbuttons his shirt.
Saturday, August 15, 8:30pm. Tickets available here.