This week in Los Angeles, head to the theater for a showing of the films that started Hollywood. Then get a bite of all L.A.’s restaurants have to offer at The Taste, and combine a concert experience with film at a David Bowie tribute in Barnsdall Art Park. Finally, don’t miss LACMA’s new exhibit, Light Reignfall, which will put you in a completely new state of mind.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
September 1–5 | Film festival
Cinecon 52 Classic Film Festival
Classic films get the blockbuster treatment at the annual Cinecon 52 film festival. Rare and restored films will be shown on the big screen in grand style at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Along with the popcorn, there will also be celebrity guests, a movie memorabilia show, and even a few walking tours. The five-day festival has a jam-packed schedule, showing up to a dozen or more movies per day, including silent films with live accompanying piano. Grab a single day pass or splurge on the whole weekend—this festival is the perfect way to dig into L.A.’s Old Hollywood past.
Times vary | 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles | From $30 | website
September 2–4 | Food festival
L.A. Times presents The Taste
Now in its seventh year, this food and drink festival has set the bar extremely high. The weekend of eats, cooking demos, and food critic panels—covering everything from the artisan grain movement to new Filipino cuisine—is set up to make this The Taste’s best year yet. The party is sponsored by the L.A. Times and cohosted by top-tier food minds, including Chef Ray Garcia (Broken Spanish, B.S. Taqueria), chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence, Connie & Ted’s), chef Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill), master bartender Michael Lay (Broken Spanish, B.S. Taqueria), and chef Kris Yenbamroong (Night + Market). Choose from events like Field to Fork, where L.A. chefs demonstrate how to cook with local Southern Californian ingredients, and Dinner with a Twist, which pairs handcrafted cocktails or local wines and beers with creative entrées.
Times vary | Paramount Pictures Backlot, 801 N. Gower St., Los Angeles | From $100 | website
September 3–5 | Escape the city
Lake Casitas Recreation Area
A short 90-minute drive from L.A., Lake Casitas is a man-made lake that provides much-needed drinking water and irrigation for Ventura County. Because it’s the basin for Ventura’s drinking water, swimming in this oasis is strictly prohibited, but camping on the shores and fishing are both favorite, legal pastimes. You can also canoe, as long as you bring your own boat and equipment. This weekend is an especially divine time to visit because a NASA-accredited astronomer will be on-site for Astronomy Nights, an ongoing program hosted at the lake. On Saturday, it’s Ernest Underhay, who will present “Farewell to the Summer Milky Way and Planets” under the stars.
11311 Santa Ana Rd., Ventura
September 4 | Musical tribute
Bowie Tribute Night
Cinefamily is hosting a celebration of David Bowie in style at Barnsdall Art Park. The tribute night will include an outdoor screening of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars set to live performances of classically arranged Bowie songs composed by the Stardust String Quartet. Think “Space Oddity” complete with violin solos. This is a unique concert film experience you won’t want to miss. (It doesn’t hurt that the night is completed by food trucks and a selection of wines from San Antonio Winery.)
5:30 p.m. | Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles | $25 | website
Now open | Art
James Turrell is an artist who manipulates light and space for a completely immersive viewer experience. In Light Reignfall, his 11-minute solo exhibit at LACMA, Turrell takes this manipulation to the extreme with what he calls a Perceptual Pod. Visitors to the Pod put on headphones and lay down on a narrow bed that slides into a spherical chamber. Then the womblike structure shines a light that envelops you—the result is an out-of-body and out-of-mind experience.
Times vary | LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles | From $37 | website
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.