How to Pack the Perfect Picnic for a Movie Night in a Cemetery

At Hollywood Forever Cemetery's film screenings, the picnic you pack is just as important as the movie you watch.
November 2, 2018, 7:15pm
cinnamon toast crunch popcorn
Photo by Munchies Staff

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery is itself an iconic site, drawing tourists who want to pay tribute to their favorite stars of the stage and screen. It’s the final resting place of American cinema pioneer Cecil B. DeMille, musician Chris Cornell, and infamous gangster Bugsy Siegel, among thousands of other actors, directors, and notables from the golden days of Hollywood through now. In a brilliant stroke of morbid genius, cemetery decided to pair up with the film organization Cinespia, which hosts screenings of out-of-theater classics from the 1930s through the 1990s all around Los Angeles, to host open-air screenings of film favorites back in the early aughts, and the weekend events have become a true scene. Cinespia projects the movies on a wall within the cemetery, and crowds shove in early with blankets, chairs, and, of course, plenty of food.

But of course, this is Los Angeles, and of course, these are no ordinary movie snacks. Diehard fans plan elaborate picnic menus to carefully match the theme or genre of the movie, and since alcohol is permitted, wine and cocktail pairings are also a must. When attending a screening at HFC, the picnic is half the fun. And truly, if you’re heading out to any “Movies in the Park” type event—with or without the backdrop of gravestones—if you’re not fully committed to your picnic fare, you’re doing it wrong. We’ve got some genre-appropriate menu ideas for your next outdoor movie adventure. And check out the final episode of the MUNCHIES Guide to Hollywood, where our intrepid host, chef Kris Yenbamroong, and his crew hit up a screening of Friday, complete with their own picnic.

Teen Comedies

Pizza Dough Recipe

We’re thinking of something along the lines of Fast Times at Ridgemont High or Dazed and Confused, and what’s more fitting for a night of vintage teen antics than a good ol’ fashioned round pie?

Lunch Box Recipe

Basically just orange juice and beers—the cheaper the better, too. It’s the kind of “cocktail” you make for a movie where there are probably going to be lots of scenes of keg parties on a closed golf course, and someone doing a beer bong.

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies Recipe

Make Spicoli proud and dose these perfect fudgy brownies up with infused butter for a reeeeal good time.

Mob Movie

Unless we’re talking The Departed-style mob movies, an Italian theme is probably spot-on. No better way to get into a viewing of The Godfather or Goodfellas than with some hearty spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce.

Perfect Negroni Recipe

A classic Italian aperitif, this negroni can be made ahead in a big batch in a thermos. Don’t forget extra ice and some lemons or oranges to peel for garnish!

Make a nod to one of the weirdest scenes in one of the worst sequels in a mobster franchise there has ever been with some hand-rolled gnocchi.


Fake Blood Recipe

A viewing of Nosferatu can only get creepier with the help of fake blood, which you could probably spike with some vodka for one hellish cocktail.

Who needs Sno-Caps or M&M's when you can have decidedly Satanic gingersnaps?

Garlic Knots Recipe

Ward off evil spirits with a metric shit ton of garlic basted all over these knots of Frank Pinello’s pizza dough.

Blockbuster Action

For a movie with a lot of gore and chase scenes and fight sequences, you're not going to have much time to look away from the screen. Just be sure to have a big batch of this tasty-ass popcorn to keep shoving in your mouth while things are exploding.

Film Noir

Tap into your inner femme fatale or dashing private investigator lounging in a smoky hotel bar, and keep the icy martinis flowing.