L.A. Shopping Mecca The Grove to Screen Movies Atop Parking Structure
The series will include classic summer films like 'Grease,' which kicks things off June 26, and 'Back to the Future.'
Drive-in movies are coming back to LA.
In a tribute to the Gilmore Drive-In that once stood where the Original Farmers Market sits today, L.A. shopping hub The Grove is launching a movie series on the top floor of its parking garage. "Level 8 Drive-In" will screen classic summer films on the last Wednesday of each month through September — starting June 26 with Grease — and host iconic cars like hot rod convertible "Greased Lightning," loaned by the neighboring Petersen Automotive Museum.
With its mid-city location, the rooftop has “some of the best views in Los Angeles, with panoramic 360 views all the way to downtown, so there’s something pretty special about going to a drive-in movie theater and having a view of the Hollywood Hills with the Hollywood sign in the background,” says Jackie Levy, executive vp operations for Grove owner Caruso (no one knows nostalgia better than developer Rick Caruso).
While guests can sit in their own cars, a partnership with Citi will allow card members to watch the movies from luxury vehicles, including McLarens, Bentleys and Rolls-Royces, provided by O’Gara Coach; Uber will also sponsor a movie-watching lounge for carless attendees.
A themed concession stand — stocked with items from The Grove’s Umami Burger and Dominique Ansel, along with the requisite popcorn and candy — will be matched to the films, with Pink Ladies and a 1950s singing group taking over the rooftop this month.
“We couldn’t think of any other drive-in movie theaters in L.A., which is why we thought it was such a cool thing to bring back and pretty nostalgic,” says Levy. And in a town with numerous rooftop movie options, he says, “the views set us apart from anything else in the city, so it’s a pretty incredible experience in that regard, and then you marry that with the traditional offering that we’ve got at The Grove food-wise,” with dozens of restaurants and the Farmer’s Market. While the series will come to an end in the fall, Levy said he hopes to make “Level 8” an annual tradition.
The Grease screening is already sold out, but guests can RSVP to attend future showings on The Grove’s website. Upcoming screenings include car-centric feature films The Great Gatsby (with the a red 1932 Duesenberg) on July 31, Back to the Future (with a DeLorean) on Aug. 28 and Iron Man (with Tony Stark’s Ford Flathead Roadster) on Sept. 25.
A version of this story first appeared in the June 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe