Cinespia Jumps Shark. Again.

Cinespia Status
Cinespia Status: Destroying our brand.

Another big change for movie night at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery has created a WTF kinda backlash.

I should have known Cinespia’s days were numbered in 2009 when they screened Daze and Confused and it turned into amateur hour. You know the event to which I’m referring. One where the new new hipsters would appear in their ironic T-shirts and proceed to get hammered and search for burial plots to relieve themselves. Then came the news that this year’s screenings would be a retread of years previous.

Now this.

Cinespia, an event that has traditionally been “first come, first serve,” is now selling advance tickets online. Oh, they’ll still sell them at the door – if there’s enough left. The problem with this, is that the event is more than the movie. Half the fun is lining up early, meeting your neighbors, and experiencing something called “community.”

Not anymore.

Why ruin a perfectly good thing? From the looks of the comments on Cinespia’s Facebook page (to which they do not respond,) I am not the only one who thinks this was a terrible idea.

24 Replies to “Cinespia Jumps Shark. Again.”

  1. Last year was bad. On one particular evening they promised they wouldn’t let cars in first before the walk-ins. But they effed up and let a flood of cars in early and ended having to turn walk-ins away because they were full. This place has gone down hill. The movie selections aren’t that great and the crowds aren’t fun anymore.

  2. Half the fun is waiting in line for several hours without any idea if you will get in or not? No way! Online ticketing and assured entrance is a welcome change. You’ll still have to get there plenty early to get a good seat and will have plenty of time to enjoy the community feeling.

    I started going back in 2002-ish, but haven’t been to a cemetery screening for several years thanks to too many negative experiences with waiting in line and overcrowding. I want to have a nice picnic and see a movie that I can actually hear.

    1. I respectfully disagree. I’ve been going since 2005, and have never once been turned away.

      If you’re too lazy/irresponsible/narcissistic to get there at an early enough time, then that’s your loss. That’s the way it’s always been, and the way it should stay. Plan ahead. Velvet ropes and bottle service are for places like Drais.

      1. Jason is SOOOOO right. You need to get there early, just like ever other outdoor event!! I’ve been going for 5 years and NEVER been turned away because I show up early and hang out, play cards, make friends, and do what is half the fun!!!

      2. “plan ahead”

        right, plan ahead by buying a ticket online and then getting in line early to get a good spot on the lawn. nothing has changed.

        1. Nothing has changed? Including the additional fee to buy online, tacked onto your normal “donation?”

          It’s complete BS that people waiting in line before 6 were denied entry because somebody bought tickets while sitting at home in their pajamas.

          1. you mean the additional $1.03 fee? yeah, that will really break the bank.

            you have it wrong, btw. cinespia will be selling tickets at the door for every show, regardless of whether or not the online tickets sell out. if you really can’t bear to buy a ticket in advance, all you have to do is do the same thing you’ve been doing every year. get there hours early to guarantee yourself a spot near the front of the line. what’s the problem?

  3. Having to camp out hours in advance to get a spot to watch a movie outside doesn’t sound very fun. What’s so awful about advance tickets?

      1. I love how you throw a fit about hipsters and then make such a hipster comment about advance tickets being for a multiplex like the Arclight.

  4. RE: Mr. “zap”

    I don’t have it wrong. Yes, they still sell tickets at the door. But they stop as soon as they have reached a predetermined number, WHICH IS BASED ON ONLINE SALES. If 300 tickets are sold online, that means that 300 people that wait in line will not get in. It’s simple math.

    That is the problem. If you took the time to read the Facebook comments as linked in this article, you will see that as the issue from this weekend.

    1. i read the facebook comments from this weekend, and they seemed pretty positive, especially after the outbursts after cinespia’s initial announcement last week, which i read as well. (btw, cinespia did respond to people both in comments and in a thread on their discussion page). i also read the comments after screenings last year, when there were many, many people who were requesting presale tickets because were unable to get in after standing in line.

      it cracks me up how so many people are lecturing the late-arrivals on being responsible and planning ahead, and then turning around to complain about online ticket sales, which are the ultimate in planning ahead. you buy a ticket, you get in line, you get in. how could this possibly be a problem for you?

      all the childish name-calling makes me think the problem is not so much about your inability to get a seat as it is the ability of people you don’t like getting seats. time to grow up, jason.

  5. Standing in line is half the experience. And I’ve never had a bad time. Why fix what wasn’t broken? Guess it was time to make it more “modern” L.A., i.e., exclusive and boring. Sad.

    1. standing in line hasn’t stopped. also, how does this make cinespia more exclusive or boring? if anything, more people now have a better shot at attending these screenings.

  6. I completely understand the frustration from longtime Cinespia attenders, and I really don’t understand changing something that works fine. But I have to say that the changes mean I might finally attend. Waiting in line for hours with my children is just not something I’m up for, especially if there’s no guarantee I’d get in.

  7. I read this quote on Twitter today & thought it was apropos:

    “I’d rather be at the end of a dying tradition, which I admire, than at the beginning of a tradition which I deplore.” – Margaret Drabble

  8. Serious question from someone who’s never gone to Cinespia: What’s the big deal with this event? Organizations like Outdoor Cinema Food Fest do screenings all summer long in places like Grand Hope Park, Expo Park, and the Cornfields and they’re never overcrowded. So what’s the big deal with this one? Its in a graveyard? Who cares.

    1. food trucks AND advance tickets?! obviously this outdoor cinema food fest is pandering to the trend-chasing hipsters, and i for one refuse to be a part of something so…ordinary. nay, i deserve a true cinema experience, sharing my whole foods and trader joe’s-sourced picnic with like-minded individuals, while waiting three hours for the movie to begin.

  9. The best part is they have always called the entry fee a donation. Why? Because they are showing retail DVDs on a video projector as a public performance. Ever read the fine print on a retail DVD? Federal Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17 of the United States Code, prerecorded home videocassettes or DVDs, those commonly available in retail or rental stores, are intended for personal, private home use only. Exhibitions outside of your private residence require a public performance license. Civil penalties for unauthorized exhibitions start at $750 for each inadvertent infringement and go as high as $150,000 for each egregious violation. This legal requirement applies equally to for-profit and nonprofit facilities, whether or not an admission fee is charged.

  10. I for one am finally going since I can and did buy tickets on line. LA is not the only town out there and the thought of driving 80 miles roundtrip and NOT GETTING IN would make me never consider this event again. I will be there Sunday come rain or shine with warm soup, bread and spiced cider. Sitting in a low-backed chair that I will not be able to get out of afterwards. I think my AARP card say’s I don’t have to do this anymore…

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