It’s officially Spooky Season (despite what the persistent summer-like temperatures indicate), which means Halloween activities are in full socially distanced swing. There are outdoor pumpkin extravaganzas, drive-in haunted hayrides, candy, and the spookiest event of them all: the Los Angeles County District Attorney Debate.
Arts & Culture
Like some other film festivals, Beyond Fest will be a drive-in experience this year. But this genre film festival is unlike the rest, telling its Instagram followers, “In the midst of a shitty pandemic and shitty presidency, the Summer residence showed us that Cinema is needed more than ever and filmmakers deserve their work to be celebrated.” The films will be played at Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre in Montclair through Thursday, October 9th. Selections include the West Coast premiere of Bad Hair, a comedy horror film directed by Justin Simien, on Monday, October 5th at 9:30 p.m., as well as classics like Misery on Sunday, October 4th at 7:30 p.m. View the full schedule and purchase tickets here.
If you don’t feel like going all the way to Montclair, the Hollywood Legion Theater at American Legion Post 43 on Highland Ave. just launched a drive-in cinema. Showtimes this week include The Muppet Movie on Sunday, October 4th at 7:30 p.m., Jaws on Monday, October 5th at 7:30 p.m. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on Tuesday, October 6th at 7:30 p.m. and more. Tickets are $65 and include unlimited popcorn, one soda and one candy for each passenger.
Halloween festivities have also transitioned into drive-in events. The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is going “off the trail” this year for a “an original haunted show featuring a multimedia story displayed on a 40 foot screen, as well as horrifying sets and characters from Midnight Falls that surround the theater and bring the story to life.” The Hayride will be open through November 1st and tickets start at $49.
A slightly less spooky vehicular Halloween experience if you’ve got a low scare threshold is Nights of the Jack, an “extended driving trail [that] will feature thousands of hand-carved and illuminated Jack O’ Lanterns as attendees make their way around King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas, CA.” It’s also open through November 1st and tickets are $69 per vehicle.
For those of you looking to actually stretch your legs, check out Halloween at Descanso, “a pumpkin-filled extravaganza that invites guests to safely wind their way through socially-distanced, pumpkin-themed displays in the most popular sections of Descanso Gardens.” Tickets for nonmembers cost $15 ($11 for seniors, $5 for kids), and must be purchased in advance.
If you’ve got kids in your life upset over the lack of trick or treating, treat them to Knott’s Berry Farm’s Fall-o-Ween where “guests of all ages can dress up in their most festive costumes to experience one-of-a-kind themed food and treats, exclusive event merchandise including specialty items from local crafters, an all-new “Into the Fog” art show, and so much more.” Knott’s Taste of Fall-O-Ween is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, through November 1st, and you can purchase tasting cards for $35 for adults and $20 for kids.
A more grown-up treat you can enjoy on Sunday, October 4th at 2:00 p.m., is “Nourishing Genius: Food and Wine in the Time of Michelangelo” brought to you by The Getty. So open up a bottle of Italian wine and raise a glass while you watch “Fred Plotkin, specialist in Italian gastronomy, opera, and history, and Getty drawings curator Julian Brooks as they travel back in time to explore the fascinating connections between art, food, drink, and this incomparable Italian Renaissance artist.” The Getty has also provided its list of wines and cheeses. The event is free and you can watch on the Getty’s YouTube page.
Community & History
Esotouric, our favorite eclectic sightseeing tour company, takes you (virtually) Inside the Dutch Chocolate Shop on Saturday, October 3rd at 12:00 p.m. for “a deep dive into the history and lore of Ernest Batchelder’s tiled Arts & Crafts masterpiece” where “you’ll get to know the secrets and mysteries of this fascinating structure, learn about the colorful characters who shaped it, get close to the tile to discover some hidden details, and to hear our hopes for the building’s future.” Tickets for the webinar are $10.
For a broader look at historic Downtown, every Wednesday, you can join the Los Angeles Conservancy for a virtual tour of landmarks like the Central Library, the Million Dollar Theater, and the Bradbury building and “discover—or rediscover—the area’s unique character as you visit the areas surrounding Pershing Square, the heart of downtown. Learn about the founding of this great city, and the story of its growth, as told through its magnificent architecture.” Register for the Wednesday, October 7th 6:00pm webinar here.
If you’re feeling anxious about politics, you’re not alone! On Tuesday, October 6th at 1:00 p.m., join Zócalo Public Square for “Has Hysteria Conquered America?” a discussion with Essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra, author most recently of Bland Fanatics: Liberals, Race and Empire and Ronald Brownstein, Senior Editor at The Atlantic and author of The Second Civil War about the “conspiracy theories, paranoia, xenophobia, and overheated denunciations” that have taken over American political discourse.
Of course national politics aren’t the only source of stress — there’s also local politics. And if you’re stressed out about the local ballot measures you’ll be voting on in just a few weeks, on Thursday, October 8th at 6:00 p.m., join the Ebell for its Ballot Measures Forum with League of Women Voters’ Mona Field, who will give a non-partisan overview and explanation of the local November 3rd ballot measures and answer questions about the many complicated state and county proposals. The event is free, but a $10 donation to the Ebell is suggested, and you can register here.
Temple Israel of Hollywood is getting in on the voting action as well and hosting a Voting Symposium on Monday, October 5th at 7:00 p.m. to help everyone “gain the tools to inform yourself, friends, family, and the community about all the propositions on the 2020 California Ballot.” All are welcome to this event, which you can register for here.
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys the kind of self-torture provided by spicy food, horror movies, and watching as many political debates as possible before the election, you should absolutely not miss the L.A. County District Attorney Debate this Saturday, October 3rd at 9:00 p.m. Marc Brown will moderate as Jackie Lacey and George Gascón face off on ABC7 (also on all of the station’s mobile apps and connected TV apps on Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire and Roku.)
If you’ve had your fill of political debates, attend the Mid-City West Community Council’s training for Engaging With Your Unhoused Neighbors on Monday, October 5th at 6:00 p.m. The online event “will feature industry experts speaking about how to more appropriately communicate with our unhoused neighbors throughout Mid-City West and Midtown,” and attendees will “learn trauma informed care best practices, vital information about our homeless population, and how members of our community can help during this crisis.”
The Los Angeles County Women and Girls Initiative has also been hosting a series of virtual town halls and on Wednesday, October 7th at 2:00 p.m., you can hear a discussion about the lessons COVID-19 has taught the County about intimate partner violence and and its impact on homelessness. Register for the town hall here.
And last, but certainly not least, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Outreach Committee meets Saturday, October 3rd at 9:30 a.m., Transportation Committee on Monday, October 5th at 7:00 p.m., and Sustainability Committee on Tuesday, October 6th at 7:00 p.m.
About Julia Moser
Julia Moser is a freelance writer and producer who grew up in Windsor Square. She recently moved back home after living in New York where she worked as a producer for BuzzFeed News' AM to DM and Good Morning America.