The first i heard of it was a couple weeks ago when Avalyn mentioned someone she knew (her sister? Someone else?) was going to one of the showings. Then a week or two later she told me that they were doing Princess Bride and was i interested in going with her and her sister and some friends? So i said sure. The usual plan for this place apparently is to pack a picnic, get there early, and eat while waiting for it to get dark enough for the movie to start.
So saturday afternoon we started getting stuff together. We went by the store and bought what _i_ felt like was rather a lot of food. A roast beef and havarti sandwich for me, some chips and veggie stuff and cheese for her, some potato salad and some raspberries for both of us, and three boxes of Little Debbie stuff, and some hard cider for me, though I already had a bottle of Framboise lambic beer and a can of Young's Chocolate Stout that i'd brought up to her place and not consumed yet.
Avalyn also dug out a tarp, some blankets, a wool cloak, and two folding chairs. All in all a fair amount of stuff, but i felt we could handle it.
Then her sister came over around 5. She had a cooler which we stuck our refrigerated food in, and tied the tarp and Avalyn's cloak on top. She also had two folding chairs, but they were padded and thus _much_ larger. She also had one of those picnic suitcase things that opens up and has all sorts of plates and cups and silverware inside it. And a couple bottles of wine. And some other odds and ends.
Then we carted it all outside to the car of the friend who had just arrived. She had another folding chair (though thankfully a small non-padded one like Avalyn's) and another bag or two of food and other things.
All and all this totaled up a rather large pile of stuff. We drove over to the cemetery and they dropped Avalyn and i off with all the stuff so they could go part the car at a nearby lot. It took a minute or two to quickly transfer all the stuff out of the back of the car to the grass near the line and once that was done and they left there was too much for Avalyn and i to move on our own.
And yeah, the line. The huge line. I later estimated that there were 11 rows in the line serpentining back and forth, and in each row there were at least 50 people, probably more like 70-80, and possibly more. And like us most of them had brought a bunch of picnic stuff. We got there around 5:45 and at least six or seven of the rows were already full. Avalyn and i stood around people watching while we waited. There was an official for the event who was dressed up as Wesley and/or the Dread Pirate Roberts. And there were a couple people in red/white/blue Obama/Che hope/change/revolution style shirts, except they were Inigo Montoya "Prepare to die" shirts.
When Avalyn's sister and friend got back from parking (which took a fair while) we moved everything over right next to the line, and then contemplated what to do. There were some more friends we were supposed to be meeting there who supposedly already had a spot in line, but some of us were reluctant to try carting our pile of stuff over the heads of everyone who was already in line. However when we located the two friends they cast their vote with the "let's do it!" contingent, and they helped us carefully transport everything to their spot.
We then got to sit and chat and start drinking for about an hour. Turns out the two people we met there normally go to Anime Expo every year and are fairly serious cosplayers, although this year they're skipping AX to go to the Labyrinth Masquerade Ball instead.
They started letting the line in around 7 or just after, but it took awhile for the line to wind its way through. Once we were inside the gate it was then a longish walk down the road through the middle of the cemetery to get to where the movie was going to be shown. Past the graves and then a couple mausoleums there was an open field and then a large white wall that the movie was going to be projected on. There were a lot of people already set up (at least 200-400 if my earlier math was correct) and we ended up 50-75% of the way back, but we still had a good view. (When the movie came on it was approximately like watching my large screen TV at home.)
We laid out the tarp and unpacked all our stuff and got out the food and started eating and continued drinking. I'd had a bottle of cider in line, but now that we were settled i pulled out the Framboise and chocolate stout and made myself 2.5 Youngberry Chocolates. Or i tried anyways. I'd learned the trick with the spoon on the internet but i was pouring into a plastic cup, the surface wasn't very level, and the light wasn't especially good by that point, so i couldn't really tell if i'd done it right. But at least it tasted okay. The friends that we'd met up with in wine had brought a bottle of "moonshine" that they shared with the rest of us. It tasted rather sweet and very strong (shocking.)
The people directly in front of us had brought a set of Cards Against Humanity and were playing that. At some point a DJ started playing music over the speakers and a non-trivial number of people started dancing. Of course it was getting a little dark and starting to get chilly (for LA) by then, so there was some speculation they were just trying to keep warm :)
Finally at 9:00 they started the movie. Not much to say about that, it was the Princess Bride, and thus awesome. There was a lot of cheering and laughing at appropriate moments, so Cinespia is not really the place to go if you want absolute quiet for your movies, but it was good communal fun.
Afterward we spent a little while packing up all the stuff. Thankfully there were a lot of well distributed trash bags to but all the garbage in, so we didn't need to worry about packing that stuff out. It was definitely easier afterward, there was still a lot of stuff, but at least a lot of the bags and baskets weighed a fair bit less.
Some of the party wanted to use the porta-potties on the way out (probably the least nice thing about the whole setup, thankfully i didn't need to use them myself) which were set up along the side of the main "road". So the rest of moved off to the side. While we waited some other people stopped next to us but in the middle of the path, and i heard one of them say to the others "but i don't want to stand on the dead people!"
I looked down and sure enough, those of us on the grassy part next to the path were standing amidst a bunch of those flat set in the ground grave markers. I, and anyone else who hadn't noticed up until then, just shrugged and went "meh" and continued waiting.
Afterward we started walking out, but the people who had parked thought there was a shortcut we could take to get out closer to the garage, so we diverted from the road to follow another group of people down a sandy(?) path through the cemetery. The people behind us decided to follow us as well, and there was some joking about "oh, we'll just take a shortcut through the cemetery at night in the dark, what could possibly go wrong?" and "well at least we haven't split up yet." After a bit the sand/gravel/whatever disappeared and we were following what may or may not have been a path between the graves. I have no idea how the people in front were navigating, i was back in the "just follow the person in front of you" part of the procession. After a couple minutes though we did come to another road and thus to a gate out, which was reasonably close to the parking garage.
So we finished walking the block or two to the garage, spent a couple minutes figuring out which items belonged in which of the two cars, said goodbye, and headed off.
I'd definitely be interested in doing it again sometime if they did another good movie, however looking at the online schedule i don't see anything upcoming in the near future that's really my cup of tea. Though sadly it seems we missed a showing of Blade Runner a couple months ago.