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Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022

Movie Fest Tunes Up

L.A.’s latest outdoor movie festival isn’t just about alfresco films. It comes with food trucks and live entertainment, too.

Outdoor Cinema Food Fest is returning after some success in its initial effort last year, but this time organizers have improved the lineup of live bands to set it apart from a growing number of outdoor film series.

“We had live bands last year, but it was kind of a last-minute decision,” said Heather Hope-Allison, one of the producers of the festival. “This year, we put more forethought to who we were booking.”

At the festival, which was scheduled to launch May 28, people can nosh on such food truck delicacies as chili cheese fries, catch a film such as “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and win giveaways. The series will be staged at different L.A. parks each Saturday until Sept. 3.

Hope-Allison, who comes from an event production background, started the festival with her screenwriter and event producer husband, Steve Allison. Co-producer J.J. Snyder, a longtime friend, provides the festival’s 52-foot-tall inflatable film screen through his Carlsbad firm Hollywood Outdoor Movies.

How do they make money? Admission is $10, up from $8 last year, and each food truck pays a fee. The 2010 series drew more than 30,000 people and the partners made twice the amount they invested, although Hope-Allison declined to specify the amount.

This year, Hope-Allison and her partners are hoping to avoid some problems they ran into last year.

“We had way more walk-ins for ‘The Princess Bride’ than expected and before we knew it, we had way more people than the trucks could handle,” Hope-Allison remembered. “On top of that, three trucks broke down and we had 14. So what wound up being slightly underbooked for food trucks ended up being very underbooked for food trucks.”


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