Saying that most people like to get a jump on summer is awash in understatement. We all start the summertime pleasures just a little bit early, the barbecues and the picnics and the outdoorsy gatherings, if only to spread out the sweetest season a little further.
But look to Malibu, one of the towns most associated with the concept of summer, for ultimate guidance. The swanky, salt-airy burg patiently enjoys the fruits of each season as they arrive, and summer begins, well, just around the time that summer actually begins.
Look to the free movie nights at Malibu Country Mart. There are three in all, and they're all family gems: "The Karate Kid," "E.T.: The Extraterrestrial," and "Ghostbusters." And they get going the week before June 21, meaning, once and for all and no doubt about it, summer has arrived in Southern California.
If Malibu decrees it, then let it be so.
The charming mart setting isn't the only appealing element of these pay-nothing movie nights. Tra di Noi, Mr. Chow Malibu, and Taverna Tony will all be open during the screenings, so you can order your small bites or full dinners to nosh upon while taking in the cinema (cinema that can be seen on a temporary big screen set up in the playground area).
Nope, you won't be right on the beach, but, as with everything in Malibu, the beach is so incredibly near. This means a sweatshirt for later in the evening is de rigeur. Picnics and blankets are also welcome.
As for the snacks? There shall be complimentary popcorn and candy.
As for the dates? Opening night is June 13, with a certain lovable outer space friend landing on June 27 and The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man calling upon Malibu on July 11.
Which we hope never happens, because, yeah, the back-up on PCH would be fierce.
And while Malibu does know that summer starts with summer, and so do the outdoor pleasures of summer, the Malibu Country Mart movie nights aren't the last free cinema series to roll out; The Segerstrom Center for the Arts will host those popular Movie Monday starting in July.
How lovely it is to live in a land where a season like summer gets multiple debuts in a bevy of towns.