Film-watching trends come, go, and often stay. Remember full-scale popcorn carts? They showed up in dens, once upon a yore. Screens that rose from the foot of your bed? That happened, too.
And inflatable screens? It's a backyard thing, nowadays, but the key to a fun outdoor film experience is not a lack of rain (although that helps) nor a lack of biting bugs (ditto). You've got to have the communal watching experience.
Eat|See|Hear delivers on both the inflatable screen and communal-viewing thing, with bells on. It's one of the biggies on the Southern California summer cinema landscape, and the 2014 schedule was just revealed.
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How biggie? The 52-foot screen is three stories high, for one. That's a whole lot of transportable surface, yep yep.
As for opening night? That's on Saturday, May 10 at Santa Monica High School, with "(500) Days of Summer" to kick things off. Closing night? "The Goonies" on Sept. 13 at Pasadena's Centennial Square.
Ah yes, you can probably tell by those locations that Eat|See|Hear is an outdoor movie thing, as the inflatable, portable, throw-it-in-the-truck screen would indicate.
But it isn't merely an "outdoor movie thing," lest that sound like something you can do in your backyard. Food trucks like Coolhaus and The Grilled Cheese Truck swing by -- probably not a thing in your own yard -- and live bands play -- again, probably an unusual event at a private home.
Occasional pet adoption events and the popular Christmas in July night -- "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" is the treat -- shall also be back.
Two quickies: Locations move around for this fest, and there's a new one on the roster: The Autry National Museum. Mountain backdrop, ahoy? And two? Showtime's a presenter.
Let's throw a three in there, for laughs. Or screams: "Jaws" is the Fourth of July film. Well played, Eat|See|Hear. Keepin' the summer traditions -- blankets on lawns, cinema by twilight, fake sharks menacing Independence Day beaches -- in fine fashion.