Classic Baseball Flicks at the Skirball

Can't wait for Opening Day? Let a quartet of on-the-mound movies make your spring and summer even sweeter.

Outdoor movie festivals dot the Southern California calendar as lushly as grass covers a newly mowed diamond.

But finding a series that's solely devoted to one theme can be as tricky as finding a bottle of ketchup for your dog. (Mustard and relish tend to dominate the dress-your-hot-dog bar at major stadiums.)

The Skirball Cultural Center, however, is performing a trick as nifty as balancing a bat on its knob: The institution is running a quartet of baseball films in the months ahead, with an early start in early April.

True, April is the big kick-off month for baseball. And, true again, the outdoor movie season doesn't begin to ramp up before May, making the Skirball's cinema treat as tasty as a bucket of stadium-made caramel corn.

"The Sandlot" opens the "Take Me Out to the Movies" series on Friday, April 8, while "Field of Dreams" follows on Friday, May 20. "42" is up on Friday, June 10, and "A League of Their Own" rounds it all out on Friday, Sept. 16.

For sure, Cracker Jacks and hot dogs'll be for sale, and attendees are invited to arrive in their "favorite baseball attire." 

Tickets are ten bucks a pop for the general public.

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The films, by the by, are playing in conjunction with a new Skirball exhibit. It's all about baseball, it debuts on April 7, it closes on Oct. 30, and it's called "Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American."

"The Unauthorized History of Baseball in 100-Odd Paintings: The Art of Ben Sakoguchi" is also opening on April 7, with a close date of Sept. 4.

Do note that your movie ticket also means your museum admission is covered, too. Perhaps arriving a couple of hours early, to take in the exhibits, will make your film-watching experience so much the richer.

After all, don't we try to arrive at the field early, to find our seat, grab a lemonade, and chat with our friend about stats, picks, and the rotation? It's how a baseball buff rolls, whether at the stadium or at the Skirball to see stadium-set films.

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