It’s the week leading up to Halloween, and there are a lot of opportunities to celebrate not just Halloween but other events, too. The Screamfest Horror Film Festival starts the week off with a scare, and is followed by other freaky, festive activities like the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, a Dia de los Muertos festival, and Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights. In addition to the holiday activities, it’s the perfect week to check out a new exhibit at The Getty Museum, the opening of a new multi-media theater production, and National Chocolate Day!
Screamfest Horror Film Festival
TCL Chinese 6 Theatre
6925 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
The Screamfest Horror Film Festival is back for its 16th year, ready to offer you a screaming good time at the movies. The event is the largest and longest running horror film festival in the United States, and always an Angeleno favorite. Showcasing works created both domestically and abroad, many of the films screened gain national distribution after their Screamfest premiere. A few classic horror films will also be added to the mix, like tonight’s screening of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone. The festival runs through Thursday.
Visit New Exhibit: J. Paul Getty Life and Legacy
The Getty Museum
1200 Getty Center Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
It only takes being in L.A. a short time to hear the name “Getty.” Making his fortune in oil, J. Paul Getty was considered the world’s richest man in the 1950’s and 60’s. He was a businessman and art collector who started collecting art in the 1930’s, eventually leading to the incredible arts institution that bears his name today both in the hills between the city and the Valley and at their Malibu collection. Getty’s history is being celebrated at its Los Angeles location in a new exhibit at the museum entitled J. Paul Getty Life and Legacy. The new installation holds interactive exhibits that tell the story of Getty’s extraordinary life through photographs, video, oral histories, and archival material.
The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor
The Queen Mary
1126 Queens Hwy.
Long Beach, CA 90802
Eight Evil spirits of Dark Harbor have been descending upon the Queen Mary this month, resurrecting one of the most authentically haunted attractions around. Returning alongside classic enhanced mazes are new experiences, like the “Intrepid Maze,” taking you on a journey into the legend of The Iron Master, 4D Virtual Maze “Panic,” and paintball shooting gallery, “Hex.” If you’re parched after all that screaming, head to Voodoo House, serving up potions and tasting flights. Rumored to be haunted for years, and named one of the top 10 most haunted places on earth by TIME, the Queen Mary is a sure bet for a Halloween fright.
Opening Night: Juárez: A Documentary Mythology
The Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles CA 90013
It’s opening night for a unique new show about the history, contradiction, and mythology of the Mexican city Juárez. Born-and-raised in the bordertown, artistic director Rubén Polendo leads the internationally renowned experimental theater company, Theater Mitu, in a multi-media production. The show incorporates transcripts from a two-year series of interviews and investigations exploring the dichotomy of the “Murder Capital of the World” (Juarez, Mexico) and the “Safest Large City in America” (neighboring El Paso, TX). The show runs through November 13.
Celebrate National Chocolate Day
With National Chocolate Day just days before Halloween, it’s practically a candy pre-party. It’s also a very fitting day for celebrated Los Angeles chocolatier Valerie Gordon to open her brand new chocolate boutique, Valerie Confections, in South Silver Lake. The shop will feature current seasonal sweets like Black Cat Truffles, and a Fall Box with Smoke & Spice Truffles. On the westside, Cookie Good in Santa Monica is serving up a dark chocolate Oreo Brownie, loaded with the cream-centered cookie, chocolate chips, and white chocolate chunks, as well as a Trick or Treat cookie with all your favorite Halloween chocolate candies. A less obvious, but seriously delicious place to go, is Hyperion Public, where their recently launched fall menu includes a Mexican Chocolate Puddin’ Pie that will satiate any chocolate craving.
Dia de los Muertos Festival
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Don your finest Calaca apparel (Day of the Dead skeleton attire), and enjoy another festive Dia de los Muertos Festival at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Spend a day with a traditional Aztec blessing processional, music, dance, theater performances, and of course, plenty of tasty Mexican food. A children’s art project area will be set up for kids to create something special, and various arts and crafts vendors will be on hand for some local shopping. Always a centerpiece to the event, 100 altars created by community members to honor their loved ones will be on display, with prizes going for the top three.
Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Studios Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
It’s All Hallows’ Eve eve, which makes it the perfect time to head to Universal Studios for one of their truly frightening Halloween Horror Nights. Guests are immersed in a living, breathing, three-dimensional world of terror, with horror movie-themed mazes and scare zones. A performance by hip-hop group Jabbawockeez has been added to the lineup, as has a newly revamped Terror Tram, ready to torment guests in the backlot. Advance ticket purchases are strongly recommended.