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Best Things To Do This Weekend In Los Angeles And SoCal: Sept. 30 – Oct. 2

Screen films at the Hola México Film Festival. Cat lovers need to check into CatCon. Road trip to Desert Daze for music and experiences. Bring the fam to Nights Of The Jack.

Friday, Sept. 30 – Monday, Oct. 31 (various dates)

Nights Of The Jack
King Gillette Ranch
26800 Mulholland Hwy., Calabasas
The family-friendly event returns for its fifth edition, showcasing thousands of hand-carved pumpkins, immersive installations, a nearly mile-long walking trail, as well as food, beverages (including cocktails). COST: Tickets from $29.99; MORE INFO

Through Saturday, Oct. 1

Scenes with Cranes
631 2nd St., downtown L.A.
CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP) kicks off its 20th anniversary season with the world premiere of Octavio Solis’ new play, directed by Chi-wang Yang. In Solis’ work — which parallels Jean Sibelius’ musical work of the same name — an East LA family shatters in the wake of the youngest son’s mysterious death. His devastated mother retraces her son’s final steps in search of the truth.

Friday, Sept. 30; 7:30 p.m.

Disney • Pixar’s Coco in Concert
Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University
415 N. Glassell, Orange
Watch the Oscar-winning film Coco, with a live symphony orchestra of professional and Chapman student musicians performing Michael Giacchino’s score and fav songs such as “Remember Me,” “Un Poco Loco” and others.
COST: Tickets start at $38; MORE INFO

Friday, Sept. 30 – Sunday, Oct. 16

Desert Stories for Lost Girls
Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 S. Spring St., downtown L.A.  
Native Voices at the Autry, in collaboration with the Latino Theater Company, presents the world premiere run of Desert Stories for Lost Girls by Lily Rushing (Genízaro). This production is a “haunting lyrical rumination on family, identity, and colonialism over generations.” The production runs Thursdays through Sundays.
COST: Tickets from $24; MORE INFO

Through Tuesday, Oct. 11

Beyond Fest 2022 – Free Screenings
Los Feliz 3
1822 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz
Beyond Fest — L.A.’s largest genre film festival — returned earlier this week for two weeks of programming, including 31 recently announced free screenings at the Los Feliz 3, compliments of the horror film streaming service Shudder. RSVPs for all free events will be available on the website starting at 9 a.m. on the day of the show. First come, first served. There will be standby lines for all shows. Newly added screenings include Hunt, Warriors Of Future, Lenny and FX’s Little Demon.
COST: FREE – $20 (for other Beyond Fest screenings); MORE INFO

Friday, Sept. 30 – Monday, Oct. 31 (select days)

Urban Death Tour of Terror
Zombie Joe’s Underground (ZJU) Theatre 
4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
ZJU celebrates its 30th anniversary with the unforgettable hardcore Halloween theater experience that features wordless vignettes and physical performances as well as a terrifying maze. The entire experience lasts about 35 minutes. Warning: The show contains graphic content and full nudity. Ages 17+.
COST: $20 – $25; MORE INFO

Friday, Sept. 30 – Sunday, Oct. 2

Desert Daze
Moreno Beach at Lake Perris
17801 Lake Perris Dr., Perris
The 10th installment of Desert Daze is headlined by Tame Impala, who exclusively perform their groundbreaking second album, Lonerism; King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard; and Beach House, who replaces Iggy Pop. Outstanding undercard acts include Chicano Batman, Seun Kuti, Egypt 80, and Reggie Watts. In addition to the music, Desert Daze also includes screenings and talks all weekend.
COST: Single-day tickets start at $139; MORE INFO

Merlin The Mad Ragdoll with a brooding cat face.

Merlin The Mad Ragdoll makes a guest appearance at CatCon in Pasadena.

Saturday, Oct. 1 – Sunday, Oct. 2; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Pasadena Convention Center
300 E. Green St., Pasadena
After a two-year break, the cat-centric pop culture event returns in person. Kitty culture and pop culture collide for a weekend of immersive experiences, workshops and vendors. Highlights include artwork that pays tribute to celeb cat daddy Nic Cage, Kitty Kitsch and meet-and-greets.
COST: $42 – $150; MORE INFO

Saturday, Oct. 1 – Saturday, Oct. 22

Crazy 4 Cult 2023
Gallery 1988
7308 Melrose Ave., Fairfax
Gallery 1988 opens its popular group show with works inspired by cult films. The opening reception takes place at G1988 on Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. with works online the following day. Also opening this weekend is Stephen Andrade’s pulp-style tribute show to Clue: The Movie.

Sunday, Oct. 2; 10:30 a.m.

Hollywood Goes Underground
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles leads guided walking tours through the 123-year-old cemetery, stopping at gravesites of early Hollywood stars, movie moguls and L.A. pioneers. The tours will depart from the parking lot behind the Cathedral Mausoleum every 20 minutes until 12:30 p.m. Tours are approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours so make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and don’t forget water and sunscreen.
COST: $16 – $20; MORE INFO

Sunday, Oct. 2; 7:30 p.m.

The 12th Festival of (In)Appropriation
2220 Arts + Archives
2220 W. Beverly Blvd., Westlake
L.A. Filmforum presents a night of short-form, remixed and found footage films. The works are “inappropriate” in that they are juxtaposed or usually unrelated to the original makers’ intentions. The festival was founded in 2009 by Jaimie Baron, Greg Cohen and Lauren Berliner; this year’s guest curators are Marie-Pierre Burquier, Mariquita “Micki” Davis and Allyson Unzicker, and filmmakers Misael Oquendo and TT Takemoto.
COST: $5 – $12; MORE INFO

Sunday, Oct. 2; 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

25th Annual Tokyo Cup & Japan Family Day
Santa Anita Park
285 W. Huntington Dr., Arcadia
Japan Family Day brings Japanese traditional culture to Southern California (to a location where thousands of Japanese were incarcerated during WWII). This year’s special events and performances include a taiko performance by LA Taiko Ichiza, a cosplay contest and J-pop live performances by Tune in Tokyo. The event is being held in tandem with the Tokyo City Cup, a long-standing partnership between Santa Anita and the Ohi Racecourse of Tokyo.

Sunday, Oct. 2 – Monday, Oct. 10

Hola México Film Festival 
Various locations
Taking place during Hispanic Heritage Month, the Hola México Film Festival returns for its 14th edition screening both new and classic films to have come from Mexico. The opening night film Lecciones Para Canallas (Lessons For Scoundrels) takes place at The Montalban Theater in Hollywood. Other films include Sombra Verde (starring Ricardo Montalban) and La Mujer Murcielago (Batwoman), from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, and new films from emerging filmmakers in the Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today program.
COST: Single tickets from $14; MORE INFO

Outdoor Pick

Walking Tour: Franklin Village Old Hollywood Time Travel Trip
The off-the-beaten-path tour company Esotouric, founded by Kim Cooper and Richard Schave, explores the lesser-known parts of L.A. through new, immersive cultural history walks. On Saturday, Oct. 1 (10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) Esotouric explores Franklin Village, where the spiritual Hollywood glamor, architectural and true crime histories intersect. This walking tour is illustrated with rare photos walkers can view on their smartphones. Tickets are $50.

Viewing Pick

Interview with the Vampire
The Anne Rice novel gets the series treatment from AMC. The famed 1994 film version starring Tom Cruise as Lestat, Brad Pitt as Louis. The new TV adaptation features Sam Reid, Jacob Anderson (Game of Thrones’ Grey Worm), Eric Bogosian, and Bailey Bass, respectively. The first episode of Interview with the Vampire airs on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on AMC.

Evil Cooks' orange chicken and chow mein taco on a tortilla and a bed of rice.

Evil Cooks will be doing their infamous orange chicken and chow mein taco at Smorgasburg’s first-ever Noodlefest.

(Courtesy of Smorgasburg LA)

Dine and Drink Deals

Check out the 411 on restaurant, bar, and food happenings in SoCal this week:

  • On Saturday, Oct. 1 from noon to 4:30 p.m., Smorgasburg brings an epic lineup of noodle vendors to Santa Anita Park for their first ever NoodleFest, including Rad Na Silom, Lobsterdamus,  Picnic Sandwich, Zef BBQ, Starry Kitchen, Evil Cooks and Estrano. Ticket packages start at $38 and include an entree, a beer and horse racing admission. 
  • Oktoberfest returns to downtown Long Beach on weekends through Oct. 9. Enjoy authentic German beers and eats (from brats to vegan options), live performances, music and games. Fridays are for those ages 21+, but all ages are welcome on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Liberation Coffee House, located on the campus of the LGBT Center in Hollywood, offers a treat for guests for International Coffee Day on Saturday, Oct. 1 The coffee haven offers a free upsize to any coffee purchase on Saturday. 
  • Cochon555’s Heritage Fire event takes place on Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown L.A. Touring nine cities across the U.S., Heritage Fire celebrates pasture diversity and family farming and a variety of cooking methods. The all-inclusive event also features wines, cocktails and craft beers. Tickets: $99 – $150 (VIP). 
  • The Tasting Kitchen on Abbot Kinney restaurant collaborates with Biite, the Monte Xanic winery and their Valle de Guadalupe restaurant Artio for the Baja Experience dinners on Oct. 2 and 3. Seatings take place between 5 and 10 p.m. for a five-course menu tasting experience including duck carnitas tostada with mole verde, seasonal seafood fideo, Flannery California Reserve dry-aged ribeye, guava sorbet. $165 for dinner; $45 – $70 for wine pairings.  
  • The Pacific Wine & Food Classic event takes over the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1. Guests can nosh on bites from more than 30 of SoCal’s top restaurants and food purveyors, plus sip premium regional wines, local craft brews and hand-crafted cocktails. The event features a 40 ft. charcuterie and crudite table and the Taco Garden with a variety of elevated taco creations.

Read More:Best Things To Do This Weekend In Los Angeles And SoCal: Sept. 30 – Oct. 2