DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - Summer doesn’t officially end until Sept. 21, but with major events and series such as Chinatown Summer Nights, Grand Performances and the FYF Fest having concluded, it sure feels like the cultural high period in Downtown Los Angeles is drawing to a close. The situation is exacerbated in the coming week, as many folks leave town for the long Labor Day weekend.

Others, however, put a different spin on the situation: They see this as the last chance to have a big celebration before the doldrums of school and lower temperatures take over.

For those who hold the latter outlook, Downtown still has options, including a surprising number of (almost) end-of-summer films. Here are some things to do.

Al Fresco Films

Friday Night Flicks: Downtown now has a handful of outdoor film venues, and that’s a good thing. A veteran of the al fresco movie experience is Pershing Square, where the free Friday Night Flicks have been screening since 2008. On Aug. 30, the park presents Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin. The 2011 motion capture film is based on the Belgian comic book of the same name. Movies are projected on a 40-by-20-foot inflatable screen and people can bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets. Showtime is 8 p.m.

At 533 S. Olive St., (213) 847-4970 or

Electric Dusk Drive-In: The former Historic Core Devil’s Night Drive-In seems to be doing fine in its new home and new incarnation as the Electric Dusk Drive-In. The summer season ends Saturday, Aug. 31, with the classic 1958 Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo. It stars Jimmy Stewart as a detective who suffers from acrophobia (fear of heights). He’s investigating the activities of his friend’s much younger wife and becomes obsessed with her. We’re not telling you anything else about it. The drive-in is at the City Market of Los Angeles, a former produce warehouse complex. There is room for 110 cars and the films are shown on a 24-by-18 foot screen. There is also an Astroturf area with room for about 225 people as well as a snack shack selling hot dogs, burgers and drinks. The movie begins at 8 p.m.

At 1000 San Julian St., (818) 653-8591 or 

Street Food Cinema: Films, food trucks and music unite at Exposition Park on Aug. 31 with an ’80seriffic double feature. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and there is lawn seating for up to 1,800 people to check out St. Elmo’s Fire and Reality Bites. On the off chance that you need entertainment before four hours of celluloid bliss featuring Winona Ryder, the band is Wing & Hollow, an indie folk duo that will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. There will also be about a dozen food trucks.

  At 700 Exposition Park Drive or

Eat See Hear: It’s obvious what goes down at Downtown’s other venue-hopping film series: People will nosh from food trucks, check out bands and see some movies. On Aug. 31 at 8 p.m.,  the film is Quentin Tarantino’s breakthrough Pulp Fiction at Los Angeles State Historic Park. It’s violent, it’s bloody and it’s awesome, but there’s also a really uncomfortable scene, so don’t bring any young kids unless you want to start explaining what The Gimp is. The band that night will be the rock group Torches. They play at 7 p.m.

 At 1245 N. Spring St. or

Movies in the Park: Plan on staying a long time at Grand Park on Aug. 31, because the free outdoor film is the 1984 fantasy flick The Never Ending Story (OK, it’s not really that long). Crowds can start to grab lawn seats at 5:30 p.m. and the night includes food trucks. The free movie starts at 8:30 p.m. 

At 200 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8080 or

Get Wet

Splash + Surprises: Speaking of Grand Park, this is the final week for Splash + Surprises, a free, Saturday-morning family event in which kids and their grown-ups are encouraged to cavort in the fountain that is the centerpieces of the $56 million park. The huge space has jets of water, and children regularly don bathing suits and spend hours running about. The fun goes from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday and includes a “surprise” activity, which will be revealed on the park’s website on Monday, Aug. 26. Past activities were arts and crafts and a mobile mural lab.

At 200 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8080 or

On the Theater Front

Archway Theatre: The former Al’s Bar now holds the Archway, a 50-seat theater that offers new works, contemporary revivals and classics with a modern twist. Running through Sept. 8 is Critics, an update of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s 18th century comedy The Critics. The three-act drama adapted by director and theater owner Steven Sabel focuses on two critics who are watching the rehearsal of a play written by a man named Mr. Puff. Critics satirizes the world of theater and pokes fun at writers, directors and actors. It plays Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

At 308 S. Hewitt St., (213) 237-9933 or 

Downtown Repertory Theatre Company: The 1863 Pico House doesn’t get much public use these days. So take your opportunity to enjoy something that is both romantic and tragic. The Downtown Repertory Theater Company has a run of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. You can listen to the “Wherefore art thous” at 7 p.m. on Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 29-31. This is the last weekend and entrance is free, though reservations are recommended.. 

At 425 N. Main St. or

© Los Angeles Downtown News 2013