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Rose Bowl says no to fireworks but yes to drive-in movies amid coronavirus outbreak

The Rose Bowl.
The Rose Bowl will host a series of movie screenings and comedy performances this summer as part of the “Tribeca Drive-In” series.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

As the coronavirus continues to alter summer plans for many Southern Californians, the Rose Bowl is nixing some events while adding others.

The annual July 4 celebration, AmericaFest, has canceled its in-person festivities and will swap its typical daylong tailgate for a one-hour virtual program this year.

The event will include music from cellist Cecilia Tsan and colorful light displays courtesy of “Sunstar,” a prismatic art installation at Mt. Wilson.

Rather than fireworks, this year’s ceremony will culminate in a flyover.

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For more information about the event, or to register, visit RoseBowlLive.tv.

Complaints are up, but illegal explosives are easy to get and hard for police to stop. Your best bet may be earplugs.

And while the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing the Rose Bowl to get creative in its entertainment offerings, the venue has come up with another use of the stadium this summer.

Movie buffs itching to see a film but still wary of trying a traditional theater can catch a flick at the “Tribeca Drive-In” series. The partnership between Tribeca Enterprises, AT&T and Imax will bring a slate of movie screenings and stand-up comedy performances to the Pasadena site on select days through July.

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The series is meant to be “a tribute to movies and the shared experience of watching them, even if from our cars,” Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro said in a statement.

“In anticipation of theaters reopening imminently, we look back at what we love about the big screen experience,” he added.

California counties that have been allowed to accelerate their reopening of their economy could decide to reopen movie theaters as early as Friday, according to new state guidelines released Monday.

The Pasadena playbill will include a bit of everything — including classics such as “The Wizard of Oz,” summer blockbusters including “Jaws,” superhero showstoppers such as “Wonder Woman” and adrenaline-pumping sports films such as “Creed.”

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Also in the lineup are family-friendly movies including “Inside Out” and several stand-up comedy performances.

For a full schedule, or to purchase tickets, visit tribecafilm.com/drive-in/RoseBowl.

“As the nation begins to emerge from months of quarantine, we look forward to movie theaters reopening and hope that the ‘Drive-In’ serves as a reminder of the magic of the moviegoing experience,” Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival co-founder and Chief Executive Jane Rosenthal said in a statement.

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Measures will still be in place to help stem the spread of the coronavirus. Attendees to the Rose Bowl events will have to stay in their vehicles except to buy concessions or use the restroom.

When outside their cars, visitors must wear masks and observe physical distancing, organizers said.


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