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The LA You May Not Know: The Cemeteries of LA

Imagine an urban oasis, the perfect setting to relax in the cool shade, perhaps read a book or just escape from the noise and anxiety of life.

We have several of these special places scattered all around Los Angeles. And you might even come across a movie star or two.

Are we talking about city parks? No, we’re talking about cemeteries and in Los Angeles, cemeteries are very special places.

Los Angeles is the one city in America and perhaps the world where every cemetery has at least a few notable residents resting in peace, some have dozens.

But in L.A., cemeteries are much more than a person’s final resting place. They see themselves as parks, inviting the public to come and enjoy their beautiful grounds.

Forest Lawn in Glendale is full of amazing art and hosts its own museum with temporary exhibits as well as a permanent collection.

At Hollywood Forever there are film screenings courtesy of Cinespia, concerts, even yoga classes. Both of these cemeteries hold Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) events.

But these are still functioning cemeteries where the dear departed are laid to rest daily. So how do they balance being a place where some people come to mourn while others seek out the gravesites of beloved celebrities? It isn’t easy and each finds a different place of equilibrium. 

So join our host, Emma Dollenmayer, as we check out these fascinating locations, discover art and activities for all of us to enjoy, and take a moment to remember some amazing people who have touched our lives (even if we never met them in person).

By the way, the next time out of town guests say they want to go someplace to see celebrities, you’ll know just where to take them. The beautiful scenery and magnificent art will more than compensate for the absence of autographs.

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