Top 5 Things to Do in L.A. This Week

Photo of the walk-in inflatable luminarium "Exxopolis" by Lamar Francois

The passing of Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, but there's no need to fall into the doldrums -- not in the Southland, where the days are still sweltering and the calendar is still packed with interesting events. This week's offerings include a New Mexico-style seasonal potluck, a tribute to stereoscopic cinema, an illuminating astronomy talk, an all-star hip-hop concert, and a one-of-a-kind inflatable art installation.

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Hatch Chile Potluck
Thursday, Sept. 5, 8 p.m. at Machine Project
Seasons often come and go in Los Angeles without any discernible change in the weather, so the Echo Park-based arts organization Machine Project is borrowing a New Mexican tradition to usher in autumn: feasting on Hatch chilis. The MP crew has ordered a big bag of the complex, moderately spicy green chilis, which are native to the Hatch Valley and come into season just as summer draws to a close. Potluck participants can pick up some chilis on Tuesday and Wednesday, then cook up a dish of their choice and bring it back Thursday evening for a big family-style meal with live music.

World 3-D Film Expo
Friday, Sept. 6, to Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Egyptian Theatre
Everything old is new again. Three-D movies first captured the public's attention 60 years ago wtih films like "Creature From the Black Lagoon" and "Kiss Me Kate," and now thanks to digital technology and films like "Avatar" and "Hugo," 3-D is back and bigger than ever. The third World 3-D Movie Expo celebrates the golden era of stereoscopic cinema with 10 days of screenings including "Hondo," "House of Wax," "Jaws 3-D," It Came From Outer Space," "Dial M for Murder" and more. In a nod to current times, a number of screenings will be shown in digital 3-D; others will utilize classic 35mm double-system projection.

All Space Considered
Friday, Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Griffith Observatory
Held the first Friday of every month, this free program explores the latest and greatest news in astronomy and space science. This installment will cover the live launch of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer mission, which "will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust." The program will also feature special guests Don Dixon and Chris Butler, the observatory's own astronomical artists, as well as discussions about the sun's magnetic poles, novae and the September sky report.

Exxopolis
Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sunday, Sept. 8, at Grand Park
Describing this inflatable walk-in sculpture sounds a bit like describing Los Angeles itself: colorful, maze-like and filled with culture from around the world. Designed by Architects of Air, "Exxopolis" (pictured above) is a luminarium measuring 175 feet long, 95 feet wide and 23 feet tall at its highest point. Visitors can wander through the structure to experience brilliant colors and to encounter "Random Acts of World Culture," featuring 30 artists and performers showcasing music and dance from across the globe.

Rock the Bells
Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sunday, Sept. 8, at San Manuel Amphitheater
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, this two-day, six-stage music festival is a veritable who's who of hip-hop. The lineup includes rising stars like Kid Cudi, Earl Sweatshirt and Black Hippy (featuring breakout rapper Kendrick Lamar); veterans such as KRS-One, Common and the Wu-Tang Clan; mixtape masters like Action Bronson and Freddie Gibbs; and "original virtual performances," better known as holograms, featuring Ol' Dirty Bastard and Eazy-E.

For more options this week and every week, go to kcet.org/events.

About the Author

Oliver Gettell is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

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