Food Trucks and other activities have gone hand in hand ever since the trend started up. Truly the mobile businesses excel within symbiotic relationships; whether it’s doing a rally at a brewery or offering easy edibles during a music festival, the combo of ‘food truck + other thing’ has always proven beneficial to both parties when done right. Of course this idea has been noticed rather easily, building to lasting relationships and even grander events put together.
Nowhere is this more seen than LA’s own Street Food Cinema. After a couple years ‘experimenting’ the idea, event producers and vending companies in the area launched this intriguing outfit. To put simply, the now-grand operation hosts dozens of yearly events from Pasadena to Pacific Palisades, all with the same central attractions: Food Trucks, Local Bands, and Movies, all outdoor. Simple as it may seem, many of these festivals has attracted over 1,000 attendees, probably from the not-so-simple reality of what this group actually does.
With a large focus not just on quality, but keeping in the support and celebration of the area culture and trends, SFC has put a lot of effort to plan out and display the best talent to make each event fantastic to the situation. Whether it’s scouting up and coming local bands to promote their budding music, bringing in some of the best area mobile eateries, displaying an array of pop-culture films to happily watch together, or all three. The group strives to combine all three in a unique and supportive role with every event, capitalizing on the popular trends at the time while providing a complete and entertaining venue. It’s safe to say that they’ve gotten rather popular in the few years of operation, which has allowed them to expand and connect to even more local artists, vendors, and production companies to bring in new food and cinema. They’ve even held a special holiday Indoor event in 2014, the ‘Yuletide Cinema,’ for the resurging downtown historical theater environment at the time.
And why is this so successful? Besides the obvious quality of the individual elements, not to mention the smooth organization which it is put together and advertised, we once again come back to the idea of symbiosis. It’s not just having food to snack on with entertainment; each element here serves to work together and boost the experience exponentially.
To start off, the Bands, besides again giving local artists time to shine in front of a great crowd, creates the ‘all day affair.’ This allows for people to come whenever they want; not piling in all right before the main even movie is going to start, but instead filtering in throughout the day. It gives people who arrive ‘early’ a way to easily pass the time while also creating a sort of ‘opening act’ to the film itself. And if customers CAN’T stay until the movie, they still have something to go out and enjoy. This then gives the food trucks further opportunities for business, creating solid Lunch, Dinner, and Festival-snack business all on the same day.
Then there’s the coup d’état [yes I’m aware this isn’t being used correctly, and I don’t care], the Film. The showstopper, highlighter of the night, that which provides the greatest attraction pull to bring people in, and thus a large crowd for which the other two members of this trio can be featured. As they arrive early, it keeps most attendees there, forcing to listen to music and deal with their hunger via the delicious and handy street vendors nearby.
All the while the Food Trucks themselves keep people there, providing the ‘special meal’ for the day or simply a delightful accompaniment to the main entertainment features. It’s a full-on supportive role, adding further distraction and attraction throughout the hours of listening to music while waiting for the film; at which time they would also provide the obligatory ‘snacks’ one wishes to enjoy which feature films seem to demand. Of course in a much higher and fun quality than is typically observed.
Of course, when combined, each of these elements bring in their OWN separate admirers, thus accounting for the great numbers which SFC has seen since day one. And with that, and other special event like it, one can easily see how the combination of two or more key attractions/players can lead to exponential benefits to all present. Especially the guests; we may be constantly talking about how it’s great for US, but one can’t deny how much extra fun it is for everyone else!
Definitely check out more of these guys, including many of the past movie-themed events and the food trucks they associate with, Here! And if you don’t live in their area, perhaps their grand popularity will help inspire other similar pop-up like festivals throughout the country. Or hey, as a food truck owner, maybe you should bring up the idea in the next little coalition and planning meeting yourself. Though whether movies are involved or one simply pairs their mobile eats with a delicious local brew, all of us will still continue to benefit as our local businesses continue to work together like so.