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Gelato and a movie

LA Times – Posted by Amy Scattergood on 12:04 PM, Aug 8 2007 – VIEW ONLINE

Driving up the San Gabriel foothills into Altadena for a fix of Bulgarini Gelato has been well worth the trek since the outpost opened in April. And now you can pull up a folding chair and stay awhile: Owners Leo Bulgarini and his wife, Elizabeth, recently instituted movie nights. Every other Friday night, after the sun (and the lines snaking out the door) goes down, at about 9:30, you can watch an Italian movie free of charge in the open courtyard outside their shop.

Eat a bowl of pistachio gelato or spoon up an affogato (a scoop of gelato topped by a shot of espresso) while you wait for the same stars watched by the nearby Mt. Wilson Observatory to come out. Last Friday, the third movie night so far this summer, it was a showing of “Mediterraneo,” the Italian flick that won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1992. Come early, save a seat and get dinner too: for $9 you can get a huge plate of homemade lasagne or ravioli and a salad at the table they set up outside. Or get back in line for a second bowl of plum sorbetto or chocolate-orange gelato while you brush up on your Italian. Not that it’s required; the films are subtitled, even if the occasional shouts from the back of the house aren’t.

Bulgarini Gelato, 749 E. Altadena Drive, Altadena; (626) 441-2319.

— Amy Scattergood