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If you’re like us, you regard the Los Angeles River as an eyesore you pass on the way to somewhere else. But now the 52-mile-long drainage ditch is a destination of its own: our city’s newest nightspot.

This summer, the just-launched L.A. River Regatta Club is throwing parties, hosting outdoor films and organizing field trips. The first event is a Kickstarter-funded bike-in outdoor movie screening behind an old glass factory in Elysian Park on Saturday, April 27. It’s free and starts at 7 p.m., but we plan to arrive early to picnic.

Then there’s a waterside fête ($25 a couple) on May 16 at which guests can dance under the stars and play Berlin-style Ping-Pong while sipping local beer and artisanal spirits.

Lots of club events are open to the public, but the nominal membership fees (starting at $11 a month) are worth it, since you get first dibs on tickets to future events (guided kayaking, pop-up restaurants and more). It’s all part of a master plan by the nonprofit L.A. River Revitalization Corporation to turn the waterway into a place of natural beauty and sustainable development.

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