Los Angeles is a mecca for many things, movie theaters being one of them. The sheer number of cinemas out here along with the fact that it’s freaking Hollywood makes each month very exciting in terms of what’s showing. I thought I’d name my personal top three fave theaters out here.
It’s a revival house owned by Tarantino that runs 35mm double features for seven dollars.
Let me say that last part again.
You can see two movies for seven dollars.
That alone is reason enough BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. It’s a cozy one-screen theater but they do such a good job of curating that you don’t need or want more screens. Billings typically run for two days, usually two shows a day per film and sometimes a special midnight screening. We first went to a Marilyn Monroe double feature and since then we’ve seen stuff like a midnight screening of Scott Pilgrim with cast/crew, Charles Bronson double feature with producer/actors, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles midnight show with co-creator in attendance. They’ll also have guests curate the schedule as Edgar Wright did January and Tarantino is doing this month at the moment. Films are also preceded by vintage trailers and advertisements which always warms my heart.
As they describe themselves: The Cinefamily is an organization of movie lovers devoted to finding and presenting interesting and unusual programs of exceptional, distinctive, weird and wonderful films. The Cinefamily’s goal is to foster a spirit of community and a sense of discovery, while reinvigorating the movie-going experience. Like campfires, sporting events and church services, we believe that movies work best as social experiences.
Basically, they’re like the New Bev but they’ll often show crazier movies and do more elaborate events. We’ve gone to a wake for Party Down that they hosted where we watched both seasons back to back and in between the cast and crew came out to talk about the show and do a Q&A. This month they’re doing a John Cassavetes retrospective and last night we went to a screening of Ben Gazzara films that was opened with a Q&A of Gazzara conducted by Gary Oldman. Crazy, crazy, awesome stuff.
The only reason that they’re not at the top is because the tickets are a bit more expensive (they do offer memberships) and most of the seating in the theater are these folding chairs with a cushion on them that is HELL for tall people like me. There are some awesome couches near the front but good luck getting them if you’re not a member.
Ok, technically these are two theaters but they’re part of the same organization. They do a mix of current and old, often with special guests and whatnot. They do really stress that you become a member, which you’ll probably want to do because some of their events sell out crazy fast. Definitely the nicest theaters on this list, and they run some great events, but I feel like you don’t get the joyous intimacy of the previous two. New Bev and Cinefamily feel like the ragtag group that always lives on the edge while the AC is a bit more highbrow (especially if you look at those membership levels). Still, we went to a double feature of Pierce Brosnan movies with him in attendance (handsome man), and also went to a screening of Memento where Nolan was interviewed by Guillermo Del Toro.
Can’t really do that anywhere else.