Staff Size: 2?10 people
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Free street parking after 6 p.m. and all day Sunday
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Films and Concerts
Recommended Age Group: All Ages with parental guidance
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The Warner Brothers believed a glamorous picture palace should be a place of escape, a place where dreams come true. They built three lavish art deco picture palaces in Beverly Hills, Huntington Park, and San Pedro. The Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, the first sound-equipped theatre in the South Bay, opened to the public on January 20, 1931, with a star-studded gala premier. Jack Warner christened it "The Castle of Your Dreams," created by its chief architect B. Marcus Priteca and designer A.T. Heinsbergen.
What?s your favorite part of your job?
Engaging and inspiring our community through the arts.
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In the mid-1990s, we saved the Warner Grand Theatre, a spectacular 1931 art deco movie palace and cornerstone of the town's revitalization. (Plans were to turn it into a swap meet.) Today, we promote and preserve this beautiful theater while also presenting events and educational experiences at the Theatre and at the Grand Annex, our cabaret-style venue down the street.
At Starlight Cinemas, cinephiles can get up close and personal with their favorite celebrities without worrying about security guards or the electric force field that keeps Ralph Macchio from aging. Two movie tickets grant you and a companion access to any 2-D or 3-D movie (subject to availability), projected in pristine HD digital in every auditorium. A large tub of popcorn fuels buttery snacking during trailers, and a free refill ensures patrons have snacks to eat during the feature or to toss over their shoulder during startling horror scenes. Though not valid with this Groupon, each theater is equipped with full concessions should you feel the urge for sodas, candy, or other popular cine-fare. Check Starlight Cinemas’ individual websites for current listings and showtimes.
Over the course of the summer, Street Food Cinema rolls out more than forty events that showcase the greatest hits of the silver screen and the LA food-truck scene. When the gates open, guests spread blankets on the grass and pop open coolers. Live bands play until dusk, when crowd-pleasing movies such as Fight Club and The Sandlot across the big screen. Meanwhile, a rotating food-truck schedule assembles a diverse curbside lineup, which might include asian-inspired tacos from Komodo or the gooey delights of The Grilled Cheese Truck. Their events also feature movie-themed games projected on the big screen for audience participation. During showcases, artisan vendors are on hand selling fresh baguettes, fine meats, and sweets for purchase.
Street Food Cinema's eclectic assemblage of food, music, and films has picked up attention beyond the park's bounds, snagging mentions on NBC4 and in the Huffington Post's Broke Girls Guide. Other videos of the events in action can be seen here. It's also become known for its philanthropic work: each year the organization supports one designated local charity.
Amid the bustle of Hollywood Boulevard stand two monuments to the silver screen. One, the TCL Chinese Theatre, oozes with history— imported Chinese stone lions, a 90-foot-tall copper roof, and concrete blocks that bear the handprints of Hollywood luminaries from years gone by each memorialize the celebrated role the building has played in Hollywood for more than eight decades.
Next door, Chinese 6 Theatres is a tribute to the cutting-edge. Six theaters, some with 3D capability, immerse viewers in ultra-realistic picture and sound better than sitting inside Steven Spielberg's android brain. Beyond the plush theater seating, a bar slings cocktails for in-movie sipping and a restaurant serves a full menu for cravings after the show. The service schedule varies for the bar and the restaurant but both will be open during Summer 2013. Whether they opt for the historic cinema or the ultramodern theater, visitors can catch a full slate of acclaimed new releases on their chosen big screen.
The storied history of TCL Chinese Theatre rivals those of the more than 200 celebrities whose handprints, footprints, and autographs are cemented into the theater's forecourt. Erected in 1927 and declared a historical and cultural landmark in 1968, the iconic theater stages movie screenings, premieres, events, and red-carpet ceremonies. Today, moviegoers walking through the theater's main courtyard can revel in the same opulence of those 1920s screen idols, craning their necks upward to take in the looming pagoda that frames the entrance. Inside, the theater's original 1927 screen towers high above the plush red-velvet seats, surrounded by wooden panels that rise to a ceiling with flowing Chinese-style drawings. This classic Hollywood setting is one of the reasons why the theater, in an echo of its origins, hosts celebrity-studded premieres, such as the 2012 opening for Life of Pi and the 2013 opening for Beautiful Creatures.
The El Capitan Theatre dates back to Hollywood's earliest years, when the hilltop sign was still written in cursive. Debuting in 1926 as “Hollywood's First Home of Spoken Drama,” the 1,000-seat theater lavishes audiences' senses in architectural majesty with intricately carved columns flanking a vividly colorful, East Indian–inspired curtain. The cherry on this stately proscenium's cake is an antique “Mighty Wurlitzer” organ, built in the 1920s and equipped with four keyboards and 37 ranks of pipes. But even as the grandeur pays tribute to the Golden Years, the theater has remained abreast of the latest technology, boasting digital-3D capabilities, a state-of-the-art Dolby sound system, and a fully animatronic box-office staff. The auditorium's renovation to its original splendor was made possible through its 1989 purchase by the Walt Disney Company. With the help of modern architects, designers, and conservators, along with the National Park Service, the theater found a new lease on its already star-studded life. Today, the ornate stage and screen enjoy exclusive access to Disney's newest films, and regularly host live shows featuring such Disney stars as Cinderella and Tinker Bell.