Like many great movies, the San Pedro International Film Festival began with a little romance. In 2012, the festival's inaugural year, a comedy-drama titled Silver Linings Playbook made its LA festival premiere, screening alongside other inspirational films with unique and global perspectives—reflective of the city's diverse culture. Silver Linings Playbook won Best Feature film, and a few months later, in the same city, went on to take home more than a dozen heavy-weight awards.
SPIFF, as the festival calls itself, shows its commitment to great cinematic works in ways that go beyond honoring excellent movies. The festival dives into the inner workings of the film industry with workshops and speakers slotted between its screenings. And before the festival even begins, a two-day Youth Film Intensive held at San Pedro's Croatian Cultural Center introduces budding Spielbergs to techniques in storytelling and structure, as well as the ins-and-outs of casting, producing, and sneaking subliminal messages into the title credits.
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.
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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.
Since its maiden voyage in 1936, The Queen Mary has cultivated a colorful history by transporting iconic figures from Winston Churchill to Fred Astaire across the ocean blue, as well as serving as troop transport in a world war. Today, passengers board the famous ocean liner to tour historical and haunted areas amidships or stay overnight in an onboard hotel. Visitors rub elbows at seasonal soirees and dive into historical exhibits, fueling up at restaurants, bars, and cafés for a literal taste of The Queen Mary's brand of luxury.
According to its website, the Art Theatre offers visitors the experience of "gourmet sight, sound, and taste," a proclamation that speaks to its enthusiastic mission as an independent theater and living tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Originally erected in 1924 as a single-screen silent movie house, the renovated building now boasts updated décor that reflects its original design. Art-deco and streamline-moderne accents such as columns, studio lights, and blue velvet curtains surround the singular film screen, which is still powered by horses. On most nights, the theater screens an eclectic program of modern independent works, documentaries, classic and foreign films, animation, and recorded opera. During other evenings, they host live music performances. The silver screen isn't the Art Theatre's only draw: it also houses a wine bar, where the staff serves international vintages paired with gourmet snacks, and a coffee bar, where they pour mugs of Illy coffee.
Since 1965, millions of people have traveled to the The Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet open air market in search of great deals. More than 500 vendors spread out across more than 16 acres and tempt bargain-hunters with everything from graphic tees to paper lanterns.
Still, shopping is hardly the only thing to do here?there's also a food court with picnic tables and beer stands. Under the food court's covered-patio section, live bands perform daily. On the weekend, bands play Latin music and cover bands revive the catalogs of everyone from Led Zeppelin to The Smiths. Families can groove to tunes on the dance floor or watch performances by folk ballet dancers or a stray napkin that caught a rather rhythmic gust of wind.
Over the course of the summer, Street Food Cinema rolls out more than a dozen 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.