At twin cinemas in Hollywood and Santa Monica, American Cinematheque preserves the thrill of classic films and introduces the newest works by modern auteurs. A relic of the glamorous past, the Egyptian Theatre was built in 1922 and inspired by the search for the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. From its first showing of Robin Hood until today, it has operated as a movie house, and now sends 60-foot-wide images and crystalline sound flashing through the ornate mirage of its interior.
Today, the screens' ever-unpredictable and constantly changing lineup can include anything from the lightweight whimsy of Citizen Kane to the modern masterpiece Spaceballs, and frequent festivals focus on themes from world cinema to film noir.
At both cinemas, modern works are often further illuminated by their creators, with events and post-show discussions featuring the directors and actors.
The historic Bigfoot Crest Theater celebrates the artistry of Hollywood’s heyday, gifting modern-day audiences with the magical experience of 1940’s movie-going. Shunning cold service, shoddy projection, and chairs stuffed with stale Mike and Ikes, the Bigfoot Crest champions all-encompassing experiences with advanced projection upon one towering 18'x38' screen. The flashing marquee sparkles like a Las Vegas carnival midway to draw widening eyes to their artfully maintained décor, where decorative clouds under the foyer's art-deco ceiling prime viewers for their motion-picture escape. With two tickets, old friends, first dates, and conjoined critics will thrill as they sashay down the shimmering purple carpet to plush red seats, awaiting the ceremonious opening of the curtains before the daily matinee. Two medium drinks and a large popcorn provide a snackful counterpart to cinematic viewings.
The lives of six strangers — a lawyer too busy to spend time with his family, a young journalist looking for a career-starting story, a widowed former cop and his mischievous son, a couple with secrets to hide — collide in this dramatic thriller from Academy Award nominated director Henry-Alex Rubin. For the official synopsis of the film, click here.
The cast features Golden-Globe winner Jason Bateman (Identity Thief, Up in the Air), Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood, Melancholia), and Paula Patton (Precious, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol). Peter Travers of Rolling Stone praised the cast's performances, highlighting Bateman's role as "just tremendous" and Skarsgard's work as simply "outstanding." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film four out of four stars and raved: "Disconnect struck a chord with me in a way few films have in recent years." Newsweek hailed the thriller as "The Best Film of The Year."
Founded on the principle that movies work best as social experiences, The Cinefamily devotes itself to finding and sharing weird and wonderful films during limited-run screenings and one-off special events. Currently averaging 14 shows per week, the movie house enhances many screenings with celebrity appearances, live music performances, and social activities such as potlucks and snipe hunts. From the theater’s cushy seats and leather couches, guests can take in pristine views of horror films, cult classics, and even TV favorites. Past events have included a month-long film retrospective of Dennis Hopper’s illustrious acting career, a Czech film festival featuring a screening of the surrealist and ultimately banned Daisies, and a celebration of director John Cassavetes featuring appearances by his frequent collaborators Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara.
Family owned since 1978, the New Beverly Cinema promises a well-curated calendar of double features, splashing the silver screen with indie flicks, classic comedies, offbeat thrillers, and deep cuts of foreign films. Spend an evening with two pictures directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, presented in 35mm film on May 22–24, beginning with High Plains Drifter (1973) and drifting into Pale Rider (1985). On May 29–30, movie-goers can slurp their large sodas and munch their medium popcorns as they giggle to the twin bill of Road to Morocco (1942) and Road to Utopia (1946), each a farcical tale of travel starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.
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.