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Too bad Sicko is also playing at the new Landmark, 2 miles away. I encourage everyone to see it at the National. And tell your friends. I converted a couple of coworkers (who had never been there) to check out the National. I sold them with with my pictures posted on Cinematour of the the National’s closing night under Mann’s operation:
They were wowed by the fact that it is a perfectly preserved relic of widescreen cinema construction from the 60’s and 70’s. Too bad that it is not old enough, or “ornate” enough, to be historically registered and preserved. It seems that Los Angeles will tear down and destroy anything that is not old enough. Where theatres like the Village and Bruin in Westwood will survive because of their location, age, neon, and classic design, superior theatres like the National willl fall. Unless we do something, all of the theatres and architecture from this era, unprotected as they are, will one day be gone.
As if there isn’t enough empty retail space in Westwood that Banana Republic can’t occupy!!! Foot traffic will be lousy for them at this location. My prediction is that the Banana Republic will be vacant 3 years after opening. Instead of an empty classic theatre, Westwood will have another empty retail space.
Has anyone seen what Banana Republic did to the Colesium Theatre in Seattle? At least the shell of the building is intact, but the inside has no hint that it was ever a theatre, except for the historic photos an the wall. Odd way of “preserving” a theatre.
I saw Blade Runner during its initial release in 1982 at the SRO Tacoma West Cinemas, Tacoma WA (Screen 1, on the right). I was 12 years, and accompanied by my mother who I had convinced to take me since the film had an R rating. Presenation was 35MM Dolby Stereo, proper 2.35:1 masking, (something SRO was good at). I was disappointed it did not play at the Tacoma Mall Twin, which usually got big blockbusters in the summer.
Although I fell in love immediately with the visuals, effects, sound, music and mood of the film, because of my youth the meanings and themes of the story went right over my head. Of, course, now it is one of my favorite films and it truly is a masterpiece (in any cut).
My personal Blade Runner Collection: Director’s Cut DVD (widescreen), Original Cut Criterion Laserdisc (widescreen), “additional gore” Embassy Home Video VHS (pan and scan). I also have the original souvenir magazine which I bought with my hard-earned allowance at the theatre.
I have seen the “Director’s Cut” 3 times on the big screen, at 3 different theatres that are now closed: Act III Newport Cinemas, Spokane WA (Dolby Stereo), Act III Everett 9 Cinemas, Everett WA (THX Dolby Stereo), UA Cinema 150, Seattle WA (Dolby Stereo).
Phillip, what is the film festival of which you speak? Does the the National have a website? When is the festival and what is the theme? Any 70mm in the future?
Yet it the Transformers will probably open at the Avco…
I think the new operators of the National should really try to run “Raiders” on its giant screen. Loads of us movie geeks will turn out in droves for a late night show or Saturday morning matinee. What better way to get people interested in this theatre. Follow it later with showings of Temple of Doom and Last Crusade. Do any 70mm prints of these films still exist? Could Speilberg kick Paramount in the tush to strike some new ones to get some momentum going for the new film?
Saw John Cusack on the red carpet at the National?
Hopefully the management can save the National from the wrecking ball. Seems like a theatre needs to be at least from the 1930’s to be registered as a historic place. Perhaps I will perch myself high atop the National roof sign when the day comes and refuse to leave.
Days of Heaven
and oh heck…. Star Trek I, V, VI
The Sound of Music
West Side Story
King Solomon’s Mines (1985)
Richard Chamberlain and Sharon Stone up on that giant screen. And the effects!
Since the National trying to get midnight shows going again, perhaps we should start making requests. I’ll start with the obvious (in 70mm if and when possible):
The Indiana Jones Trilogy
Star Trek II, III, IV
Star Wars IV, V, VI (the untampered originals please)
The Hunt for Red October
Lawrence of Arabia
Perhaps Columbia Pictures will strike a 70mm print of Yor just for the occasion. Oh! to heart the title track “Yor! He’s a man! Yor! He’s a man!” in glorious 6-Track magnetic stereo for the first time…
One can only dream. Sends chills up the spine.
This happened to me when I saw “Girl With the Pearl Earring”. Except it was the reverse in a top-masking auditorium so there was open screen above and below the 2.35:1 projected image. They did come in and fix it without anyone asking.
It is a wonder it is open in a town like this when better theatres in the area have been shuttered. Mann must have a good deal with the mall in order to keep the place open. Their ticket prices are lower the other Mann theatres, however, making it a quasi-first run/second run theatre.
Funnily I am always amused coming here (only under dire cirqumstances, like when it was the last place in LA that “Flags of Our Fathers” was still playing). Its like seeing a bad car crash, a museum of bad cinema design. I do have to hand it to Cineplex Odeon, even though all their builds were generally crappy grey and purple shoe boxes with bad slope, bad line of sight, bad light reflective painted grey walls in auditoriums, (the list goes on), they ALWAYS at least had Dolby Stereo in all their theatres, something which many crummy shoeboxes of the 70’s and 80’s did not have.
For those Plaza showings why didn’t they put the Midnight 70mm screenings at the National in the first place?
I second the motion for some 70MM revivals at the National. How about “70MM Mornings” every Saturday and Sunday at 10 AM. and “70MM Midnights” on Friday and Saturdays. That would leave the normal hours for open for their regular engagement commitments. Of course the occasional 70MM week-long festival would be great. Would probably draw more people than “Hitcher 2: Sequel to a Crummy Remake”.
Somebody should direct the current operators to this website and thread so they can see our wishes.
3.5 hours of Yor? Good God! One gets suicidal feelings after watching just the first ½ hour…
Proof again that Seattle is one of the top movie watching cities in the world.
Here is my Star Wars history:
I was 7 years old when it came out….
1&2: Roxy Theatre (twice), Tacoma WA (now the Pantages)
3: UA Cinema 150 (RIP), Seattle WA (70mm)
4: Narrows Theatre, Tacoma WA
5: Lakewood Theatre, Lakewood WA (1982 Reissue)
The Special Edition (UGH!):
Act III Crossroads 8, Bellevue WA – Dolby Digital THX
Act III Supermall Stadium 17, Auburn WA – Dolby Digital THX
American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre, Santa Monica, CA – Dolby Digital (2007 showing)
(I was hoping this would be the original version, but it wasn’t. They had made no indication on their website or Calendar as to which version it was).
Nice to see a gathering of people around the box office…
Does anyone know if they have changed the “Mann” sign that is perched in top of the “National” sign. I am out of town for a month and it is driving me crazy to not be able see what they have done to my favorite theatre!
I love bad movies. I actually own Yor on Laser Disc….
I cannot believe “Yor: The Hunter From the Future” played at the National. Oh if I were able to go back in time…
Does anyone out there have pictures of the Avco’s original main auditorium?
Also, Michael: When you get the pictures William is telling us about on your site please make announcements on Cinematour and Cinema Treasures so we can know when to look.
Michael, I know it would be wildly long, but could you post that compete list of the National on your site or under the National’s thread on this site?
Good News! Hope it works out!
Bad location compared to Village, bad parking, underappreciation of vintage 60’s/70’s decor, can’t hold a film as long as the Avco, especially since Mann has hardly any screens left to move a film to…