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Folks, this is 2010, adjust to the times, theaters need to survive. At age 64 I cherish being alive while thousands of young men and women have been killed and maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The audience, young and otherwise, are a part of the movie going experience. Embrace it.
FYI, the so-called golden age of moviegoing, 1920s to 1950s, had their issues: sometimes not so good sightlines-remember all those hats! Balconies were often heavy petting areas for couples.
I was friends with a lady who played for the silent movies in “conservative” Connecticut. While she played the Wurlitzer she sometimes had to contend with men sitting near her telling dirty jokes, badgering her for dates and even pinching her. The cheap seats lured the lower element immigrant population who sometimes snuck in a flask or had been drinking. Sexual activity, while rare happened on at least one New Years Eve.
Factor in smaller seats, less legroom, a ton of second-hand smoke, kids who hung out all day long, women with too much perfume…you get the picture.
My main suggestion for theaters is to cut down on the number of screen times, thereby populating the auditoriums a bit more at each performance. Just like restaurants and clubs, people are attracted to crowds. Too many screen times create small viewing audiences and not enough buzz.
I attended the midnight screening of “Faster” last night at the Chinese. Normally I take Metro from N Hollywood, but because the movie got out about 2AM I drove the seven miles and parked in the Hollywood & Highland garage-what a bargain, $2 for 4 hours with Mann parking validation.
Can’t believe there were only 20 of us in the audience! Today the L A Times has a “Faster” movie flier which hopefully will help. The Cirque du Soleil show opening at the Kodak next summer should also help business.
Brad, sorry but the FILM is the main thing. Unless you are a projectionist or have Toscanini’s ear, almost all theaters have acceptable presentation and sound. Personally, I love AMC Burbank: 30 movies, free parking, $6 senior Tuesday and $6 for all first movie on Saturday.
You need to visit the Vista for its awesome interior and history.
I caught the 7PM Saturday show of Harry Potter at the Premiere theater with about 350 seats filled out of 800. The seats are the most comfortable I have sat in along with the Paramount Studios theater.
Although I live in N Hollywood I love LA Live. I have attended six movies at the Regal, a jazz concert at the Grammy Museum, a dance competition in the grand ballroom of the Marriott and the circus at Staples Center. Add in the convention center, all the restaurants and clubs, the Ritz Carlton, the Regal has a lot to draw from.
On Thursday evening, standing outside the Bruin before I went in, it was fascinating watching the streams of UCLA students filing into the Village-like the Pied Piper of Hamlin was calling them.
On Sunday, I caught Harry Potter again at the Village for the 3:45PM show. A good crowd of about 300. UCLA students definitely like the balcony as they can work on their tablets and notebooks. In my old age(64) I’ve really become a fan of young people-we need them to keep the old single screens alive and their energy is infectious.
The Thursday midnight show at the Bruin was packed. I was the only senior in the audience and did not see anyone under 18 or over 25 in the audience. The UCLA crowd was great and highly responsive to the movie.
FYI, Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema replaced their seats with ones from the Festival. You can still see the Mann logo on the armrests.
I attend movies about five nights a week at about 20 different venues; however, the Beverly is a throwback to that time when revival theaters were all the rage and is a favorite.
Thanks for the great photo. I caught the 10:30PM showing last Friday of “Skyline”, which had very little advertising. The audience of about 80 was actually larger han a few other movies I’ve seen at Grauman’s in the last few months. I never get tired of gawking at the well-maintained beauty of the interior.
I’ll take the Chinese over ArcLight any day. Mann gives me a $9 senior rate, $11.50 for 3D, while the Cinerama Dome gouged me for $18 this past Sunday for “Megamind.” And the upkeep on the Dome is only fair.
Contrast that with the El Capitan, where I only paid $10 for Disney’s A Christmas Carol 3D". Plus, I got a bell bracelet and the live Wurlitzer organist. Kudos also to Regency: I bought my $9 ticket online to the midnight showing of the new Harry Potter movie at the Bruin and was only charged a 50 cent fee. Both the Bruin and Village are sold out!
Why do people rave about the overpriced Arclight? For anywhere from $5.50 to $9.50 one can see the latest movies at the awesome Vista, right near the Metro subway stop.
The “Bullitt” movie only was projected in the center of the Dome’s screen, so I returned on 11/14, for the 7PM screening of “Megamind”, to see how the full screen would look. The screen at the Chinese is more impressive and the Crest’s new 3D is just as good as the Dome.
I have to say that I don’t appreciate the price gouging by Arclight: $18, with no evening senior discount! As I came in from the rear of the loge there was unswept popcorn all over; also, I had to get replacement 3d glasses because they were smudged and spotted from their “steam cleaning.” Other patrons complained. I consider my $18 a donation to the continued existence of the Dome but would not go back expect for a special screening. The 2002 refresh is starting to show its age.
The fact that “Megamind” was playing in an additional Arclight theatre takes away from the exclusivity of the Dome, which had about 90 in my audience. The Dome should revert to a roadshow style format, two shows a day of classics like “The Sound of Music” with a printed program. The Goldwyn Thatre on Wilshire is run by the Oscars organization is a model: They charge only $5 for their screenings and give out a complimentary glossy program.
The Bullitt screening was a near sellout. They had a red carpet and muscle cars on Sunset and in the courtyard. Neile Adams McQueen (Steve’s first wife), son Chad McQueen, Robert Vaughn, Jackie Bisset, Lalo Schifrin were in attendance. 84-year old actor Don Gordon gave a heartfelt tribute to best friend Steve.
Here’s a link with pictures.
I made it a point to visit as many old movie theaters in LA-Orange County before they closed and managed to see “Top Gun” at the Golden Gate in 1986. The long walkway from Whittier Boulevard to the box office was reminiscent of the Egyptian in Hollywood.
There was an old stationery store nearby that I used to patronize.
The Chinese is really dropping the ball. Kudos to Regency Theatres for booking Harry Potter into both the Village and Bruin. Their midnight opening shows are SOLD OUT, all 2000 tickets! I will be at the Bruin that night for what should be a crazy night in Westwood.
This coming Thursday I will be at the Dome for the 30th anniversary of Steve McQueen’s death and a showing of “Bullitt.” It will be red carpet with Ali MaGraw, Robert Vaughn, Jacqueline Bisset, Lalo Schifrin and others in attendance.
I am excited as I haven’t been to the Dome since the late ‘80s.
Bruin is now also sold out for the midnight showing of the Harry Potter movie. Westwood will be insane that night and I will be there.
Regency is to be commended and supported for running three great single screens, including the Lido gem in Newport Beach. They also just reopened the Valley 6, near Laurel Canyon & Victory in N Hollywood-only $3.
On Saturday 11/20, there will be a Westwood Village fair and tours of the Village and Bruin theaters and movies.
Yesterday, after catching the free 7:30PM showing of “Virtue” (1932) at the Bridges Theater at UCLA, I dutifully spent $16 at the 10:20PM showing of “Due Date” at the Village-counted about 18 patrons. One of the worst movies I have seen in a long time; however, Regency is to be commended and supported for running three great single screens, including the Lido gem in Newport Beach. They also just reopened the Valley 6, near Laurel Canyon & Victory in N Hollywood-only $3.
Trivia note: A relative of Sid Grauman presented a program at the Silent Movie Theater this past Wednesday.
Walter Grauman, 88, directed countless TV episodes, as a Google search will show. A Route 66 episode featured Sessue Hayakawa-we only saw excerpts but it looked well done. Also, a 1920 Hayakawa movie “The Devil’s Claim”, was on the program.
Wow! The Village is SOLD OUT for the 12:05AM showing on 11/19 for the new Harry Potter movie. Patrons who have never visited the Village before should be impressed and hopefully come back.
I kick myself for not buying my ticket online yesterday while the Village showing was still available. The Bruin’s simultaneous screening still has tickets and I grabbed one. I appreciate that the Regency online ticket service only charges a 50c fee.
Westwood will really be jumping the night/morning of 11/18-11/19. If the parking lots have sense they will stay open all night or at least until 4AM.
Don’t forget “Phantom of the Opera” special midnight screening tonight at the Crest. Tickets will probably be available at the door.
Went a second time to see “Nightmare Before XMAS”, 9:15P show last Saturday. Almost 800 in the theater; my wait line extended into the alley way behind the El Capitan. Ushers were very efficient, passing out the 3D glasses and bell bracelets as we waited. The first week the bracelets were RED this week GREEN.
As I was famished I ordered the personal pizza which turned out to be quite tasty(better than a pizza I recently had at a pizzeria in N Hollywood).
For my money the best deal in town is the El Capitan: $11 to see The Nightmare After Christmas in 3D, 4D effects, a bell bracelet with the El Capitan name to shake during the movie, and the Wurlitzer organ that rises from the orchestra pit for a half hour pre-show live performance.
Caught “Never Let Me Go” at the 9:45PM showing on 10/19. Just seven of us in the audience which is too bad as it is a well done intriguing movie.
The Village is closed today for a premiere which I tried to buy a ticket for but couldn’t. It’s godd that the Village still hosts an occasional premiere.
“Unstoppable”, with Denzel Washington.
I never thought I’d say thank God for “Jackass 3D”, but it helped the Bruin subsidize the Village.
With six shows the day of 10/16, the Bruin pulled in 400 patrons at the 10:10PM show.
Sunday night the Chinese was closed for a private screening of what an exiting patron told me was a “ski-skateboard movie” (whatever that is).
It was fun standing in line with my umbrella to get into the 7PM show at the El Capitan. I haven’t stood in line in the rain since my Chicago film going days in the ‘70s.