iPic Westwood

10840 Wilshire Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90024

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Showing 176 - 200 of 260 comments

markinthedark on October 29, 2007 at 9:01 pm

In light of what is happening with the National, the Rialto and other single-screeners, I was a bit disappointed that the Cinematreasures are holding their meeting to discuss theatre preservation etc. at the brand-spanking-new Landmark 12!!! Less than 2 miles away from Westwood Village, the densest grouping of open single screeners in the country. Are they serious? Are they serious about preservation?

I expressed my disappointment here:

Feel free to express your feelings as well.

kencmcintyre on October 12, 2007 at 10:14 am

Here is a repost of the 5/25/77 LA Times ad:

William on October 11, 2007 at 12:18 pm

The Avco Theatre property is owned by the office building next door. AMC using it as a Westside location the get more booking clout. So they can give AMC’s in Santa Monica, Marina, Century City, Westwood, Universal City and the rest of their other locations when booking with the studios for pictures. So the Avco might be around longer than you think.

BradE41 on October 11, 2007 at 11:52 am

I would not be surprised if the AVCO was gone within the next few years. The Wilshire Blvd. property it sits on is pretty ‘hot’ property.

kencmcintyre on October 10, 2007 at 8:53 pm

I spent a lot of time in Westwood in the early and mid 80s, which was kind of its heyday, at least in my era. It was packed to the gills with students and non-students having a good time. There was a shooting in 1988 which put the brakes on the crowds, and then after the SM promenade opened it was downhill all the way. I’ve probably been to Westwood Village once since 1990 or so.

Damon Packard
Damon Packard on October 10, 2007 at 8:47 pm

agreed, they ruined this theatre years ago. I’m surprised it’s still open, the place barely does any business year after year, it surely can’t last much longer.
That said, back in the early days a lot of great memories at the Avco, many big openings and premiere’s, and they had the 1st THX system on the westside back in 1983. I also always thought the location of this theatre was interesting, right behind the Westwood cemetary
Sigh it’s over now, these are the last dying days of cinema. It is..OVER!

BradE41 on October 10, 2007 at 8:36 pm

It is very awkward sitting in the downstairs theatres now. I could never get comfortable.

markinthedark on October 10, 2007 at 8:33 pm

I am surprised the downstairs auditoriums are THX, considering the seats are arced toward the center wall and the screen is a little off center.

BradE41 on October 10, 2007 at 8:25 pm

The Avco was one of the premium theatres in Los Angeles during the 70’s and 80’s. It really became a faceless nothing film when GCC split the large screen in half. The last time I was there the presentation was pretty medicore. The PQ and Sound quality was really bad.

fluffer1987 on October 7, 2007 at 7:22 pm

I saw Empire Strikes Back at AVCO on 9-12-80. I had just moved to LA to attend USC. I wanted to see Robert Altman’s Health, which opened that day exclusively at a UA theater in Westwood — can’t recall name. I had no idea where Westwood Village was, in fact I didn’t realize Westwood Village was right next to UCLA. I just drove down Wilshire for what seemed like an enternity, finally encountered Westwood Blvd. I parked in one of those expensive parking lots, didn’t realize there was street parking in residential neighborhood. Saw Health, first showing of afternoon, then strolled over to AVCO to catch Empire for about the 10th time. I saw Melvin and Howard in October 1980, it opened exclusively at AVCO. Saw so many films in the 80’s. Die Hard first run — Robert Townsend was there, I said hello and told him I enjoyed Hollywood Shuffle, he was very nice. There was an actor from Hollywood Shuffle working at theater at the time. Saw Milagro Beanfield War and Midnight Run in 88. Last film seen there was Catch Me If You Can. The AVCO used to be one of THE places to go for first-run films.

kencmcintyre on October 1, 2007 at 10:44 pm

On 5/25/77, Star Wars was playing at the Chinese, the Avco and the Plitt in Orange County. It would soon be playing everywhere. The ad is from the LA Times;

pvthudson on September 23, 2007 at 12:12 am

Thank you very much for the Link!

Damon Packard
Damon Packard on September 16, 2007 at 6:23 am

interesting, just noticed the film-tech.com site also has a 70’s GCC feature animation intro, but the wierd purple blob background version which god sure brings back memories.

Damon Packard
Damon Packard on September 16, 2007 at 6:10 am

funny, your post made me want to do a web search for the old GCC feature presentation intro’s (with the projector) which i so fondly remember as a kid, and low & behold I found a link to them here
View link

Now if i couold just find that 80’s Mann Theatres presentation one, with the cheesy laser animation FX zapping the letters, remember that? Someone posted the 1973 version on that link above, but i can’t find the early-mid 80’s one

droben on September 16, 2007 at 6:00 am

Pvt. Hudson,

You can find that clip and many other classics from General Cinema at www.film-tech.com Can’t link to it directly, but once you’re at the home page, click on the videos button and scroll about halfway down to the Policy Trailers section. There, you’ll find it listed as General Cinema 1990s (candy and clouds).

General Cinema truly had the best policy trailers in the business.

Also, check out the RC Cola commercial from 1970. I still can’t get that jingle out of my head!

pvthudson on September 16, 2007 at 3:16 am

There was an animation in the 80’s that was run before the movie about throwing your trash away. It was basically a gummi bear, a piece of popcorn and a cup in space that drifted into the trash receptacle. It had a really catchy tune and the audience would always clap to the beat. Does anybody have a link to this animation?

Coate on May 14, 2007 at 2:58 pm

Mark Campbell:
OK, the list of films that played the NATIONAL has been posted on its Cinema Treasures page. I hope you and others enjoy it and that it brings back fond memories. And, you’re right, the list is “wildly long”!

The article I mentioned is still a few days from completion, and so I thought I’d give the list a test spin.

markinthedark on May 12, 2007 at 10:51 am

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.


William on May 12, 2007 at 10:42 am

Damon his name was Al Szabo.

Yes, I have a few shots of the National, Village, Bruin and other theatre locations that I’m almost ready to send the Michael for his site. I just finished scanning around 150 for the first batch.

Damon Packard
Damon Packard on May 11, 2007 at 11:42 pm

yea the UA Marina, I even remember when they had that ET sneak preview. Used to hang out at the “Westworld” arcade quite a bit back then, they seemed to have a bigger more cutting edge selection of new games than the one in Westwood. Now we’re really getting off subject of the the Avco, btw does anyone know of or have any vintage pics of places like The National or Avco from the 70’s/80’s? I would love to see some National pics when they had those huge marquee’s and murals.
Ok so how about that evil german guy who used to manage the Avco back in the early 80’s, every now and then he’d catch me waiting at the exit doors (to sneak in) and shout out “Hey get away from there!” in a vicious nazi-like voice

Coate on May 11, 2007 at 9:03 pm

D. Packard:
If you’re referring to this theatre in Marina del Rey, then the 70mm presentations shown there (if the 70mm stuff was correctly promoted) was:


You’d think they would’ve run more than that, but the theatre was not in a prime location and seemed to get 70mm prints only when a large run was made, which was not the case with most titles released in 70. Now, maybe they ran some others on a moveover.

OK, sorry folks. Back to the AVCO…

Coate on May 11, 2007 at 5:18 pm

Mark Campbell:
In a May 6 post on the NATIONAL page, I mentioned Bill Kallay and I working on a tribute article. Have no fear, the intent is to include the list in the article.

Be patient! We hope to get it posted in a few days. Thanks for your interest.

BradE41 on May 11, 2007 at 3:17 pm

Dragonslayer did open at the Avco. MANN did not have a theatre in Westwood to book it into. The National had Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Village (where I was working during that Summer) had Superman II, the Bruin had S.O.B. and the Regent had Stripes. MANN did not have the Plaza yet at that time. Laemmle ran the Plaza until September 1981. It was one of the rare times the Avco showed a Paramount film, MANN’s biggest suppliers were Warner and Paramount.

markinthedark on May 11, 2007 at 2:21 pm

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?

Coate on May 11, 2007 at 1:57 pm

As William just stated, the Westwood first run of “Dragonslayer” was at the AVCO in an upstairs auditorium. (I believe “For Your Eyes Only” was booked into the AVCO’s big house.)

I have a list of everything that played the NATIONAL…and can confidently state that “Dragonslayer” did not have an engagement there. If it did play there it would have been for a one-off test screening, sneak preview, premiere or midnight show. “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” opened two weeks before “Dragonslayer” and was playing the NATIONAL during that time.

Did you see “Raiders” at the NATIONAL during its first couple of weeks? Maybe there was a “Dragonslayer” trailer that you’re remembering?