Comments from Damon Packard

Showing 1 - 25 of 131 comments

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about National Theatre on Apr 16, 2013 at 9:23 am

I’ve just written a script called WESTWOOD NIGHTS set at the NATIONAL in ‘85. An 80’s American Graffiti. It will likely never get made but just thought I’d mention it

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Crest Theatre on Apr 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm

a theater re-opening in Westwood?!? (rubbing eyes) this can’t be.

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Crest Theatre on Dec 15, 2011 at 9:08 am

the REGENT is getting Mission Impossible? That makes no sense, nobody will see it there. Westwood is faint flicker of memories of what was the last great era of cinema. It’s over now. Like Roy Batty at the end of Blade Runner, the light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and it burned so very very brightly. Time…to die

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Regency Village Theater on Oct 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I don’t get to the Village or Bruin often these days but it seems those those theaters are empty even on opening nights and weekends for big releases. Do they still pull in crowds? I never see them, but maybe i’m just not there enough to witness it. Westwood still has lots of foot traffic and students but nobody goes to see movies anymore. Cinema is dead, it’s been dead for 20 years or more in all honesty. What’s left of the single houses are just sputtering along. I just wish Regency had reduced the ticket price to $3 at all of it’s theaters, the Village ain’t what it used to be for screen & sound.

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about AMC AVCO Center on Oct 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm

it AMAZES me the Avco has lasted as long as it has, nobody goes there anymore do they? Do the local elderly patrons are keeping it going for the matinee’s? Seems like the place has been dead for over 10 or 15 years, or longer. That place went straight to the pits when they split their main auditorium, last couple of times i saw something there I regretted it, screen & sound was horrible. It’s not even a faint shadow of what it used to be. It’s just amazing it’s STILL OPEN as of late Oct 2011

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas on Aug 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm

This theater has gone to the pits, like everything. Every time i see something here the screen is WAY too dark, poorly matted or even out of focus at times. About half the amount of light needed is being thrown onto that screen, it’s like a laptop monitor in power save mode. What the hell are they doing there and WHY are they charging large amounts of money for a DIM screen you can barely see?

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Crest Theatre on Apr 26, 2011 at 2:18 pm

with the state of cinema these days it’ll be a boarded up shell before long

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Crest Theatre on Oct 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm

they can keep The Grove, Santa Monica Promenade and all those overcrowded modern mega-complexes, hip or not. And Century City ain’t what it used to be since the Plitt & Shubert closed ages ago. Westwood is actually still fairly bustling with people, especially on weekends. (been down there a few times in recent weeks) The students haven’t gone anywhere. But people aren’t seeing movie’s anymore,..I don’t know what the heck their doing or IS to do there anymore. Except maybe Falafel King or Deidi Riese

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Crest Theatre on Oct 2, 2010 at 2:18 pm

anyone see John Carpenter’s The Thing when it played at the Crest in 70mm in 1982? I remember sitting an an empty theatre watching it

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Crest Theatre on Oct 2, 2010 at 9:28 am

I agree Brad, but despite still seeing large crowds there on weekends, Westwood has been dead for years. Parking is ridiculous (one used to be able to park for FREE all day relatively easily at one time) the theaters are all gone, music/bookstores all gone. The Village and the Bruin just barely saved (temporarily) at the last minute by Regency are all thats left but their just rotting away, and never open with anything good or worthwhile. Not that there are actually good or worthwhile films still being made. Westwood has nothing left, except Lamonica’s Pizza. It’s over, plain and simple. Just hear that Terry Jacks song ‘Seasons in the Sun’ playing when you think of Westwood

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about National Theatre on Apr 14, 2010 at 9:52 am

VISTASONIC SOUND first presented in 1980? I’d never heard of such a thing, what was Vistasonic?

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about National Theatre on Jan 24, 2010 at 5:35 am

That was a great post of the 1970 Box Office mag, I posted it on my facebook page weeks ago. Does anyone know if there are any archived pics of Westwood in the 70’s/80’s anywhere online?

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about National Theatre on Oct 16, 2009 at 12:44 am

wow, we’re still here, posting. Some of my friends are just NOW (at the end of 2009) discovering the demise of the place. I’ve toyed around with the idea of making a film about working at Mann Theaters in Westwood at the time (‘83-85) It could be like American Graffiti of the 80’s in the cinema world of Westwood Village, and how things changed drastically in the late 80’s, leading up to the present day deterioration of everything. (think Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America meets American Graffitti) Of course this film will never get made but, I can still toy with idea’s, can’t I?

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about York Theatre on Jun 2, 2009 at 5:57 am

I live a few blocks away from this theatre and have always been curious about the history of it. Some fascinating pics from the 1950’s someone posted above. The whole area looked so different in those days, wow! what happened to our civilization, how quickly things deteriorate. I’m still curious about what films played here over the years during it’s operation as a cinema, especially in the 60’s/70’s. Someone posted an LA Times ad from the 50’s above (which is quite a curious ad, something about spaceships) and it looked like it was some kind of religious spot even at THAT time, weird

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Eagle Rock Plaza Theatre on Jun 2, 2009 at 5:25 am

i still live around the corner from the Eagle Rock Plaza, all i remember (during it’s final years) was one of the screens looked like it had a heavy diffusion lense on the projector. The first patented “Murko-vision”.
I’d be interested in hearing more about this place in the 70’s. Too bad there are no cinema’s left in the eagle rock area. The theatre scene is dead. These are the final years before D-Day

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas on Mar 2, 2009 at 3:09 pm

oh thats right, Run Simon Run (1974) was the one i was thinking of not Run Joe Run (ugh) I think it was an ABC movie of the week, Run Joe Run was the kids show from oddly enough the SAME YEAR!
I still can’t imagine how Zoot Suit got a 70mm Sensurround presentation.

Someone needs to track down that 70 print of the Muppet Movie and show it, whooo..!

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Brentwood Twins on Mar 2, 2009 at 1:25 am

ahh the Brentwood Twins, i lived right around the corner from the theater back in ‘82-83 and used to sneak in every night. I spent most of my life in this theater during those years watching “Blade Runner, The Thing, Empire Strikes Back (re-release) and everything else that played there those years over and over for weeks/months. It was the easiest theater to sneak into as the exit doors were always slightly ajar with generally few people inside. Cheap, run down, sticky floors, and the employees/floor staff were completely non present. I vividly remember during a late afternoon showing of "Sword and the Sorcerer” (which i also saw there a couple dozen times) a drug-connection friend of a friend i was with came thru the always-open exit doors right in the middle of the film, stood in the middle of the screen and started yelling out my friends name “Marc Maaarc..!!” Luckily there were only 2 or 3 other people in the theatre but it was quite embarrassing. Those were crazy days. Many memories of this theater.

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas on Mar 2, 2009 at 12:51 am

was just perusing Michael Coate’s list above, some reason I could have swore “Alien” played at the dome (in 70mm) in ‘79, before or after Apocalypse but i guess not. Where did Alien open, the Egyptian? Some surprising 70mm engagements like “The Muppet Movie” and “Run, Run Joe!” (1974) a film i’d never even HEARD of before, strange that the TV movie “Run Joe Run” (Burt Reynolds) came out the same year. “The Earthling” (1981) there’s a forgotten film, as well as “Bully” (1978) “Sextette” (1978) “Maurie” (1973) “You’ll Like My Mother” (1972) and “Zandy’s Bride” (1974) And nobody ever believes me when i mention “Zoot Suit” as the last Sunsurround presentation (and 70mm too!?) How did THAT film justify that kind of presentation??
Sure wish i’d seen Quest for Fire (in 70) there, probably no prints on the planet left of that

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Picwood Theatre on Feb 17, 2009 at 11:26 pm

The Bridge!? Thats the “BRUTHU” theatre, uh-hm, all the bruthu’s be hanging out there with their baggy pants and over-sized shirts, jaded apathetic employees selling tickets to forgettable time-killer movies to jaded apathetic teens strolling and with suckers in their mouth (ok so i wear baggy pants and oversized shirts too)
The design of that place is like some kind of bad futuristic space station or something

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Picwood Theatre on Feb 17, 2009 at 5:16 am

actually the 90’s are now considered the old days, just think of how nostalgic people will be for the late 2000’s, all of the bland homogenized mini-malls, megaplex’s and shallow cold corporate chains.

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Picwood Theatre on Feb 14, 2009 at 2:30 am

I graduated in ‘85, but not at Uni, went to Uni sometime in ('83 or 84 i think?) Graduated at Phoenix High in Venice, also went to Santa Monica High for my first year ('82) Was bouncing around a lot in those days, they were rambunctious times. I shot a Super8 film in front of Uni sometime around '84, a long Spielberg-like tracking shot, should upload that one to youtube. Other stuff you can see at http://www.youtube.com/user/pookie67

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Picwood Theatre on Feb 13, 2009 at 11:31 am

wow “Uni” i went there (in the 80’s) too, Cpt Videos arcade was a 2nd home through the early 80’s, I dominated all the Defender machines there. What was the name of the soundtrack record store guy on Pico? This is starting to look more like a ‘pico blvd’ memory thread than Picwood theatre

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Picwood Theatre on Jan 7, 2009 at 10:55 pm

You guys missed the SENSURROUND earthquake showing..,,it was incredible!!
From what i understand some theater in Germany will be showing Rollercoaster, Midway and Battlestar Galactica in Sensurround in 2010

Now the dark times are ahead

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Picwood Theatre on Dec 19, 2008 at 5:15 pm

New FLASH….EARTHQUAKE in SENSURROUND will be at the Egyptian Sat Jan 3rd, that’s coming up very fast. I think less than 2 weeks away.
Repeat Earthquake in Sensurround at the Egyptian Hollywood Jan 3rd!!! If you missed it at the Picwood in 1974 you can STILL see it in 2009! Whooooo-whoooo!
This will the last great show of all time, after that everyone will be broke and all businesses will fold from bankruptcy, we’ll be on the streets in a Mad Max atmosphere killing each other for food.

Strangely enough there is also a strong window of possibility for a major REAL quake sometime this month, but don’t quote me on that

Damon Packard
Damon Packard commented about Topanga Theatre on Dec 13, 2008 at 4:54 am

Many fond memories of this theater in the early 80’s, I remember the long lines for new releases. I believe this where i first saw “Raiders” and “American Werewolf in London” and sat through them both twice in a row. I remember waiting in line for “The Dead Zone” and “Halloween III” after buying a stack of records near-by. Going to the miniature golf center next door and hopping the trampolines was a ritual as a child. Didn’t realize they were equipped with 70mm, this sounds like it was quite the happening place at the time, Kim Basinger used to hang out, Jackie Earle Haley applied for work,..wow this was the spot!