Monday, December 28, 2009

"What did you see this weekend?" "Death Wish 3!!!"

Nope, it's not 1985!!  It's 2009!!!  Only in LA can you say you watched "Death Wish 3" in a theatre over the weekend.

One of the things that I truly fell in love with when I moved to LA was the large number of repertoire movie theatres in the area.   Those who know me know that my preferred viewing choice is seeing something in a theatre setting.  However, with the advent of hi-def televisions, blu-ray and true HD audio I now split my time between the theatre and home.   But if it's the right film, I will go see it  in the warm confines of the local cinema.

Today I want to focus on my favorite repertoire theatre in LA.  This would be the New Beverly Cinema or the "New Bev" as some call it.

I can't remember when I first set foot in this theatre, I think I was seeing Buckaroo Banzai.  I've seen it again at the New Bev since then.  The theatre may be small but it exudes charm.   It's an old-school one house cinema that seats about 250 with traditional seating.  The screen isn't very large when compared to other theatres but this really isn't much of a concern.   The real draw to this place is what they show.

They run double features every night for $7.00.  On some occasions they may even run triple features or even themed marathons.   The sword and sorcery marathon featured Barbarian Queen II, Deathstalker IV, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Conan the Barbarian and Yor-The Hunter from the Future.   Sure the majority of these films are bad but the audience enjoyed them and laughed throughtout. 

It's also a place where more often than not, celebrities can go to a movie and not be hounded by people demanding autographs.   Yes, celeb-hounds the New Bev is a good place to spot 'em.   I've had meaningful, though sometimes brief, discussions with people like director Joe Dante, actor Clu Gulager, Justin Long and Drew Barrymore, to name a few.   But again going to the New Bev isn't about the celebs it's about the films.

Of course, the Bev can bring in their fair share of talent to discuss the film.  Not a week goes by where someone involved with a film they are screening is in attendance.   Seeing the films again is great but having the talent behind the films to discuss them is a bonus.  Watching the Back to the Future trilogy with Christopher Lloyd was a blast.  Seeing Flash Gordon with Timothy Dalton was memorable.   Or even seeing the people who work the Bev showcase their feature film was a highlight.

The films themselves are a treat.   On many occasions they will show something I've never seen, never seen in a theatre setting or just haven't seen in a very long time.    I relived my childhood with a double-feature of At the Earth's Core and The People that Time Forgot.  When I saw Howard the Duck it was the first time I've seen it in a theatre since opening day way back in the '80s.    My first all-night movie horrorthon was one to remember and I was so glad I went.   Who could forget the Dolph Lundgren film festival or Tarantino's Grindhouse fest?  How about the many trailer festivals?

Bottomline, the New Beverly is a theatre for people who loves movies.  It's no coincidence that the theatre is owned by Quentin Tarantino.  Thanks to him, the New Bev will continue to present films the way they were intended.  Incidentally, it's the only theatre I know of that takes the no cellphones during the movie to heart.  I've seen Phil give people the boot.

If you haven't been there, do check it out.   Maybe I'll see you there.

New Beverly Cinema
7165 West Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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