Another LRS in Los Angeles

posted by Michael Zoldessy on April 13, 2007 at 1:15 pm

LOS ANGELES, CA — It’s not everyday you get to walk into one of downtown Los Angeles' movie palaces. Even rarer is it that you actually see a film there. With this year’s 21st annual Last Remaining Seats film series from the Los Angeles Conservancy, you’ll get both. Throw in some live entertainment and a chance to also see a film in two other grand settings and you have one event you can’t miss.

They’ll be another great lineup of theaters this year as usual. The first four evenings will visit the always popular Orpheum and Los Angeles Theatres. Then for the first time ever, the series will go to Hollywood’s John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. The location was never a movie theater, but a screen will be brought in for a special outdoor evening. Closing out the event, the series will visit the majestic Alex Theatre in Glendale.

Much thought went into creating the perfect evening each week this year so it’s more than just the movie. From a fashion show to live music to even a possible visit from one of the classic film’s stars, it will definitely be an unforgettable year for Last Remaining Seats. Vintage trailers and shorts will also precede some films.

Obviously, this is something near and dear to me. I have helped out on the committee that puts this together, for the past few years. Experiencing this film series for the first time got me so excited that it made me really want to contribute more and thus my presence on this site. I just felt I had to dedicate a column to publicizing this event because it’s just so cool. I know anyone that visits this site would appreciate the taste of a different era.

So come on down. Tickets go on sale today and the first evening is May 23rd. More info is in the press release below or you can also visit the Los Angeles Conservancy Website.


Classic Film and Live Entertainment in Historic Movie Palaces

Wednesdays at 8 p.m., May 23 —– June 27, 2007

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Conservancy is excited to announce the twentieth anniversary season of its signature series Last Remaining Seats, which presents classic films as they were meant to be seen: in movie palaces, accompanied by vintage short films and newsreels, live performances, and special guests. What began in 1987 as a way to raise awareness of Los Angeles' neglected historic theatres is now a summer tradition, bringing the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age to thousands of Angelenos each year.

The 2007 season runs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. from May 23 through June 27, and features historic theatres in downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood. The lineup includes films for every taste, from thriller (Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest), to gangster flick (the original 1932 Scarface), to musical (James Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy), to romantic classics (the sizzling Flesh and the Devil with Greta Garbo; Audrey Hepburn in her Oscar-winning role in Roman Holiday). Live entertainment ranges from an on-stage interview with screen legend Eva Marie Saint (schedule permitting) to a fashion show featuring the work of famed costume designer Edith Head.

Tickets go on sale April 13. Advance tickets cost $15 for Los Angeles Conservancy members and $18 for the general public. Though the series typically sells out, any tickets remaining on the night of the event will be sold at the door for $20. A limited number of series tickets are available, and group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. You can buy tickets online at no extra charge (a new service this year) at

Following are details about the 2007 lineup. For more information, please visit or call (213) 430-4219.

LAST REMAINING SEATS 2007 LINEUP (details subject to change)

Wednesday, May 23 —– North by Northwest (1959)
Orpheum Theatre (1926), 842 South Broadway, Downtown
Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant teamed up for a fourth and final time in this thriller about the cross-country pursuit of an advertising executive who is mistaken for a government agent. Considered one of Hitchcock’s best, the film won an Oscar for Best Screenplay and gave us two iconic movie moments involving a crop-dusting plane and Mt. Rushmore. Co-starring Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, and Martin Landau. At downtown’s Orpheum Theatre, beautifully restored and home to Broadway’s last remaining Wurlitzer theatre organ. Special program: Special guests Eva Marie Saint and Patricia Hitchcock (Alfred’s daughter) will be interviewed by filmmaker Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential, 8 Mile), schedules permitting. Legendary organist Bob Mitchell performs on the Orpheum’s original Mighty Wurlitzer.

Wednesday, May 30 —– Roman Holiday (1953)
Los Angeles Theatre (1931), 615 South Broadway, Downtown
Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck co-star in this enchanting story of a restless runaway princess and an American newspaperman who share a star-crossed romance one afternoon in Rome. Filmed entirely on location in the Eternal City and directed by William Wyler, the film gave Hepburn her first starring role, as well as an Oscar for Best Actress. Co-starring Eddie Albert. At the spectacular Los Angeles Theatre, the most lavish and last built of Broadway’s great movie palaces. Special program: Film critic/historian Leonard Maltin hosts the evening, which includes an on-stage fashion show featuring the glamorous work of legendary costume designer Edith Head, who won an Oscar for her work on Roman Holiday.

Wednesday, June 6 —– Flesh and the Devil (1926)
Orpheum Theatre (1926), 842 South Broadway, Downtown
Greta Garbo and John Gilbert ignited the silent screen in this melodrama about a deadly love triangle involving boyhood friends who are turned against each other when they both fall for seductress Garbo. Gilbert’s off-screen romance with Garbo helped create some of the steamiest love scenes Jazz Age audiences had ever witnessed. Directed by Clarence Brown; co-starring Lars Hansen. Accompanied live by the Robert Israel Orchestra. At the Orpheum Theatre. Special program: The acclaimed Robert Israel Orchestra accompanies the feature, preceded by a screening of the beautiful and unusual 1920s short film Moonland, with live organ accompaniment.

Wednesday, June 13 —– Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Los Angeles Theatre (1931), 615 South Broadway, Downtown
James Cagney proved he was more than a movie tough-guy in his show-stopping portrayal of noted Irish-American composer/performer George M. Cohan. Featuring Cohan standards such as “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “Over There,” and the title song, Cagney’s tour de force performance delighted wartime filmgoers and earned the actor his only Oscar. Directed by Michael Curtiz; co-starring Walter Huston and Joan Leslie. At the spectacular Los Angeles Theatre. Special program: It’s Oscar Night at LRS hosted by Randy Haberkamp, Director of Education Programs at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The evening includes short films from the Academy’s archive, and a rare plaster Oscar statuette from the wartime years on display in the lobby.

Wednesday, June 20 —– La Balandra Isabel llego esta tarde
(The Yacht Isabel Arrived This Afternoon) (Venezuela, 1949)
John Anson Ford Amphitheater (1931), 2580 Cahuenga Blvd., East; Hollywood
This Cannes award-winning film, starring Arturo de Cordova, is an erotic melodrama of stunning photography that highlights Venezuela’s natural scenery and its unique Afro-Venezuelan musical heritage. In Spanish with English subtitles. At the outdoor John Anson Ford Amphitheater in the Hollywood Hills, one of the oldest operating performing arts venues in Los Angeles (originally opened in 1920; rebuilt in 1931 after being destroyed by fire). Co-presented by the Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles. Special program: Actor Wilmer Valderrama will host the evening (schedule permitting). Live musical performance by the PAWS Music Afro-Cuban Folkore Ensemble in the Ford’s intimate gardens from 7:00 7:45 p.m. Bring a picnic basket, relax, and enjoy the music before the screening.

Wednesday, June 27 —– Scarface (1932)
Alex Theatre (1925), 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale
Paul Muni thrilled audiences with his riveting performance as the title character in this notorious gangland tale of power, incest, and betrayal. Set in 1920s Chicago, the film’s lurid content sparked a legendary censorship firestorm that delayed release and ultimately caused producer Howard Hughes to pull it out of circulation for decades. Directed by Howard Hawks; co-starring George Raft, Ann Dvorak, Boris Karloff, and Karen Morley. At the beautifully restored Alex Theatre, a beloved Glendale landmark. Special program: Evening host Larry Mantle of 89.3 KPCC’s AirTalk and FilmWeek; popular swing band Mora’s Modern Rhythmists performs tunes of the 1930s featuring music by Gus Arnheim; Hearst Metrotone News from December 24, 1932.

2007 Last Remaining Seats Sponsors
Series Star Sponsors: The Crean Family; Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Series Supporting Sponsor: Steve Bing. Evening Sponsors: Hugh Hefner; NBC Universal; Steve and Cathy Needleman; Warner Bros. Entertainment; Booth Heritage Foundation and Peter Norton Family Foundation; City of Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency. Media Sponsors: Los Angeles Downtown News; Opening Night Party Sponsors: Bank of America; The Chapman.

The Los Angeles Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization that works through education and advocacy to recognize, preserve, and revitalize the historic architectural and cultural resources of Los Angeles County. What began as a volunteer group in 1978 now has more than 7,000 members, making the Conservancy the largest local organization of its kind in the U.S.

(Photos, in order of appearance, courtesy of: Orpheum(Berger/Conser Photography), Los Angeles(Berger/Conser Photography), Anson Ford(Ford Theatres) and Alex(Katie Shapiro/Alex Theatre))

We encourage you to share your thoughts on the subject. For comments on the article or the blog itself, feel free to email me. We’re also open to any suggestions for future columns!

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Comments (3)

MsIrisMG on July 19, 2007 at 7:01 am

Aren’t these just extraordinary…

MPol on July 12, 2008 at 4:31 pm

They sure are, Iris. It’s very sad that all these elegant, baroque-looking movie palaces, for the most part, have gone the way of cinema heaven, and been replaced by very sterile-looking and antiseptic multiplex cinemas that show a lot of the schlock that passes these days for art.

MsIrisMG on April 29, 2010 at 12:57 am

That’s very sad, MPol. And younger people would rather watch their films online than go to a dedicated theater. It’s just not the same!

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