What do Angelenos do with their weekends following a leisurely summer holiday? Well, if our local events lists are any indication, they go to the movies…a whole LOT of vintage movies in fun settings.
Before we get into the movies, though, there are a couple of other local-ish events worth highlighting.
The first is the big annual Anime Expo at the LA Convention Center, which started on Thursday night and runs through Sunday. According to the event’s website, “One thing you will never say here: I’m bored. Between concerts, industry panels, signature events, cosplay, and gaming, there’s 800+ hours worth of things to do and see crammed into just 4.5 days. You’ll need at least two shadow clones to do it all.” The specifics are definitely too numerous to list here, but see the link above for full details, scheules and tickets…and, if you’ve never been before and want to know more about how to approach the whole thing, see the handy dandy first-timer’s guide at: http://www.anime-expo.org/register/howtoattend/
Meanwhile, on Saturday, from 1-3 p.m., the Craft Contemporary will be hosting a CraftSocial: Flower & Plant Dye Workshop. Participants will “learn the basics about natural dyes and experiment with dyeing fabric using a variety of plants found in the wild or your front yard! Participants will learn introductory dye techniques using tree matter and flowers to dye cotton and silks and are encouraged to bring their own flowers or plants to experiment.” The cost is $40 for the public, and $30 for Craft Contemporary members (materials and drinks included). Advance registration is required at the event link above.
And then, from here on out this weekend…it’s movies, movies and more movies.
Families can start with a 2 p.m. kiddie matinee (both Saturday and Sunday) of The Love Bug at the New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd. In this 1968 Disney favorite, “Herbie’s not your ordinary Volkswagen Beetle – he’s a four-cylinder superstar with a mind of his own. And when he’s rescued by a hapless racer (Dean Jones) and his philosophical mechanic friend (Buddy Hackett), he shifts from showroom to racetrack with lots of fun-fueled antics in between, much to the displeasure of the hotrod car dealer (David Tomlinson) who wants him back.” Lots of G-rated fun, in I.B. Technicolor 35 mm.
Next, leasing into Saturday evening, stick around the New Bev, for a double feature featuring Raquel Welch – in The Fantastic Voyage (7 p.m.) and 100 Rifles (9:10 p.m.). In the first film, a Cold-War era sci-fi fantasy, Welch is part of a five-person crew miniaturized aboard a Naval submarine and injected into a the bloodstream of the man who invented the miniaturization formula, to perform life-saving surgery from inside his body and give the U.S. control of the miniaturization formula, for which the Soviet Union is also desperately fighting. And in the second film, Burt Reynolds stars as a Yaqui Indian who steals $6,000 from a bank in Arizona to buy 100 rifles for the Indians so they can defend themselves against a ruthless general. A lawman sets out to bring Reynolds to justice, but they’re eventually forced to join forces against the general’s men..and are eventually saved from execution by Welch, who also wants revenge on the general.
Meanwhile, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, the American Cinematheque, at the Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., will be screening the epic Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm, with a live introduction by film historian Jeremy Arnold, in honor of the movie’s 50th anniversary. Director David Lean’s best-picture-winning film “is based on the daring campaigns of real-life British military figure T.E. Lawrence during WWI. The amazing cast includes Peter O’Toole (in his first feature), Omar Sharif (in his first major English-speaking role as Sherif Ali), Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Claude Rains and Alec Guinness as Prince Feisal.”
Also starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Douglas Fairbanks 1924 silent classic “Thief of Bagdad” screens at the Woman’s Club of Hollywood, 1749 N. La Brea Ave., complete with live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick. The film tells the tale of a thief who breaks into a royal palace, the princess who falls in love with him, and his quest to find a magic chest, use its powers to save the city from foreign invaders and win the princess. It’s described as “a breathtaking, hilarious and awe-inspiring silent film spectacle, with beautiful, towering sets designed by William Cameron Menzies, classic direction by Raoul Walsh, and an unforgettable performance by the First King of Hollywood, Douglas Fairbanks.” Also, attendees who come early – at 6:45 p.m. – will receive a free tour of the historic Woman’s Club of Hollywood building. (The Club was founded in 1905 and its members helped found the Hollywood Bowl. Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford are just some of the celebrated personalities who attended events there.) Beer, wine, coffee and appetizers will be available for purchase at the event.
Moving on to 9 p.m. on Saturday, you could also attend a screening of 2000’s “Bring it On,” part of the Cinespia series at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. In the movie, according to IMDB, “a champion high school cheerleading squad discovers its previous captain stole all their best routines from an inner-city school and must scramble to compete at this year’s championships.” Gates open at 7:15 p.m., and you can bring a picnic with beer and wine. There will also be a free photo booth, and music from DJ Dazzler before and after the moview.
Moving on to Sunday movies, it’s back to the New Beverly, for a double feature of Murderer’s Row (6:30 p.m.) and Kitten with a Whip (8:45 p.m.), both featuring Ann-Margaret. In 1966’s Murderer’s Row, Dean Martin stars at Matt Helm, and Ann-Margaret is the “the wild, mod, frug-crazy daughter of a scientist kidnapped by villain Julian Wall (Karl Malden).” And then in 1964’s Kitten with a Whip, “Ann-Margret stuns as Jody, a young damsel in distress who is lucky to find aid at the home of politician David Stratton (John Forsythe)… or so he believes.”
Meawhile, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, back at the Egyptian Theater, the American Cinematheque will run a double feature of Return of the Living Dead and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, with a special introduction to the second film by actress Caroline Williams. The tagline to 1985’s “Return of the Living Dead,” says all you need to know about that one: “They’re Back … They’re Hungry … And They’re NOT Vegetarian!!” And in 1986’s “Chainsaw” sequel, “Dennis Hopper plays a Texas lawman on the trail of Leatherface and his clan, who have found a way to profit from their homicidal tendencies: the creation of prize-winning chili made from their victims.” Not quite your standard July 4th barbecue.
For something a bit less bloody (though that’s arguable, considering it’s a boxing movie), the Melrose Rooftop Theatre will present “Rocky” at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, at 603 N. La Cienega Blvd. This summer-only venue shows classic movies and new releases from Sunday-Thursday from May-November, starting at sunset. Do note, though, that its for ages 21 and older only. Tickets are $27, with a $65 option that also includes dinner at the E.P. Asian Eating House downstairs. There is also a full bar, candy and snack boxes available in the theater.
And finally on Sunday, what would a good escapist movie weekend be without a screening of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope” (or, as those of us who were sentient in 1977 still call it, just the original “Star Wars“). This one is part of the Cinespia series, but NOT at Hollywood Forever. Instead, it’s at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre2580 E. Cahuenga Blvd., at 8:30 p.m. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., and while picnics are allowed, you may NOT bring alcoholic beverages (beer and wine are for sale at the venue, however).
Have a great movie-loving weekend!