Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween! Million Dollar Theater and "Fall" in L.A.

If you are in a movie theater,
you can look two people down
and they are laughing while you are laughing 
or you can look three people down
and they love that song that you love.
It is living proof that you are not alone.
~Stephen Chbosky

Million Dollar Theater
Los Angeles, 1918

A couple of friends and I are on a mission to get out and do some different things around town. When I see special screenings at the old theaters downtown, I get very excited. Especially if they are in one of the theaters I haven't been. Such was the case with the Million Dollar Theater, the oldest theater in Los Angeles, built by Sid Grauman who also built the famous Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. You know, the one with the movie stars' hand prints?!

Happily, I've gotten to see some old silent movies in some of these theaters, along with a live organ.

Here is lovely little film with Gene Kelly about the history of movie theaters ... at 6:46 they talk about the Million Dollar Theater. :) At 16:53 you'll see one of my favorite theaters, The Los Angeles Theater.

Me, being a goofball at the box office!

This particular screening was not of an old silent movie, but the 1978 version of Dawn of the Dead, in honor of Halloween! While I am not a horror movie fan (no thanks on putting those images in my head!) this is a very campy film, and the only memory I really had of it was someone playing it at a party in High School, twenty something years ago.

Just to make sure we could handle it, Karen and I watched the first 3 minutes on youtube. 

This screening was put on by Cinespia, who also does movie screenings outdoors at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where I saw Barbarella! (Yes, an actual cemetery! Rudolph Valentino is buried there!)

I love these old theaters! Most aren't open for regular movie releases. At least the ones downtown aren't. They are rented for special screenings, special events, as well as film sets for movies and television. The ones on Hollywood Boulevard are a different story, like the Chinese Theater, the Egyptian, and the El Capitan.

For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake.
~Alfred Hitchcock


Strangers used to gather together in the dark,
like Ancient Greeks participation in the mysteries, 
dreaming the same dream in unison.
~Angela Carter

Upstairs, a full bar and this lovely lady below! Yikes!

A creepy mannequin in a shopping mall fountain, in the film ...

I see horror as part of legitimate film.
I don't see it as an independent genre 
that has nothing to do with the rest of cinema.
~Guillermo del Toro

This guy "Stephen" (David Emge) didn't become a zombie until the 3rd act of the film. His poor financé!

The screening was a hoot. People laughing and screaming and hollering. It was a ball!

In my view, the only way to see a film
remains the way the filmmaker intended:
inside a large movie theater with great sound and pristine picture.
~Ridley Scott

Here's Lauren posing with the lovely skeleton lady upstairs ...

Lauren, me, and Karen ... so fun!

... The whole idea of movies, 
was it was special to go to see -
you went to a movie theater to see something 
that was magical 
and amazing,
in a very special location.
~ Bob Balaban

This video from YouTube shows what you can't see now of the Million Dollar Theater, from the street!

Here he talks about the lobby ceiling along with some other information, about Sid Grauman and the architect.

More unseen murals above the false ceiling ...

Below, I'm at the oyster bar at Grand Central Market, around the corner from the theater. No oysters for me, just red wine to go with my tomato soup!

The creepy tunnel leaving downtown ...

It's not easy finding fall colors in Los Angeles. You have to look closely, and sometimes in unexpected places ...

The Alcove, near my work ...

Fun ghost cupcakes!

But the Margarita was more refreshing on a warm evening ...

Not easy to dress for fall during an Indian Summer in Southern California ... so chiffon and stockings with lots air conditioning, but in fall colors! 

Designers want me to dress like Spring,
in billowing things.
I don't feel like Spring.
I feel like warm red Autumn.
~Marilyn Monroe

Ah yes, fall colors for Halloween perhaps? This early 70s frock of my grandmothers ... I could be a cast member of hair? Vampire hippy? Laura Ingalls Wilder?

 I think I'll go with my old Kimono ... modern vampire Geisha? I'll have to think on it.

Below, with my prayer book Illuminata, by Marianne Williamson.

I realize it was a strange time to stop and take a photo but I am a visual gal after all! I couldn't help but notice the details of my favorite bookmarks with the delicate little flower ...

And for the kids (OK and me too!) I painted monster eyes on my thumbs!

Walking in my neighborhood, still looking for those autumn tones ...

Yay! I found a few trees with color ...

Still keeping an eye out ...
Lovely colors through the gates of a shop on La Brea Avenue ...

Autumn carries more gold
in its pocket
than all the other seasons.
~ Jim Bishop

The old art deco Showcase Theater ... (view looking past my pizza!)

Pizza Romana across the street from the Showcase ... the Diavola pizza tastes so much like a pizza I had in Milan! So you close your eyes and order the vino rosso Montepulciano!

And here, my little student Evie (5) and her Jack O'Lantern!

Happy Halloween!!!


Million Dollar Theater

Grand Central Market
The Los Angeles Theater
Hollywood Forever Cemetery 
Pizza Romana
The Alcove Cafe and Bakery

What's a bigger mystery box than a movie theater?
You go to the theater,
you're just so excited to see anything-
the moment the lights go down
is often the best part.
~J.J. Abrams

Enjoy your weekend!
Blessings and light!


donna baker said...

Loved this post Lucinda. I tell my daughter that I live vicariously through you. Couldn't find a way to email you, but she's in LA for four days this weekend with her team. They will be at the American Indian Arts marketplace at the Autry Museum. She is an Interpretative Manager for the Cherokee Nation and builds/designs their museums among other things. They will be there to recruit/network with artists and art show directors for the Cherokee Art Show in Oklahoma every year in October. I told her that you go to all the museums and I think you are about the same age as my daughter. She'll be there Saturday and Sunday from open to 3 or 4. Just wanted you to know in case you are going to attend; I think you guys would be great friends and share many interests. Email me if you can. Donna

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