Saturday, January 13, 2018

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Friday, January 12, 2018

"Escape From New York"


We're supposedly in New York (of course) in John Carpenter's "Escape From New York" (Avco Embassy, 1981) but this theatre we go to is the Fox in St. Louis. The film stars Kurt Russell and Lee Van Cleef. Thanks to Andreas Johansson for the screenshot from his great Escape From New York and L.A. page.



Once we go inside we find ourselves in the lobby of the Wiltern Theatre, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.



The locals are putting on a show in the Wiltern's auditorium. Yes, it's pretty murky -- we can't see much detail.



 A look at the sidewall down near the front of the auditorium. The doorway will get you backstage.



Kurt Russell on the landing stage left leading to the basement dressing room area. Out through that firedoor behind him and you're in the auditorium. Screenshot: Andreas Johansson



Another shot offstage left. Screenshot: Andreas Johansson



A basement corridor view looking downstage toward the greenroom. Screenshot: Andreas Johansson


 
In the basement corridor looking upstage. Screenshot: Andreas Johansson



In the room at the upstage end of the dressing room corridor. Screenshot: Andreas Johansson



In the room at the upstage end of the corridor. Screenshot: Andreas Johansson 



Yet another shot in the room at the upstage end of the corridor. Screenshot: Andreas Johansson

See the pages about the Wiltern Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for a history of the building and hundreds of photos.

Visit Andreas Johansson's terrific Escape From New York and L.A. page for many shots of other locations used in the film. Thanks to Andreas for all his screenshots.

On IMDb: "Escape From New York"

Monday, January 1, 2018

"The Big Lebowski"


The setting for the apartment of Maude Lebowski (Julianne Moore) is in the 5th floor loft of the office building at the Palace Theatre, 630 S. Broadway, in Joel and Ethan Coen's "The Big Lebowski" (Polygram, 1998).



Another shot as we move closer to the windows. 



Another look at the loft with a view of the Los Angeles Theatre out the windows. The dude (Jeff Bridges) has come to visit.

See our many pages about the Palace Theatre for a history of the 1911 vintage vaudeville house along with hundreds of photos. 



We get a theatre interior in the film but it's not at the Palace. Recognize it? Please drop me a line.

On IMDb: "The Big Lebowski"

Thursday, December 21, 2017

"Cadillac Records"


In "Cadillac Records" (Sony Pictures, 2008) we get about 10 seconds of film near the beginning labeled "Chicago" but it's actually Main St. with the Regent marquee plainly visible down the block. The building on the left is the Canadian Building. It's a bit of the footage originally shot for "Devil in a Blue Dress." Many of the urban portions of "Cadillac Records" were shot in New Jersey.

See the pages about the Regent Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for a history of the venue along with photos inside and out.

On IMDb: "Cadillac Records"

Sunday, December 17, 2017

"The Street With No Name"


The Regent Theatre, 448 S. Main St., appears in "The Street With No Name" (20th Century Fox, 1948). The film, directed by William Keighley, stars Mark Stevens and Richard Widmark in a tale of an FBI informant trying to infiltrate a mob of gangsters. The cinematographer for the film was Joseph McDonald.



Another Main St. shot from the film with a look at the Canadian Bldg. (still standing) at the corner of Winston and Main.

Thanks to Jeff Bridges for his screenshots. They appear in "The Street With No Name or the Theatre With No Name?," his 2007 post on the L.A. Conservancy's Historic Theatre Committee blog. Also see Mr. Bridges' Regent Theatre post for interior photos he took.

See the pages about the Regent Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for a history of the venue along with photos inside and out.

On IMDb: "The Street With No Name"

"The Front Page"


We get a lot of action on and around Main St. in Billy Wilder's "The Front Page" (Universal, 1974). The seedier streets of L.A. in 1974 are doubling for Chicago in the 20s. Here we're driving by the Regent Theatre, 448 S. Main St., on our chase for Austin Pendleton, who's actually hiding in a desk at the city jail.



Another shot showing the Regent as the police do their wild search.

See the pages about the Regent Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for a history of the venue along with photos inside and out.

On IMDb: "The Front Page"

"Go West Young Man"


We get a look at the changeable neon marquee letters at the Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., in Henry Hathaway's "Go West Young Man" (Paramount, 1936). The film begins with a showing of "Drifting Lady," our film-within-the film, starring Mavis Arden, played by Mae West.

The film also features Warren William, Randolph Scott, Alice Brady, Elizabeth Patterson and Lyle Talbot. It's the story of a Hollywood star being stuck in the sticks on a personal appearance tour and getting involved with a local guy.



A view of the original boxoffice, later removed in favor of ticket windows off to the side.



In the entrance vestibule. 



Entering the Pantages lobby. We're supposed to be at some theatre in Washington DC.



A murky look to the back of the theatre.



Looking toward the screen in a generic matte shot. 



A wider audience reaction shot. But certainly not at the Pantages. It's some earlier footage taken at an unknown theatre. 



A look to the other side of the house using footage from the unknown theatre.



The MC coming onstage after the "Drifting Lady" screening to bring on Mavis Arden for a personal appearance. We don't seem to be at the Pantages. It's unknown where this portion of the sequence was shot.

See the Los Angeles Theatres pages on the Pantages Theatre for lots of data about the theatre along with hundreds of photos.

On IMDb: "Go West Young Man"

Saturday, December 16, 2017

"Bad Words"

We get a look at the exterior of the Pasadena Civic Auditorium as the location for Jason Bateman's spelling bee finals in "Bad Words" (Focus Features, 2014). The interiors were done elsewhere. In the film they say the interior views are at "Figueroa Hall."

See the page about the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on the Los Angeles Theatres site for photos of the building and information about its history.

On IMDb: "Bad Words"

Friday, December 15, 2017

"Transformers"


We get chaos on Broadway in front of the Orpheum Threatre in Michael Bay's "Transformers" (Dreamworks SKG/Paramount, 2007).



Another view of the marquee of the Orpheum, 842 S. Broadway. 



Looking north on the 800 block of Broadway.



Shia LaBeouf on his tank a bit farther north on Broadway. That's the Rialto Theatre, 812 S. Broadway, behind him. The film also stars Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Rachael Taylor, John Voight and John Turturro.

Thanks to Marc Zimmerman of the the Cinema Heritage Group for these screenshots. They appear in the Cinemas in the Movies album on the CHG Facebook page.

See our pages on the Rialto Theatre and the Orpheum Theatre for histories of those two venues along with many photos.

On IMDb: "Transformers"

"Big Ass Spider!"

There's a ride up Broadway with a look at the Rialto Theatre and the Tower Theatre in "Big Ass Spider!" (Epic Pictures Group, 2013). The film, directed by Mike Mendez, is about an alien spider that escapes from a military lab and goes on a destructive binge in Los Angeles.

See the Los Angeles Theatres pages on the Rialto and the Tower for a history of the two theatres along with many, many photos.

On IMDb: "Big Ass Spider!"

Thursday, December 14, 2017

"Witness to Murder"

The Four Star Theatre, 5112 Wilshire Blvd, is seen in "Witness to Murder" (United Artists, 1954). Jack Tillmany advises that about 70 minutes into the film Barbara Stanwyck drives by the brightly lit theatre where they're showing the Marlon Brando film "Julius Caesar," which opened there in November 1953.

"Witness to Murder" was directed by Roy Rowland and also stars George Sanders and Gary Merrill.  It's a tale of Stanwyck's sanity being questioned after she reports seeing a murder from her apartment.

See the page about the Four Star Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for more about the deco house designed by Walker & Eisen and Clifford Balch. Sadly, it was demolished in 2014.

On IMDb: "Witness to Murder"

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"El Norte"

We get a look at the exterior of the Palace Theatre, 630 S. Broadway, in Gregory Nava's "El Norte" (Cinecom Pictures, 1984). It's a story of Guatemalan immigrants coming to the United States in search of a better life. Thanks to Jonathan Raines for spotting the theatre in the film.

See our Palace Theatre pages for a history of the 1911 vintage vaudeville house along with hundreds of photos.

On IMDb: "El Norte"

Thursday, November 30, 2017

"The Disaster Artist"


The Crest Theatre, 1262 Westwood Blvd., is featured prominently for a premiere during the last fifteen minutes of "The Disaster Artist" (New Line Cinema / A24 Films, 2017). The film stars James Franco, Dave Franco, Ari Graynor, Alison Brie and Seth Rogen in the strange tale of aspiring film director Tommy Wiseau and the making of his film "The Room." James Franco directed. The still of James and friends outside the Crest is one being used by the distributors to promote the film.

Dave Fanco plays Greg Sestero, an aspiring actor who wrote the book the film is based on. We start in San Francisco and when Wiseau and Sestero move down to Los Angeles we get a drive-by of the Music Box/Fonda Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. Later we get some shots inside and out at a small NoHo legit theatre where Sestero is appearing in a show.

Thanks to Chris Willman for the information about the Crest's appearance in the film. See the pages about the Crest and the Music Box/Fonda on the Los Angeles Theatres site for information about those two theatres.

On IMDb: "The Disaster Artist"

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"Dogtown"


The Stadium Theatre in Torrance is seen in George Hickenlooper's "Dogtown" (Stone Canyon Entertainment, 1997). The film, about a Hollywood actor who comes back to his small hometown, stars Trevor St. John, Mary Stuart Masterson, Rory Cochrane, Davis Shackelford and Karen Black.

When the theatre was last in business it was called the Pussycat. For the film, the vertical was changed to make it called the Terra. In the shot above that's Jon Favreau and Mary Stuart Masterson with the "Terra" in the distance.



Another shot from the film with the Stadium in the background.

See our listing for the Stadium Theatre for more information. The theatre opened in 1949 and was demolished in 2002.

On IMDb: "Dogtown"

"Roman J. Israel, Esq."

Denzel Washington is the eponymous layer in Dan Gilroy's "Roman J. Israel, Esq." (Columbia/Sony, 2017).  Roman is a brilliant, idealistic guy who hasn't had to do much interacting with the world until his employer of 26 years dies. He makes a radical misstep and pays for it in a big way.

Near the end of the film we end up on Broadway for a scene in the Broadway Bar, next to the Orpheum Theatre, 842 S. Broadway. In addition to views of the Orpheum marquee we get several shots of the Rialto Theatre/Urban Outfitters, 812 S. Broadway, as well as brief glimpses of the Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway, and the Warner Downtown, 7th & Hill Sts.

The film also features Colin Farrell as a stylish but greedy lawyer who, influenced by Roman, rediscovers a long-buried better part of himself. Our other lead is Carmen Ejogo playing a civil rights activist influenced both by Roman as well as by his former employer.  

See our pages on the Orpheum, Rialto, Warner Downtown and Los Angeles theatres for many photos along with a history of these vintage movie palaces.

On IMDb: "Roman J. Israel, Esq."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

"Nightmare Cinema"


The horror anthology "Nightmare Cinema" (Cinelou Films, 2017) was, according to Escott O. Norton in a post on the Friends of the Rialto Facebook page, "written for and filmed in the Rialto."

The Hollywood Reporter had a November 2017 story that included the screenshot of Mickey Rourke at the South Pasadena theatre. He's the character that ties the film's five segments together. It's being done by five different directors: Mick Garris, Joe Dante, David Slade, Ryuhei Kitamura and Alejandro Brugues.

The Reporter's article noted that "the movie centers on a group of down-on-their-luck individuals who enter the decrepit Rialto Theatre. Their deepest and darkest fears are brought to life onscreen by The Projectionist (Rourke), a mysterious, ghostly figure who holds the nightmarish futures of all who attend — and cannot escape — his screenings." 

See the Los Angeles Theatres page about the Rialto Theatre for lots of history and many photos. It's a 1925 design by Lewis A. Smith. Since late 2017 it has been used as a church.

On IMDb: "Nightmare Cinema"

"The Thing Called Love"

The Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena is seen in Peter Bogdanovich's film "The Thing Called Love" (Paramount, 1993). The film about the country music business features River Phoenix, Samantha Mathis, Sandra Bullock and Dermot Mulroney.

See the Rialto Theatre pages on the Los Angeles Theatres site for a history of the building and many photos.

On IMDb: "The Thing Called Love"

"Radio Flyer"

South Pasadena's Rialto Theatre is seen in Richard Donner's "Radio Flyer" (Columbia, 1992).  The tale of growing up in the suburbs stars Lorraine Bracco, John Heard and Adam Baldwin.

See the Los Angeles Theatres pages on the Rialto Theatre for more about the building, a 1925 design by Lewis A. Smith.

On IMDb: "Radio Flyer"

"The Rocketeer"

The Rialto in South Pasadena makes an appearance in "The Rocketeer" (Touchstone Pictures, 1991) directed by Joe Johnston.

See the Los Angeles Theatres page on the Rialto Theatre for more about the building, a 1925 design by Lewis A. Smith.

On IMDb: "The Rocketeer

Monday, November 20, 2017

"A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master"


We see a lot of the Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena in Renny Harlin's "A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master" (New Line Cinema, 1988). Thanks to Escott O. Norton of the advocacy group Friends of the Rialto for all of the screenshots appearing here. They're in a Rialto Theatre in the Movies album on the Friends Facebook page.














See the Los Angeles Theatres page about the Rialto Theatre for lots of history and many photos. It's a 1925 design by Lewis A. Smith. Since late 2017 it has been used as a church.

On IMDb: "A Nightmare on Elm St. 4: The Dream Master"