LA has one of the best repertory and cult cinema scenes around. World-class screenings, Q&As, and specialized events are all happening here 7 days a week, if you know where to look. Don’t know where to look? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out our guide to the repertory cinema scene below and we’ll see YOU at the movies…
New Beverly Cinema
The New Beverly Cinema has been around since the early 1930s, where it originally operated as a Vaudeville Theater, before being taken over by Sherman Torgan in the late 70s and beginning it’s life as an iconic revival house. Torgan was dedicated to showing double features in all genres and for all audiences, a tradition which is still kept up today under the management of new owner/programmer Quentin Tarantino (maybe you’ve heard of him)?
Tarantino, as many know, is a passionate cinephile and many of the beautiful 35mm prints you can at the New Beverly are from his own personal collection. He also regularly screens his own films. A recent month-long run of his latest, The Hateful Eight, was paired with a variety of cult and obscure classics he cited as bearing influence on the gory Western.
Beyond that there is also a smattering of options for the adventurous film-goer, from grind house to screwball comedy, to silent classics and kiddie matinees, making the ridiculously affordable price of admission ($8 for a double feature?!) well worth it.
The Cinefamily Silent movie theater in Hollywood came into its most current incarnation after the operator of Cinefile video store, Hadrian Belove, took over the reigns in 2007.
This co-op theater has since become nothing less than a game-changer for the revival house scene, and one is hard pressed to think of another institution that even comes close in terms of unique cinematic programming and events.
While known primarily for their heavily thoughtful Q&A events and painstakingly researched retrospectives, Cinefamily also raises the bar in terms of creativity.
In my opinion the best way to dive into Cinefamily is to check out the calendar on their website, and find something that looks interesting to you. That being said, there’s a ton of regular events and programs including interactive film experiences with comics (Doug Benson interruptions & Greg Proops film club), the Friday Night Frights series, Hangover Matinees on Saturdays, and Saturday morning cartoons.
The Egyptian/Aero Theaters
The website for the Grauman’s Egyptian Theater boasts a simple mantra: Movies on the big screen as they were meant to be seen.
And that is no joke.
The theater is amazing, a true coliseum for cinema…
This is yet another entry on the list that has been around since the the 20s/30s, and is also one of the most famous movie theaters in the world…period. Attracting film-goers, architecture buffs, and Hollywood historians in equal measure, the Egyptian and its sister theater, The Aero in Santa Monica.
The coolest thing about the Egyptian theater is their fantastic programming, which includes everything from golden era gems to 70s new wave classics, not to mention special guest appearances! Top-notch stuff from very passionate folks, always make sure to keep an eye on these two theater’s calendars!
If you’ve always wondered if Psycho or Dawn of the Dead would be scarier surrounded by actual tombstones, Cinespia has you covered. Founded in 2002 these folks have been building up something really special over the years, hosting hundreds of late night screenings in the summer months, everything from classic horror to cult 90s.
The vibe is somewhere between a vintage drive-in move theater (but without the cars) and a music festival, as Cinespia often incorporates sets from world class DJs and artists. Because of their fluctuating schedule and locations, it’s best to go to Cinespia’s website to plan your trip, though I’d highly recommend going to one of their Hollywood Forever shows. Aside from some quality cinema you’re also gonna be within a stones throw of dozens of the final resting places of some true Hollywood royalty, definitely a unique experience.