Every Tuesday afternoon the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents a film from the Golden Age of cinema for the cheap price of just two bucks!
As much as I enjoy curling up in front of my TV to watch the scheduled programming of Turner Classic Movies and the Fox Movie Channel, there’s a certain thrill in seeing the popular films of days gone by in an actual movie theater projected on the silver screen. Films produced before the age of television were specifically meant for viewing in a darkened theater. At that time, filmmakers had no concept of an individual someday being able to view movies via cable, DVDs, or the Internet, all on diminutive screens, severely reducing the scope of the image, and capable of accommodating only a limited number of people at a time. Your home just isn’t the intended mode for the films created in the Golden Age, and that’s why, when given the opportunity, you must endeavor to see them in a theater. It is, after all, the proper presentation of the art form.
It’s essential to any art form that it be appreciated in the manner in which it was intended. Otherwise, you depreciate the value of that piece of art. And film, even with all its mass commercial appeal, is a form of art. Obviously, the LACMA recognizes the value of cinema as such and is striving to honor its intended mode of medium. Just like a fine painting, the great works of cinema are being given their proper framing. It’s like those reprints you can buy in the gift shops of museums. Rarely do they actually get framed. In college it was common to stick them up with Scotch tape or pushpins. Every time you watch a classic film on your TV you’re basically using pushpins. That may have been all right in your college days, but you’re grown up now and should make the extra effort.
So, if you’ve got a couple of free hours round about 1:00pm on a Tuesday afternoon and can get yourself to the Miracle Mile, use some spare change and catch a great movie. You’ve probably got enough money rattling around in the ashtray of your car, or possibly between the cushions of your couch. Or use what you had leftover from ordering that latte in the morning. However you manage it, you won’t regret it, and more than likely will find yourself coming back again and again for the best cheap thrill that can be had in Los Angeles – about 90 minutes of pure movie magic.
If you’re interested, there’s quite a bit of classic cinema playing around the Los Angeles area. It’s easy to find if you look for it. It’s at the art houses, museums, cultural centers, cafes and restaurants, and even at the popular multiplexes. Classic cinema is actually continuously honored and praised all over town in a multitude of ways. It’s rather impressive that in a city whose culture is well known to be particularly obsessed with youth, there’s a strong enthusiasm of those captivated by the work of old time Hollywood. With so many organizations and individuals committed to providing audiences with the opportunity to see the past creations of American cinema, there’s really no excuse not to take advantage of it.
The upcoming scheduled movies at the LACMA include “The Big Sleep” (a popular revival this summer) on September 26, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” on October 17t, and “Gaslight” on October 31 (Halloween).
A note from LACMA: many programs sell out. Tickets are on sale at the museum box office. For more information, call the box office at (323) 857-6010. All films are in glorious 35mm! Remember, these films were produced before the modern ratings system, so please use your best judgment regarding younger viewers.
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