It's that time of year...when the true cinemaphiles who live on the westside of Los Angeles trudge downtown every Wednesday night on or around the month of June to watch old movies in the old movie theatre district. It's called Last Remaining Seats and it's part of the annual fundraising drive for the Los Angeles Conservancy. This year, LRS is in its 23rd season. I've been going for 15 years. I've seen "Casablanca," "Double Indemnity," "Now Voyager," "North by Northwest," "Vertigo," "Pillow Talk," and "Some Like It Hot"...just to name a few.
The theatres open about an hour before the program starts, and you're free to wander around and take a look at the way movie-going used to be when it was pure glamour. Some years, I've sat in the balcony and some years I've been in the choice seats in the front of the house. When we arrived for "Now, Voyager" there were ushers in pillbox hats passing out tissues. The program for "Vertigo" included a fashion show. And last year prior to a screening of "Young Frankenstein," Mel Brooks and Cloris Leachman wandered out on stage and did a half-hour of shtick that left my sides aching from the laughter.
Tonight is opening night of LRS, and if you haven't already ordered your tickets for any of the movies on the program this season...you're out of luck. Tickets to LRS go on sale in April and are sold out within days. I see the same people at the shows every year. And it's delightful to go to the movies with them. They clap when their favorite actor's name appears in the credits, and laugh and talk back to their favorite dialogue. It's a festive and fun atmosphere that just can't be beat -- especially when the only other way to see these movies is on a DVR -- which is fun -- but we're talking BIG SCREEN, baby.
The movie on tap tonight is "The Sting." It's a personal favorite -- and really what's not to like -- with a double whammy of sexual thunder coming at you from Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Plus, it's a caper drama -- and I have a sweet tooth for a caper. In fact, I do believe "The Sting" is kind of the filmic grandfather of the "Ocean's Eleven" films starring the delicious bits of man candy known as George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Yes, I did see the original starring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin -- and they're not bad. Not bad at all.
I can hardly wait to see "The Sting" on the big screen...jealous?