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Universal Pictures – A Monstrous Centennial

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences shows creature features on the big screen

“I’ve been a misfit and a freak my whole life,” director Guillermo del Toro said at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills before the screening of the Universal classics Bride of Frankenstein and Dracula. This kicked off a week of Universal monster flick screenings. Bride of Frankenstein premiered at the Pantages in 1935 and Dracula debuted at the Orpheum in 1931. Multiple Oscar winner John Singleton, make-up artist Rick Baker, Universal Chairman Donna Langley, and an original Dracula cast member (102 year-old Carla Laemmle, looking fantastic in a vintage kimono) all gathered excitedly for wine and cheese and to see these gems on the big screen. Afterwards original props were on display in the lobby (those great bats, Frankenstein’s chains). I’d never seen either picture before. It was magic. Bride of Frankenstein is a riot. Both films have been painstakingly restored and in the case of Dracula, this was no small feat as it had suffered a lot of damage. It was all worth it just to see Count Dracula back in action. Langley agreed: “At Universal, we do love our monsters.”

 
Photographs courtesy Richard Harbaugh, Greg Harbaugh, and Matt Brown / A.M.P.A.S.