After 18 months of Netflix and sad microwave popcorn, there’s nothing more exciting than a night out at the cinema. We asked our film critic to share his favorite L.A. theaters. Which one’s best? Depends on what you’re looking for.
Movie as Social Event
While the Universal City AMC has a full bar that allows you to take your drink into the auditorium, and the amenities at the IPIC theatres in Westwood and Pasadena—couches, “privacy walls,” a full bar, and meals—are impressive, the Landmark on Pico wins this category. It not only has upscale snacks but also savvy programming from studio blockbusters to the indie picture that will scoop up next year’s Oscars. 10850 W. Pico Blvd.,
West L.A., landmarktheatres.com.
Movie as Cinephile Fix
Quentin Tarantino’s movie jones is such that he bought the New Beverly—once a porn palace called the Eros—to show off his private collection of vintage pictures as well as his own movies when they premiere. But I still favor the Egyptian, where I first saw Ben-Hur at age 11 and later returned for Russian director Sergei Bondarchuk’s seven-hour War and Peace, screened by the American Cinematheque for which the theater is home. Right now, it’s undergoing renovations and not set to reopen until 2022, but Cinematheque fare is being screened at the Los Feliz 3 and Santa Monica Aero. Americancinematheque.com.
Movie as Architectural Wow
The Dome awaits rescue (perhaps by Jeff Bezos’s untaxed pocket change) in the wake of the April announcement that the Hollywood ArcLight would not reopen. In the meantime, there’s the TCL Chinese Theatre. Its kitschy Far East aesthetic and forecourt of footprints and handprints commissioned by impresario Sid Grauman are still as much a part of the experience as what’s on the screen. 6925 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, tclchinesetheatres.com.
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