An Insider’s Guide to the TCM Classic Film Festival


The Event
You’ve seen The Sound of Music a hundred times on television, but you haven’t fully Do-Re-Mi ’d until you’ve taken in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical in full Technicolor glory on a Hollywood big screen. It’s just one of dozens of movies featured in the sixth annual TCM Classic Film Festival, which runs March 26 to 29.

Which Pass to Buy?
There are four options, but the cheapest one ($299) admits you to most screenings (many of them held at the TCL Chinese Theatre or the Egyptian), minus the splashy red carpet galas. If you’re not quite committed to spending an entire weekend in the dark, you can try buying single tickets at the box office for $20 just before the show.

If You Need to Stretch Your Legs
The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel serves as TCM’s festival headquarters. A bonus: You can stroll beyond the hectic lobby and head to the Blossom Room, where the first Academy Awards were held in 1929.

If You’re Overwhelmed By Choice
This year’s theme is History According to Hollywood. The screenings you don’t want to miss are a freshly restored 42nd Street (with Busby Berkeley’s dazzling choreography) and the 20th-anniversary showing of Apollo 13, which includes an appearance by astronaut James Lovell.

You want legends?
Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer are on hand at the opening-night screening of The Sound of Music, which turns 50 this year (this is why we live here, folks). Ann-Margret also introduces The Cincinnati Kid, in which she costarred with Steve McQueen—two faces that shouldn’t be confined to TV.

When You Want to Toast Old Hollywood
Go to Musso & Frank Grill (across from the Egyptian), take a seat at the bar, and check in with Manny Aguirre, who’s served cocktails there for decades.