7165 West Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles
Number of Screens:
$6.00 General Admission
, $5.00 Students
, $3.00 Seniors & Kids
(price includes admission for two movies)
Type of Movies Shown:
Old Films / Double Feature
The New Beverly Cinema is a movie theater in Los Angeles that shows revivals of older movies. The theater is independently owned and shows daily double-features of old movies. Three different features are shown each week.
The Movies: The movies shown at the Beverly run the gamut from obscure art-flicks to box office smashes. In the same week, it's quite possible to see two Luis Bunuel films followed the next day by Back to the Future and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Each pair of movies has some sort of theme, such as two movies by the same director. One time I saw Jaws and The Birds there: the theme was thrillers about killer animals. Some newer releases are shown (including the ocassional independent film in current release), but the films are predominately at least several years old.
The theater's Web site has a schedule that includes two months worth of films, so you can often have advance notice if they're showing one of your favorite movies. This makes it handy if, like me, you have to drive a few hours to get to theater and thus can't go every night. Be warned, though, that the schedule is only updated every two months.
Atmosphere & Aesthetics: To be frank, the New Beverly is a little run down. It's an old theater (built in 1960) and could use a little bit of maintenance. Seats aren't terribly comfortable, and I reccomend you check to make sure you try a few seats before you pick where you intend to sit. The sound system sounds decent to my ear, but I'm not an audiophile and it's obviously not a THX-certified digital sound set-up. The screen is also a little bit dirty, having suffered some water damage while in storage at some point.
At the same time, the sense that the theater is old is part of its charm. Posters for movies such as Casablanca and Le Samourai hang in the lobby. There's only one screen, but the auditorium is a decent size, unlike those little sardine tins most modern theaters try and cram you into. The lobby is pretty tiny, but is usually filled with patrons milling about between shows, holding intelligent conversations about movies.
Considering that I'm generally not there to see large budget, flashy spectacles, I don't mind the fact that the theater doesn't sport the latest technology. It's an old-fashion theater for old-fashion movies. Of course, the fact that it's the only way I can see most of these movies on a big screen is a major factor in my frequent trips to the theater.
Other Information: The theater is extremely reasonably priced. $6 gets you in to see two movies and free parking is abundant in the surrounding residential neighborhood (an aside: the theater is right next to a Hasidic Jewish community, which is just another part of the entire unique experience). Snacks and drinks are also a deal. If memory serves sodas are under $2 and a large popcorn is only about $3 (I'll double check the next time I'm up there). In other words, you can see two movies and get snacks for about the same amount it would cost just to buy a regular ticket at a normal theater.
The theater has a pretty interesting history, which is detailed on its Web site at http://www.michaelwilliams.com/beverlycinema/info.cfm. Apparently, it was one of the first theaters in Los Angeles dedicated to showing independent movies, and it's been doing the current double-feature thing since 1978. There is also a little community of patrons on the message forum elsewhere on the Web site, but unfortunately most of the discussion seems to consist of people making fun of other posters' poor taste in movies. The theater also considers requests regarding which movies to show.