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25th Season of Last Remaining Seats Announced

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Monday, February 21, 2011, at 02:16PM
IMGP4855 Ed Fuentes

Film fans line up to enter the Los Angeles Theater during the 2010 Last Remaining Seats program.

On Friday, the Los Angeles Conservancy announced the slate of films that will screen during the 25th season of Last Remaining Seats, the program begun in 1987 to bring attention to Broadway's historic movie palaces.

For some, it has become date night with the city, offering a chance to dress up in 1930's and 40's fashion as a nod to the days when Broadway was the place to be seen.

Last season's announcement sparked ideas on how to make a full night of each showing. This year's slate again fired the imagination.

Rear Window (1954) May 25 8pm / Orpheum Theatre / Hosted by acclaimed film critic and historian Leonard Maltin; pre-show performance by Robert York on the Orpheum's original Mighty Wurlitzer organ.

Suspense is key with this Hitchcock classic starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly. You can’t go wrong by wearing an homage to costume designer Edith Head, who made men slick and women glamorous even when they were on the cusp of danger. Some may opt to dress in Edith's trademark sunglasses and an Anna May Wong hairstyle.

Café Nine is located on the 9th floor of the Crocker Building at 453 S Spring, so maybe they can be convinced to have stay open later then 5pm. You can have light dinner fare while peeking for shenanigans at the Rowan or the El Dorado located across the street.

“When two people love each other, they come together - WHAM - like two taxis on Broadway.” Stella (Thelma Ritter)

The Music Man (1962) June 1 8pm / Los Angeles Theatre / Special guest: co-star Susan Luckey

Think 4th of July in Mason City, Iowa, circa 1912 and you have “Seventy-Six Trombones" sounding in your head. For women, Sunday best pinafores may be hard to obtain, but men can easily don those straw hats. Or wear a band uniform and lead a march to The Farm or Mendocino Farms for hearty pre-screening fare.

“I always think there's a band, kid.” Prof. Harold Hill (Robert Preston)

Captain Blood (1935) June 8 8pm / Million Dollar Theatre / Includes display of the original theatre drape from the film The Jazz Singer, from the Warner Bros. archives

Find your inner Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland or Basil Rathbone because Downtown is a ship ready to sail. Dress for the open seas, eye patch and all, and enjoy the made-to-order pirate motif of the Redwood Bar and Grill.

“It's entirely innocent, I am!” Dr. Peter Blood (Errol Flynn)

King Kong (1933) June 15 8pm / Los Angeles Theatre / Special guest: Pauline Wagner, Fay Wray's stunt double in the film

To find what a renegade filmmaker would wear, just look at what location crews wear around Downtown and then adjust it with a 1933 safari twist. You can also take a cue from the scene of the lovestruck ape’s opening night in Manhattan and dress for a big night out on the town.

This would be a good time for the modern version of jungle drums—Twitter—to make the call for the food truck tribe to hit Broadway. A special parking spot must be left for KingKone. End the night with a cocktail at the tropical-themed Trader Vics. Then again, you can't go wrong with the evening's sponsors: Clifton's Cafeteria and the Edison.

“I don't know - they say it's some big gorilla.” Theatre Patron

Safety Last! (1923) June 29 8pm / Orpheum Theatre / Hosted by Suzanne Lloyd (granddaughter of Harold Lloyd); live accompaniment of the film by Robert Israel on the Orpheum's original Mighty Wurlitzer organ; Buster Keaton short film, Cops (1922), also with live organ accompaniment.

Dress up like an L.A. Downtowner circa 1923 and have your before and after at Coles. When this silent film classic by Harold Lloyd was first playing in theaters, Cole’s was celebrating its 15th anniversary. The after-screening option is Broadway Bar, located next to the Orpheum. Sit on the patio and gaze across the street to what is the backdrop from the famous scene that has Lloyd dangling from the clock.

"Come on. Just this one floor, an' you'll be through." Silent film card from "Safety Last!"

Zoot Suit (1981) June 22 8pm / Million Dollar Theatre

Co-presented with the Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles, this screening marks the 30th anniversary of the Luis Valdez musical. If you dare, you can still be fitted for your own personal zoot suit in L.A.’s Fashion District.

As for dine and drink, arrive early enough to duck into Grand Central Market next door to the Million Dollar for some comfort food. According to an actual zoot suiter who once roamed Broadway in the early 40s, Grand Central had only two food stands with that exotic Latino fare. Now, you may think the after-screening destination is the mezcal and tequila serving Las Perlas. Not bad, but you may want to consider the long time Downtowner joint La Cita.

“The idea of the original chuco is to look like a diamond,” El Pachuco (Edward James Olmos)

Sunset Blvd (1950) June 26 (matinee and evening show time TBA) / Palace Theatre / Special guest Nancy Olson, who co-starred as Betty Schaefer in the film (specific screening TBA); both screenings hosted by FOX11 reporter Tony Valdez

To mark Last Remaining Seats' 25th Anniversary, members of the L.A. Conservancy voted in Sunset Blvd to be the bonus seventh screening. The classic Billy Wilder film will be screened twice on a Sunday.

That gives you a chance for an afternoon walk—in noir wear of course—to the Biltmore for a cocktail. In the evening, you can dine at The Gorbals, located in The Alexandria where silent film stars roamed during the height of Norma Desmond’s fictitious career, mirroring Gloria Swanson’s actual career.

For a film that is also about a doomed struggling screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden) the Down and Out bar, housed in Lady Alexandria like a kept man, is the right place for a nightcap.

Tickets will go on sale to Conservancy members on Wednesday, March 30, 10am, then to the general public on Wednesday, April 13 at 10am. Tickets are $16 for Conservancy members and $20 for the general public.

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