Ah, celluloid. Not just "a colorless flammable material made from nitro-cellulose and camphor, used to make photographic film" but also the stuff that dreams are made of. Downtown L.A.'s movie palaces once were some of the most sumptuously appointed, architecturally extravagant structures of the 20th century. But, like 35mm film itself, they now face extinction. The Echo Park Film Center's new artist-in-residence program, "L.A. AIR," has brought in Huckleberry Lain to celebrate the beauty of our few remaining movie palaces. The esteemed local film projectionist showcases his reconstructed vision of these movie palaces with an arresting cross-pollination of old-school Fuji Single-8 film and new digital animation technology. Lain, who learned his craft alongside underground notables Mike Kuchar, Christine Panushka, Larry Cuba and Marie Losier, achieves an intoxicating mix of subject and medium, centered around his intense romance with these glorious venues and lent additional heft by live musical contributions from Alejandro Cohen, of Languis and Pharaohs. This is Los Angeles culture celebrated with cerebral refinement and street-level immediacy. Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Thurs., Feb. 28, 8 p.m.; free. (213) 484-8846, echoparkfilmcenter.org.
Thu., Feb. 28, 8 p.m., 2013