Best Film Series in Landmark Movie Palaces (2012)
At the annual film series Last Remaining Seats, what's on the screen isn't necessarily as fascinating as what's around the screen. That's not to say that the movies presented by the L.A. Conservancy aren't great; the 2012 summer's season included classics like Paper Moon, Tootsie, The Big Sleep and The Wizard of Oz. But what makes the series so special is where the films are shown, mainly at the beautifully restored, grand old theaters downtown along Broadway. The Million Dollar Theatre, which opened in 1918, the Orpheum Theatre (1926) and the Los Angeles Theatre (1931) once were among the most lavishly ornate and sumptuously stylish movie houses in the world, but over the decades they fell into disuse, became abandoned or were even turned into churches. But in recent years, the good folks at the historical preservation group L.A. Conservancy helped raise the massive funds necessary to refurbish them. It is truly the greatest of magic tricks that these once-decrepit architectural marvels look so astonishingly vibrant today. 300-800 blocks of Broadway, dwntwn. (213) 430-4219, laconservancy.org.
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