Best Place to Watch Nitrate Film (2013)

James Bridges Theater

Not just the best, the James Bridges Theater in UCLA's Melnitz Hall is the only place you should watch nitrate film in Los Angeles. Although there are other theaters in L.A. that screen nitrate, only the Bridges has undergone the extensive modifications required to meet the safety codes for nitrate projection. You might ask why this matters. It matters because nitrate is highly flammable, because when it catches fire it generates its own oxygen, making it nearly impossible to extinguish, and because the nitric acid fumes produced by its fire are lethal. Which explains why only a handful of theaters in the country are still willing and equipped to project nitrate film but also begets your next question: If it's so dangerous, why show nitrate at all? We're glad you asked. The answer is that nothing quite matches the stunning luminosity of nitrate on-screen. Nor the feeling of watching the films of Hollywood's Golden Age screened on their native stock, which was largely abandoned in the 1950s. 1409 Melnitz Hall, Wstwd. (310) 206-8365, cinema.ucla.edu/james-bridges-theater. —Emma Courtland

Location Details

1409 Melnitz Hall, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
Westwood CA 90024
310-206-8365

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