Best Indie Movie Theater - 2012
Montana Avenue doesn't need a theater showing classic films. It's got enough stuff to keep people occupied, and the parents pushing strollers on their way to baby boutiques and frozen yogurt shops don't seem like cinephiles. But that just helps give you an extra jolt of surprise every time you walk by the marquee for the Aero Theatre. You can't believe it's still there, and that on Sunday it has a Jean Renoir double feature, and later that month is an Irish film festival, and in a couple weeks is a reunion of the cast of Major League. The Aero opened in 1939 as a 24-hour movie theater for Santa Monica's aircraft workers doing oddly timed shifts, and it was taken over and renovated by the American Cinematheque in 2005. It's more modest-looking than the organization's grand Hollywood venue, the Egyptian Theatre, but it's more welcoming and easier to park. It's an unnecessary luxury for an already luxurious spot — like if your penthouse happened to come with a pizza oven. 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 260-1528, americancinemathequecalendar.com/aero_theatre_events.