With wages stagnating and the price of movie tickets forever increasing — not to mention the endless amount of movie and TV options available online (legally or otherwise) — Angelenos can be forgiven for not going out to the movies more often. Still, there's something to be said for the experience of watching a film in a theater. In a city where the grand movie palaces are kind of like Roman Catholic cathedrals, the Ray Stark Family Theatre on the campus of USC is like a small temple to film. Set in the Cinematic Arts building, the wood-paneled theater seats about 100 people in its air-conditioned confines. Several nights a week the theater offers free screenings of upcoming independent movies, oftentimes with somebody from the cast or crew on hand to take questions from the audience after the screening. The theater is small enough to be intimate and still provide that communal movie-watching experience of the past — plus, it's free. All you have to do is pick a screening and RSVP via the website.
Credit: John Linden