Monday, October 5, 2009
To any and all classic movie lovers living in or planning on visiting the Los Angeles area, I discovered a charming venue that shows classic films! The Old Town Music Hall is a rare gem! Tucked away in the heart of downtown El Segundo, this tiny but glorious theater plays silent and sound films from the silent-golden years, as well as featuring musical acts on various nights. Tickets for movies are only $8, and they include the whole classic movie palace experience. Shows begin at 8:15pm Fri & Sat evenings, or 2:30pm Sat and Sun afternoons. The presentation begins with a musical introduction on the Mighty Wurlitzer, followed by a brief sing-a-long, (should you dare), a comedy short, a brief intermission, and finally, the feature film. If the movie is a silent film, then the organist plays live throughout the screening.
I went for the first time this past weekend when I discovered that a favorite of mine, Top Hat, would be playing. Not knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised at the old-fashioned decor and ambience, the friendliness of the staff and clientele, and the fact that it wasn't overly crowded!!! It was a little cheesy at times, I will admit, with the singing and the elder folk-- who at times would talk a little too loudly during the movie-- but it was not enough to dampen the experience. The total time of the show was less than three hours, and I was on my way with a smile on my face!
The good news is that every Halloween they play the Lon Chaney classic The Phantom of the Opera, with live musical accompaniment of course. It will play all Halloween weekend this year at the usual times.
Because it is a small, secret venue, which has been operating for over 40 years, they seem to be in a little financial trouble and are always grateful for donations. If you have a few extra bucks to send their way, they truly appreciate it, and it will do much to preserve an El Segundo and cinematic staple. Places like this don't exist anymore, so we can't lose this one as well!!!
Please swing by and check it out if you are the true cinema buff. You will more than get your money's worth. DVDs are great, but there is nothing like seeing an old movie on the big screen... the way LB Mayer et al intended!!!
140 Richmond Street
El Segundo, CA 90245