Repertory movie houses flourished in the United States from the '60s into the '80s. That's how I got to know dozens of classic films from the US and abroad. Without the dedicated film lovers who owned and programmed the theaters, many of my generation would have been cinema illiterates. Then the rise of multiplexes and, especially, the evil specter of home video started to kill repertory houses off until they have become an endangered species. Thus, the news of a new repertory theater in Los Angeles is cause for rejoicing, even for those of us who don't live within driving distance.

The venue itself is not new. The Silent Movie Theatre was built in 1942 and has been serving Los Angeles for decades. When I lived in Los Angeles, I sometimes drove by and wondered what it looked like inside. I knew that it still played silent movies, but the schedule had become erratic.
What is new is that the owners have fully restored the theater "to its original, vintage 1940s art deco design, along with a brand new screen and sound system," according to the site. It's now known as The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre and the programming for November and December is simply breathtaking in its scope and ambition: silent movies on Wednesdays, music films on Thursdays, noir and Asian flicks on Sundays, special events galore.

The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre joins the New Beverly Cinema, American Cinematheque, UCLA Film & Television Archive, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and AFI at ArcLight as regular presenters of the classics of world and American cinema in Los Angeles. If only Dallas, my current city of residence, could boast of one such venue ...
categories Movies, Cinematical