Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Death In The Cinefamily

Sad news.  The Cinefamily, which for years has been showing rare films, old and new, has officially shut down.

It exhibited its discoveries at the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax, just south of Melrose.  The theatre itself opened around 75 years ago--well into the sound era--and showed only silent films. (It's said Chaplin would sneak in and watch his classics).

It closed down for a while, then reopened in the 90s, not long after I moved to Los Angeles, and once again specialized in silent films. It was just down the block from me.  Then the proprietor was murdered during a showing, but that's another story.

It changed hands a couple times and a decade ago was taken over by Cinefamily, a group dedicated to spreading the love and excitement of film.  I became a member and attended fairly regularly.

I'm sure I saw over a hundred films there.  It was a lovely spot, with a nice patio out back where you could hang out before of after most shows.

However, in August they shut down when two of its leaders were forced to resign in a sexual harassment scandal.  I was hoping they'd reopen, but it appears they've decided to cease operations.

It's partly due to the damage of the scandal, though the non-profit group was also in debt, and I guess they figured it was time to go.

Here's hoping some new owner will open up and start showing films again.  Hey, Quentin Tarantino owns the New Beverly Theatre around the corner--maybe he'd like to open up a second spot.


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