American Cinematheque
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American Cinematheque
American Cinematheque
American Cinematheque Logo.jpg
Area served
United States

The American Cinematheque is an independent, nonprofit cultural organization in Los Angeles dedicated exclusively to the public presentation of the moving image in all its forms.[1]

The Cinematheque was created in 1981 as an offshoot of the annual Filmex Los Angeles Film Festival, which ran every year from 1971 to 1983. After five years of fundraising and planning, the Cinematheque launched its first series of screenings in 1987. It presents festivals and retrospectives that screen the best of worldwide cinema, video, and television from the past and present, ranging from the classics to the outer frontiers of the art form. In addition to presenting and celebrating all aspects of the moving picture on the big screen, the Cinematheque also provides a forum where film lovers and students can hear the world's leading filmmakers, actors, writers, editors, cinematographers, and others discussing their craft.

The Cinematheque's Theaters

Between 1987 and 1998, the Cinematheque presented its programs at a variety of venues, including the Directors Guild of America theater and the Raleigh Studios complex in Hollywood. In December 1998, it opened its own permanent home at the Egyptian in Hollywood, and in 2004 added a second theater, the Aero Theatre, in Santa Monica. It now presents festivals, retrospectives, and assorted programs at these two theaters.[2]

Grauman's Egyptian Theatre is the Hollywood movie palace built in 1922 by showman Sid Grauman (four years prior to opening his Chinese Theatre). It was the location of Hollywood's first-ever movie premiere in 1922. In 1998, the American Cinematheque completed a major $12.8 million renovation that restored the theater's exterior to its original form, and added new film, video, and audio technology.[]

The Aero Theatre in Santa Monica is a 1940 landmark movie theater that has also been renovated by the American Cinematheque.[3][4]


Film Festivals

The American Cinematheque is home to a number of annual film festivals, which cover diverse topics, genres, and international cinemas. Its annual Beyond Fest, now entering its eighth year, is the highest attended genre film festival in the U.S.[5]

For the last 22 years, the Cinematheque has partnered with the Film Noir Foundation on its longest running festival, Noir City: Hollywood, that celebrates the history of film noir.[6] Nitrate Nights, one of The American Cinematheque's newer film festivals, offers rare chances to see films on 35mm nitrate film base, a format abandoned in the early 1950s due to its highly flammable quality. After being retrofitted to project nitrate safely in 2016, the Cinematheque has since partnered with such film archives as the George Eastman Museum, the Library of Congress, the Academy Film Archive and the UCLA Film and Television Archive to bring rare archival prints to the screen for the public.[7][8]

The Cinematheque also partners annually with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to present the Golden Globe Foreign-Language Nominees Series, which includes screenings of the year's nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[9]Each year the series has culminated in a panel discussion symposium with the directors of the five nominated films.[10]

Other Notable Film Festivals

  • The All Night Horrorthon at the Aero[11]
  • Recent Spanish Cinema[12]
  • Cinema Italian Style[13]
  • German Currents[14]
  • Canada Now[15]
  • Starring Europe: New Films from the EU[16]
  • Screwball Comedy Festival[17]

Past Film Festivals

  • EW's CapeTown Film Festival[18]
  • Festival of Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction[19]
  • Brutal Youth Festival with Entertainment Weekly[20]

It has also presented Mods & Rockers Festival[21] a festival of rock-culture films first presented in 1999.

Other Regular Film Series

The Cinematheque also hosts a number of regular screening series year round including:

  • Cinematic Void[22]
  • Art Directors Guild Film Society[23]
  • Greg Proops Film Club[24]

American Cinematheque Award

In addition to its year-round programs, the organization presents the prestigious American Cinematheque Award annually to a filmmaker in recognition of contributions to the art form. In the 20 years since the award's inception, many major filmmakers have been honored, including directors such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, and Rob Reiner, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and actors including Eddie Murphy, Bette Midler, Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, and Jodie Foster.

Former Distribution

American Cinematheque's distribution arm was set up in 1999 as Vitagraph Films.[25]

Participation by industry leaders

The organization is governed by a board of directors and a board of trustees. The two boards include many prominent leaders in the entertainment industry, including directors and producers such as Sydney Pollack, Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, Francis Coppola, William Friedkin, Melvin Van Peebles, Brian Grazer, Joe Dante, Paula Wagner, and Steve Tisch. Other prominent board members include actors Candice Bergen and Goldie Hawn; studio chief Mike Medavoy; journalist Peter Bart (editor in chief of Variety); and talent agent Rick Nicita (co-chairman of Creative Artists Agency).

Attorney General's Investigation and Proposed Sale of the Egyptian Theatre

As of May 2019, the American Cinematheque was under investigation by the California Attorney General. Netflix is reportedly seeking to purchase the theater, but concerned community members[26][27][28] are petitioning[29] the American Cinematheque board, the California Attorney General and Los Angeles City Council[30] to halt the sale and hold public meetings explaining the situation.


  1. ^ LA Weekly
  2. ^ Nepales, Ruben V. "Lav Diaz comes to LA to be saluted in American Cinematheque's first tribute to a Filipino filmmaker". Retrieved .
  3. ^ Los Angeles Times
  4. ^ Los Angeles Conservancy
  6. ^ Turan, Kenneth. "'Noir City: Hollywood' returns with Rita Hayworth, military films and David Mamet". LA Times. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ Lindahl, Chris. "Christopher Nolan Hopes Nitrate Print of 'Rebecca' Will Reestablish the Film's Place in Hitchcock's Legacy". Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ Turan, Kenneth. "Critic's Choice: Nitrate lives on at the Egyptian". LA Times. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ "Also in Theatres Column". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ Cramer, Alex. "Alfonso Cuaron, Nadine Labaki, More Foreign-Language Directors Honored by American Cinematheque". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ "'The Blood is the Life: Vampires on Film' and 'Dusk-to-Dawn Horrorthon'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ "American Cinematheque Presents: Recent Spanish Cinema". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020.
  13. ^ "Cinema Italian Style- New Films from Italy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ King, Susan. "German Currents: Festival of German Film opens Friday at Egyptian". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020.
  15. ^ Yamato, Jen. "Beyond Fest sets 13-film David Cronenberg retrospective with director in attendance". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020.
  16. ^ Ziemba, Christine. "Your Ultimate Guide To May: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles". LAist. Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 2020.
  17. ^ King, Susan. "A Series You Can't Refuse". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ Thompson, Anne; Hanna, Beth. "'Iron Man 3' Free Advance Screening to Open EW's CapeTown Film Festival UPDATED". IndieWire. Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ King, Susan. "Hail the Party Animal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ Breznican, Anthony. "Brutal Youth Fest: Dark coming-of-age stories return to the big screen". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2020.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Let's Scare Jessica to Death". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020.
  23. ^ King, Susan. "The Spy Who Started It All". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ Craughwell, Kathleen. "Events & Revivals". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020.
  25. ^ "UniJapan: Talking about European cinema in the Japanese marketplace". Cineuropa. 2010. Retrieved 2020.
  26. ^ "Will Netflix's Ownership of L.A.'s Egyptian Theatre Spark Backlash?". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved .
  27. ^ "Will LA Stall Netflix Plan? | Los Angeles Business Journal". Retrieved .
  28. ^ "Netflix Planning to Purchase Historic Egyptian Theater". Retrieved .
  29. ^ "Sign the Petition". Retrieved .
  30. ^ Cooper, Kim (2019-08-13). "A Report From The Last Days of the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre... or are they?". Esotouric. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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