Thursday, June 19, 2008

Last Remaining Seats: Mel Brooks, Cloris Leachman, and Young Frankenstein

When my friend Adam asked me if I was interested in attending a Last Remaining Seats event at the Los Angeles Theatre (The answer was "Of course!"), I had no idea that the event was going to be more than a screening of Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein"...

Think Downtown's Broadway Avenue with a really long line of people...a long line stretching out a few blocks...separated only by a couple of streetlights.

That was my welcoming sight to the event. My thoughts? "Wow, that's a long line" and "No wonder these things are sold out."

In the Los Angeles Theatre: Built on Broadway between 1911 and 1931, this theatre is known as the last and most extravagant of the movie palaces. Without getting into architectural details that I have no expertise in, all I can really say is that it's an amazing theatre with crystal chandaliers, mirrors, and ornate columns and walls.

It even has a ballroom. I felt like Cinderella - minus the prince, the gown, and the glass slippers.

Pre-Movie: If the setting wasn't amazing enough, how about a surprise appearance by Mel Brooks and Cloris Leachman?! Before the screening, the audience was given an unexpected visit and conversation with these talented and comedic celebrities. In a theatre dimly lit, you couldn't miss the laughter, applause, and even the smiles.

The Movie: It's Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" on a ginormous screen. If you haven't seen it - you should. A hilarious "adaptation" of the Mary Shelley classic, shot in black and white film in the 70s, Dr. Frankenstein's grandson has inherited it all...including the secret of reanimated life that leads to hijinks and hilarity.

Post-Movie: Prior to the event, a nice woman next to us gave us a restaurant recommendation at the Tranquility Base Restaurant on 8th/Hill which offers food up until 2am. She pulled out a "Nights on the Town" in Historic Downtown flyer, featuring restaurants that are a part of a limited promotion organized by the Downtown LA Retail. Barely missing the dinner menu, we did enjoy the late night menu and the cool ambiance of the restaurant, which included big screens with classic film reels and an outdoor patio with a fire place.

All the Last Remaining Seats events sell out annually. Make plans early next year because even the line before you get in is worth seeing.

-Charity Tran, Web Coordinator


Anonymous said...

Hi Charity. WHAT AN AMAZING NIGHT! I so much enjoyed the impromptu bantering between two Hollywood legends. Both Mel Brooks and Cloris Leachman were witty and hilarious! I could have listened to their stories all evening and you could tell how much fun they were having telling them. Young Frankenstein has always been one of my favorite classic comedies. It was fun to hear the audience saying the lines before they happened. I absolutely loved it. Every “Last Remaining Seats” screening is incredible. I always buy the complete series the minute they come on sale. This one was truly OFF-THE-HOOK! Kudos to the Los Angeles Conservancy for their foresight and commitment to keeping these “jewels of Los Angeles” (i.e. the Broadway Movie Palaces) alive and purposed to what they were built for!

Anonymous said...

I am a volunteer for the LA Conservancy. I was almost ready to go home after taking tickets at the doow when someone mentioned Mel Brooks and Cloris Leachman were on hand to give a pre-movie interview. Tired after a long day at work on the Westside and a 1-hour drive to Downtown, I decided to stay for the interview. Afterall, it was Mel Brooks and Cloris Leachman! I felt privledged to to see 2 Hollywood legends on stage before my eyes. I decided to stay for the movie which I had not seen before. I'm glad i did.

You never know what kind of treat you'll get with the LA Conservancy; 5 years ago Tony Curtis joined us at the Los Angeles Theatre before the showing of "Some Like it Hot". We sang Happy Birthday to him and everyone enjoyed cake.