It’s boom time for screening rooms around town. While bigger venues such as Harmony Gold and the Pacific Design Center’s SilverScreen Theater generally aren’t used during the prenom phase, the more centrally located (read: Beverly Hills) spots are packing ’em in. Here’s a shortlist of favorites according to the awards-season strategists polled by AwardsLine editors and contributors.
CHAPLIN AT RALEIGH STUDIOS Hollywood
LORE: The studio was founded by Adolph Zukor in 1912 and was home to such legends as Douglas Fairbanks, Walt Disney and Jim Henson.
PLUSES: Convenient location, and Clinton Street offers a quick alternative route if Melrose is jammed during rush hour.
MINUSES: Long walk from the parking lot.
QUOTE: “Chaplin is the only room to watch a film in because it has that old Hollywood feel to it. The other rooms are small and boxy.”
WILSHIRE Beverly Hills
LORE: Was the former executive screening room of Dino De Laurentiis.
PLUSES: The plush velvet seats are some of the most comfortable in town.
MINUSES: Only bottled water is allowed inside.
QUOTE: “(President and projectionist) Michael S. Hall is just really strict. You can’t bring coffee inside or eat food. You can’t bring your dog either.”
AIDIKOFF Beverly Hills
LORE: Charles Aidikoff, who’s 96, learned to be a projectionist from his father and has since taught the ropes to his grandson, Josh, who manages the room.
MINUSES: Terrible sightlines. The front and last rows provide the most unobstructed views, though the middle of the fourth row was recommended.
QUOTE: “Charles is like a legend. He’s always there for the morning screenings. He will outlive us all.”
REAL D Beverly Hills
LORE: Originally designed by MGM to be its executive theater, however MGM never moved in to the building. Also most recently known as the Clarity.
PLUSES: Good legroom.
MINUSES: Can be cold. Lines usually form at the single-stall bathrooms.
QUOTE: “With Real D, Wilshire and Aidikoff, the presentation of a film is important. They’re really great about respecting a filmmaker’s work.”
DOLBY LABS Burbank
LORE: Was used as a research lab for testing Dolby’s Atmos sound system.
PLUSES: Amazing sound, natch.
MINUSES: Can be tough to get to during rush hour.
QUOTE: “The sound is unreal. It’s the best of the screening rooms.”
DICK CLARK Santa Monica
LORE: Built in 2001 as a private screening room for Joe Roth’s Revolution Studios. In 2007, Dick Clark Prods. took over most of the building.
PLUSES: Small and intimate with roomy, comfortable leather armchairs. Valet parking by request.
MINUSES: The location is mostly convenient for Westside-based guild members. The entrance is screen-adjacent, so latecomers are disruptive.
QUOTE: “There’s plenty of parking, and it has the best snacks of any of the
screening rooms. They pop their own popcorn!”