One of the things I’ve enjoyed about Los Angeles is the high frequency of free movie screenings available to the public. In fact, those who attend usually end up being the first in the country to see them. Last week marked the conclusion of “The Envelope” screening series by the Los Angeles Times. “The Envelope” was a series of possible Oscar contenders shown at the ArcLight Cinema in the Sherman Oaks Galleria.
In order to attend, people had to RVSP online using Eventbrite, which put them on a wait list. Although the films started around 7 to 7:30PM, checkin usually began at 5:30PM. Those who are VIP members got in before the general public, and since the screenings were overbooked, people needed to arrive by 5PM at least to be guaranteed a seat. After I checked in, I was given a ticket indicating my place in line. I had to come back fifteen to twenty minutes before the movie began in order to obtain my actual movie ticket.
I spent the time in between to grab dinner at Fuddruckers since Fuddruckers and Quiznos were the only two establishments I’ve noticed in the Sherman Oaks Galleria where I could easily find meals for under $15. In addition to beef and chicken, Fuddruckers now offer foreign meat such as elk and bison to satisfy people’s curiosity. I love how you can choose how well they grill the meat even though the meat still comes out too rare or well done for my taste. Be wary that all cheese, regardless of type, costs about an additional 75 cents. I also enjoy having the ability to garnish my burger by myself with whole leaf or shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, jalapenos, ketchup, mustard, etc. by the condiments.
After dinner, I returned to the theatre to pick up my movie ticket. I was also given a coupon that let me redeem a free popcorn with optional real butter (as opposed to artificial butter flavoring that most movie complexes offer) and my choice of Coke, Sprite, or Diet Coke. For the screening of “A Dangerous Method,” a free four-ounce serving of Heineken beer was given at the bar even though there seemed to be some communication error between the bartenders and the event coordinator in arranging it. A reason I enjoy attending screenings in LA is that most of them come with panel discussions with directors, producers, and actors at the end. For instance, I had the opportunity to hear actress Michelle Yeoh and director David Cronenberg talk after I watched “The Lady” and “A Dangerous Method” respectively. However, the questions were usually restricted to the ones asked by the LA Times moderator.
I had a wonderful experience watching the various movies shown at “The Envelope.” They are all possible Oscar material so they definitely do not disappoint. There’s free four-hour parking with validation from the theatre. Even if you go over four hours, it’s only $1 in the evening, and most of the time, the guard’s nice enough to let you leave for free to alleviate the influx of cars leaving after the screening. The wait for the screening is long, but that is to be expected for free screenings. Plus, we are in Los Angeles so obviously there will be tons of moviegoers. Unlike most movie screenings in other cities, you don’t have to enter some stupid contest either. All you have to do is search on Eventbrite and RVSP, and you’re good to go. Obviously, if there are some good screenings in the future, our blog will let you know.
So for those who’ve been to a free screening in LA, what’s your favorite movie? Leave a comment below.
Until next time! Happy Thanksgiving!