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Movie Magic At The Montalbán

By Kim Sudhalter

October 5, 2015

What could be more magical than watching a movie outdoors under the stars, you ask? Well, what about watching a classic Hollywood movie high up on a rooftop, looking out over the magical neon landscape that is Hollywood & Vine, munching on artisanal burgers and sipping craft beers? That is what you can experience now with the official debut of the Rooftop Film Club at the historic Montalbán Theatre.

Panoramic view from the top of the Montalban Theatre (Photo by Kim Sudhalter)

Panoramic view from the top of the Montalban Theatre (Photo by Kim Sudhalter)

After achieving great success with their pop-up cinema experience in London and New York, UK-based Rooftop Film Club has taken up residence in Los Angeles at one of the most iconic locations in Hollywood, on top of the 89-year old Montalban Theatre. After climbing up three or four flights of stairs, you emerge onto the rooftop (which the theatre had used previously as a basketball court), to a retro-flavored movie lovers paradise complete with rows of striped Brighton Beach deck chairs, a popcorn box-shaped projector stand, and sleek black food booths.

The classic film "Sunset Boulevard" being screened at the Rooftop Movie Club at the Montalban Theatre. (Photo by Kim Sudhalter)

The classic film “Sunset Boulevard” being screened at the Rooftop Movie Club at the Montalban Theatre. (Photo by Kim Sudhalter)

The view is stunning: the multi-leveled W hotel beckoning to the east, glowing Broadway and Hollywood Plaza neon signs lighting the sky to the north and mile-high cranes, signaling the emerging Hollywood to the south. Hollywood being Hollywood, there was even a drone capturing all the action from on-high at the opening night’s festivities. The movie begins at sundown. Movie-goers settle into their comfy, low-slung chairs, don a set of high quality wireless headphones and settle in for the evening.

The view from the Montalban's rooftop. (Photo by Kim Sudhalter)

The view from the Montalban’s rooftop – notice the drone above the “W”. (Photo by Kim Sudhalter)

Rooftop Film Club is the brainchild of Gerry Cottle Jr. who envisioned a cinema experience that combines magical movie-going moments with a night out on the town. In 2011, he began screening classic films, cult favorites and new releases atop the Queen Hoxton bar in East London. With a tremendously positive response, he expanded and, together with childhood friend Nick Frow, brought the experience to multiple rooftops in London including the Bussey Building in Peckham (photo at top of story), Roof East in Stratford and the Roof Gardens in Kensington. Their next stop was the YOTEL in midtown Manhattan this past June where they enjoyed a sold-out season.

Rooftop Film Club at Yotel in New York City. (Courtesy Photo)

Rooftop Film Club at Yotel in New York City. (Courtesy Photo)

At the Montalbán, moviegoers will be able to indulge in craft beers, select wines and movie-themed food that will be procured from local L.A. restaurants. As a tribute to Los Angeles, the Rooftop Film Club will kick-off its first season with movies that delve into the pop culture and eclectic ethos of L.A., including such films as the Coen Brothers’ cult classic “The Big Lebowski,” the 1980’s dystopian thriller “Bladerunner” and the quirky and comical story of Beverly Hills teenagers in “Clueless” (also celebrating its 20th anniversary this year as well). Timeless tales such as “Casablanca,” the classic sing-along musical “Grease,” and brat-pack era favorites, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “The Breakfast Club” are just a few of the films to follow.

Rooftop Film Club at the Montalban Theatre. (Photo by Kim Sudhalter)

Rooftop Film Club at the Montalban Theatre. (Photo by Kim Sudhalter)

List of scheduled films:

  • Thursday, October 8, 2015: Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Friday, October 9, 2015: The Shawshank Redemption
  • Sunday, October 11, 2015: Sunset Boulevard
  • Tuesday, October 13, 2015: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • Wednesday, October 14, 2015: Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Thursday, October 15, 2015: Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Friday, October 16, 2015: Blade Runner
  • Sunday, October 18, 2015: When Harry Met Sally
  • Tuesday, October 20, 2015: Dirty Dancing
  • Wednesday, October 21, 2015: Amy
  • Thursday, October 22, 2015: The Goonies
  • Friday, October 23, 2015: Dazed and Confused
  • Saturday, October 24, 2015: Top Gun
  • Sunday, October 25, 2015: Chinatown
  • Tuesday, October 27, 2015: The Thing (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  • Wednesday, October 28, 2015: Nightmare on Elm Street (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  • Thursday, October 29, 2015: Psycho (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  • Friday, October 30, 2015: Friday the 13th (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  • Saturday, October 31, 2015: Beetlejuice (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)

Ticket Information: Tickets are $15.00 (plus service charge) per person and can be purchased exclusively at www.la.rooftopfilmclub.com. The doors open at 6:00 pm and screening time is at 8:00 pm.

Rooftop Film Club at The Montalbán
1615 Vine Street
Los Angeles, CA 90028
www.la.rooftopfilmclub.com


Kim Sudhalter has worked with the Hollywood Entertainment District since its early years, helping to attract investment and revitalize the area. Originally from Europe and New York, she is an architecture and history buff who has a deep and abiding love for Hollywood and its past.

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