New Classic Film Series: Mondays at the Montalban

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Though most people today may remember Ricardo Montalbán for his work on television—Star Trek and Fantasy Island, to name a few—he first came to fame under contract at MGM in the 1940s and ’50s in roles that touted him as a handsome “exotic” type, a kind of Ramon Novarro or Rudy Valentino for the postwar set. Throughout his film career, he starred in a variety of romances, comedies, noirs, and westerns, and that section of his life is the subject of a new classic film screening series at the historic Hollywood theater that now bears his name: The Montalbán, at Hollywood and Vine.

Left Turns in LA: The TCM Movie Locations Bus Tour

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We’re officially a month away from the 20th anniversary of Turner Classic Movies, and to celebrate, the beloved television station has partnered with StarLine to launch a month of bus tours for classic movie fans in Los Angeles. The free, 3-hour ride chauffeurs visitors to a variety of historical film and filmmaking locations around Los Angeles, and runs through the TCM Film Festival in April. The tour celebrates a love of film from nearly every angle, highlighting on-location filming locations, studios, and historical and modern movie theaters, tracing its history from the earliest silent films to the latest CGI blockbusters.

The Los Angeles Theatre

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Built in 1930, the Los Angeles Theatre was the last of the great, classic movie palaces constructed in LA’s Broadway theater district, which, at the time, boasted the highest concentration of movie theaters in the world. The area’s expansive growth reflected the public’s near insatiable demand for cinema throughout the early part of the 20th century, and afforded theatrical prominence to downtown LA before theaters like the Chinese, the Egyptian, and the Pantages began to shift moviegoing focus to Hollywood. In 1931, there were a dozen major movie theaters here within a six-block radius, with a combined seating capacity of 15,000.

Upcoming: Cinefamily Celebrates the Tramp at 100

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The Little Tramp, the enduring, mustachioed character brought to life by Charlie Chaplin, is celebrating one heck of a birthday this year: 100. The character first appeared in a Keystone comedy short called “Kid Auto Races at Venice” in 1914, where he plays a bumbling spectator constantly getting in the way of the camera’s attempts to focus on the action. Another film, “Mabel Behind the Wheel,” was technically the first Tramp film shot, but “Kid Auto Races” was released first, so it gets the permanent claim to fame. Of course, this being 1914, that difference is only a matter of days, so it’s really only a distinction for the record books. Both films are very charming and recognizably set up the many iterations of the character that were to follow–and not just in costume, but the Tramp’s personality that we’d come to know as well.

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