We all love movie theaters, but there are some we love more than others. In particular, I love the Majestic Crest in Westwood, where Saturday evening Billy and I went to see Inglorious Basterds.
The Crest has terrific neon, and it’s a stand-alone, independently owned theater that sits slightly apart from the Westwood Village hubbub, on Westwood Boulevard but on the south side of Wilshire.
Its original owner when it was constructed in 1941 was Frances Seymour Fonda, the mother of Jane and Peter (I’m following Jane on Twitter, and she has a blog, too). It has the most wonderful mural inside showing all the buildings that formed the skyline of central Hollywood in the ‘40s, with Art Deco details that pop out in tiers.
The ‘neon’ on the buildings glows when the lights go down, and the ceiling fills with stars (it’s a celestially accurate star map, I’m told). There’s a brief ‘curtain show’ while the music for That’s Entertainment plays, whetting your appetite for the feature. The red plush seats are very comfortable, and there are no annoying commercials – just a preview or two. Doesn’t that sound great? Movie-going the way it’s meant to be!
An actual movie-loving individual owns this theater – his name is Robert Bucksbaum and he bought it with his life savings (he’d done well in another business) in 2003, and often works the ticket booth and concessions along with his staff. When a movie has a really great weekend at The Crest, he says, that gives him more clout with distributors and a better shot at booking more of the movies you want to see. Cool, huh? So come on out and support an old-style neighborhood theater. And the movie? Outstanding. But you’ve heard that by now. Here’s a review I agree with.