Dara: A couple weeks ago, I was lucky enough to snag TJ and I tickets to a 35-mm double feature of Mad Max: Road Warrior (1981) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) playing at the New Beverly Cinema. The tickets sold out in about 20 minutes, but I happened to paying attention when Facebook sent me a notification that the tickets were on sale.
TJ: Pro-tip: Actually use Facebook’s “Interested” button for events, it’s a great way to get vital notifications of changes in the event and tickets going on sale. In this case, it was the difference between being one of the people who got tickets or one of the dozens of people on the event’s FB wall begging for re-sale tickets.
Dara: And because the New Beverly’s events are typically once-in-a-lifetime kind of deals, it’s definitely worth following their Facebook page.
TJ: But a little background for those of you who don’t know even know what the theater is: The New Beverly Cinema these days is commonly known as “Quentin Tarantino’s theater” since he owns it and influences its schedule. It plays double-features and midnight screenings of old movies, all on 35mm with a few exceptions of 16mm. Even the previews before each movie are original 35mm prints for the upcoming showings. They use this fun, very old “Now for our feature presentation” animation before each of the movies, which, if you’re a film fan, you may have seen before in KILL BILL and GRINDHOUSE.
The whole venue has a great old-school feel. There’s a one-man ticket office who gives you plain carnival style tickets, there’s only one screen in a big room with barely-raked seats, and there’s a very small concessions stand that microwaves White Castle burgers in addition to the classic popcorn and hotdogs.
Plus it’s incredibly cheap! The prices are what they should be, not the inflated megaplex prices. It’s something like $2.50 for a medium popcorn.
The lobby also rotates out various original and foreign posters for whatever’s playing, and there’s also promotional stills and original lobby cards from the films currently playing. We’ve now gone twice and have only ever seen Mad Max, as we’re kind of obsessed with it. But we plan on going a lot lot more in the future.
Yes, when Mad Max first came out, I saw it in theaters 3 times, with the third time being a 35mm New Beverly midnight screening. It was a really cool event, and the first time TJ and I went to the New Bev. We still have the special edition collector’s cups they gave out at the concession stand, which we now use for colored pencils.
The cool thing about seeing it again as a double-feature is that seeing them back-to-back makes you aware of how many callbacks to Road Warrior there are in Fury Road. There were so many references, and not only in the story, but also in small action beats that served as visual callbacks. You notice small things, like how it’s a tradition for bigger cars to get smashed by smaller cars, with a flashy zoom in on the soon-to-die victim’s face beforehand.
And it was Dara’s first time seeing Road Warrior so that was just a lot of fun to watch. In my opinion, it’s almost as much of a masterpiece of action as Fury Road, which is incredible, since the film was made with 1980’s technology. So if you’ve never seen these movies do it now. They’re some of the best action movies ever. They make FAST AND FURIOUS look like go-kart racing.
And also make sure to check out the rest of the New Bev’s amazing line-up! It’s curated by really smart film fanatics so the double-features are quite clever. You won’t wanna miss out!