Grauman’s Chinese Theatre officially kicked-off its 85th anniversary celebration with their first 25-cent movie Monday night.
The sold-out screening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s drew a good mix of men, women, some pre-teens, couples and seniors.
I made it to the theater just in time, five minutes before the 7 p.m. start time. My friend and I were able to find ideal seats, but definitely cut it close.
There’s something to be said about the shared experience of it all — people sharing their excitement by clapping during the opening titles, hearing hundreds laughing along with you, seeing people smile at the same time.
If you're thinking about catching one of these screenings, stay on your toes. Tickets to Monday's show sold out fast. You'll want to follow the theater's Facebook and Twitter pages to be among the first to hear announcements. The title of the next movie hasn't been announced, nor has information about ticket sales.
Along those lines, I thought I’d offer 10 tips for locals and out-of-towners who plan to take advantage of the deal.
1. Buy only what you’ll use. It’s tempting to buy an extra pair because it’s so cheap. Tickets are advertised as 25-cents (a throwback to the price of admission in 1927), but there is a $1 surcharge by the online ticketing company. As the man who walked out of the theater in front of me said, “At $1.25 — you can’t beat that.”
Though tickets were sold out, when the lights came on at the end of the show there were still a lot of empty seats toward the front of the theater. The people who were inquiring at the box office before the movie for standby or unused tickets could have benefited from this.
2. Have unused tickets? Make an effort to share. I left an extra pair with one of the ushers at the front of the door. I’d like to imagine a couple stumbled upon the screening and made a decision to see it on a whim.
3. Feel free to dress up. In fact, Grauman’s encourages you to get in the spirit. It’s Hollywood after all. For Breakfast at Tiffany’s, wearing a little black dress was very appropriate. I didn't notice anyone who went all out this time.
4. Get there early, especially if it’s your first visit to Grauman's. Expect the unexpected in Hollywood. There are mysterious traffic back-ups, adventures to be had in finding parking, lines at the box office — who knows. If things go smoothly, you'll have plenty time for the next tip.
5. Take photos! Inside and out, this iconic theater is a beauty. You'll also want to explore the imprints in the forecourt. (Good luck finding Audrey Hepburn's. I couldn't find them! Tweet me or leave me a comment below if you know the answer.)
6. If you're an out-of-towner, give yourself even more time to get through traffic. Mondays are usually light on the freeway, but things can back up very quickly if something happens.
7. Consider taking the Metro. The Red Line is just a block away at Hollywood & Highland. You’ll save yourself the headache of navigating through Hollywood Boulevard.
8. Take a seat toward the front. It gives the movie a grander scale. We were seated toward the front of the middle section. You'll leave with an extra appreciation for "Cat." Who knew he could be such a character?
9. Don’t take photos of the screen, especially with the flash on. It’s distracting to your neighbors and it won't be a good picture anyway.
10. Cap the evening off with drinks. We were ready to head to Musso & Frank, but remembered the restaurant is closed on Mondays. We opted for drinks and appetizers at the Hard Rock Cafe bar, which may actually be the closest restaurant to the theater. (We’re totally open to suggestions for the next time.)
Did you go to the screening? What did you think? Have any tips or suggestions? Tell us in the comments.