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American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre Presents...
Movies on the Big Screen Since 1940!
1328 Montana Avenue at 14th Street in Santa Monica

Click to print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of an August Calendar!
Series compiled by  Gwen Deglise.

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Special Thanks to: Marilee Womack/WARNER BROTHERS; NEW LINE CINEMA; Mike Schlesinger/SONY REPERTORY; Grover Crisp & Helena Brissenden/SONY FILM SERVICES; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY; Caitlin Robertson & Schawn Belston/20th CENTURY FOX; Emily Horn/PARAMOUNT; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL.

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SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.



Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
(Aero by series)
(Aero by date)
(Egyptian by series)
(Egyptian by date)
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The American Cinematheque was awarded 4 Stars by Charity Navigators for successfully managing the finances of the organization in an efficient and effective manner as compared to other non-profits in America.
24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
Contact Us
The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the newly re-opened and renovated Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica and at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Barry Gerber. Aero Theatre (c) 2004.

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<< August 3 - 18, 2006 >>>

The Annual Festival of Fantasy, Horror & Science Fiction


Discuss this series with other film fans on:


The dog days of summer are once more upon us, and what better way to beat the heat than a darkened, air-conditioned theatre featuring movies that are macabre and malevolent, murderous and mysterious!! What do you get when you put together a Paul Verhoeven double feature (ROBOCOP, STARSHIP TROOPERS), an Arnold double bill (CONAN THE BARBARIAN, CONAN THE DESTROYER), a British horror evening (THE INNOCENTS, CURSE OF THE DEMON), Steven Spielberg (CLOSE ENOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND), the original KING KONG and an In-Person Tribute to actor John Saxon (ENTER THE DRAGON, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET), not to mention other classic sci-fi? Why you get the American Cinematheque’s 2006 Annual Festival of Fantasy, Horror & Science-Fiction. Please join us for two weeks worth of great shudders and thrills!

Looking for more horror this summer? Check out the Roger Corman Festival at the Egyptian Theatre August 25 - 27! Triple features of early Corman films and did we mention that Corman himself will be there on opening night?


Thursday, August 3 - 7:30 PM
John Saxon In Person Double Feature!
ENTER THE DRAGON, 1973, Warner Bros., 97 min. Dir. Robert Clouse. Widely hailed as the legendary Bruce Lee’s finest film, ENTER THE DRAGON also helped break down the doors of American mainstream culture for the martial arts genre. Spectacular non-stop kung fu action as Lee and co-stars John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Bolo Yeung and Robert Wall compete in a deadly martial arts tournament on the island fortress of drug overlord Han (the deliciously evil Kien Shih). With memorable dialogue – "Boards don’t hit back!" – by screenwriter Michael Allin, and a killer score by Lalo Schifrin (TV’s "Mission Impossible").

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, 1984, New Line Cinema, 92 min. Wes Craven created one of his most famous movie milestones with this supremely entertaining horror opus, melding influences from Polanski to Bunuel to Argento to achieve a bizarrely subversive box office hit. NIGHTMARE… went on to become a certifiable goldmine of a franchise and ushered in surrealism to the masses. Dead child killer/dream demon Freddie Krueger (Robert Englund) proves a formidable homicidal anti-hero but finds a more than worthy opponent in feisty, brainy teen Heather Langenkamp. With Johnny Depp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakely. Discussion in between films with actor John Saxon.



Friday, August 4 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, 1977, Sony Repertory, 132 min. We are not alone. Reuniting with Richard Dreyfuss (JAWS), director Steven Spielbergs 70's blockbuster which became a cultural phenomenon is a well-crafted, awe-inspiring story of first contact. Featuring Francois Truffaut, Terri Garr, mashed potatoes and the most famous five-note song in history by composer John Williams.

THX 1138,1971, Warner Bros., 88 min. Director George Lucas’ first (and most adult) picture outdoes 1984 and Brave New World in painting a bleak, dehumanized future where every person is given pills to quiet emotions, eliminate sex drive, increase work production and prevent the questioning of authority. This excellent film’s comparatively cool reception at the box office inspired Lucas to henceforth aim more for escapist fare on a grand scale (i.e. the STAR WARS films). With Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence.



Saturday, August 5 - 7:30 PM

Paul Verhoeven Double Feature:
ROBOCOP, 1987, MGM Repertory, 102 min. Peter Weller stars as a murdered Detroit police officer who is brought back to life as an unstoppable cyborg cop in director Paul Verhoeven’s action-packed satire of the future of corporate America. Nearly twenty years after its release, the film still packs an enormous punch with its savage violence and ferociously dark sense of humor. Several brutal scenes had to be trimmed to reportedly keep the film from garnering an X-rating for violence. With a terrific supporting cast including Nancy Allen, Kurtwood Smith, Ronny Cox and a brilliantly amoral Miguel Ferrer as the head honcho behind the RoboCop program.

STARSHIP TROOPERS, 1997, Sony Repertory, 129 min. Dir. Paul Verhoeven. This underrated sci-fi masterpiece based on the book by author Robert A. Heinlein is a dark political satire about an overly-militarized world, disguised as a violent space opera. Campy, melodramatic rock-jawed heroes (Casper Van Dien, Parick Muldoon), Archie and Jughead-type characters (Neil Patrick Harris, Jake Busey) and sexually aggressive amazons (Dina Myer, Denise Richards) cavort in the fascist future fighting intelligent, insectoid monsters! In the age of public relations-designed, political catch-all slogans like "The Axis Of Evil", the film seems more prescient than ever. Great performances by Clancy Brown and Michael Ironside. "Would you like to know more?"

Sunday, August 6 - 7:30 PM
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, 1953, Paramount, 85 min. Dir. Byron Haskin. Gene Barry and Ann Robinson battle invading Martian war machines in this still amazingly visceral, comic book-style feast of apocalyptic images - one of the defining science-fiction films of the past 50 years, seen here in a beautiful new 35 mm. print courtesy of Paramount Pictures! Produced by George Pal, based on the classic novel by H.G. Wells. Discussion following with actress Ann Robinson and other guests.



Wednesday, August 9 - 7:30 PM

British Horror Double Feature:

THE INNOCENTS, 1961, 20th Century Fox, 100 min. Director Jack Clayton also directed British New Wave gems ROOM AT THE TOP and THE PUMPKIN EATER, but his most famous film remains this goose-pimply, shuddery adaptation of Henry James classic ghost story, Turn Of The Screw. Deborah Kerr is a repressed governess who is convinced that the ghosts of the last governess and the woman’s equally dead, cruel lover, Quint (Peter Wyngarde) haunt the mansion and grounds of her innocent young charges (Martin Stephens, Pamela Franklin). Reality, superstition and warped psychology collide in this riveting, brilliantly photographed jewel of a film (lensed by future horror director, Freddie Francis).

CURSE OF THE DEMON (aka NIGHT OF THE DEMON), 1957, Sony Repertory, 95 min. Jacques Tourneur’s masterful chiller about a mysterious string of deaths caused by a black magician (Nial MacGinnis in a great performance inspired by necromancer Alastair Crowley) is one of the most highly-regarded shockers of the ‘50’s, even in its original 83 minute US release. Although prints of the unedited version have circulated for years, they were from umpteenth-generation dupe material and looked pretty awful; this new restoration vividly brings back all the details of Ted Scaife’s photography and Ken Adam’s sets. Dana Andrews stars, with support from Peggy Cummins (GUN CRAZY) and Maurice Denham.



Thursday, August 10 - 7:30 PM
KING KONG, 1933, Warner Bros., 100 min. Dir. Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. 70 years after it first premiered, KING KONG remains the 8th Wonder of the World, a marvelous, mysterious blend of awesome prehistoric monsters and new-fangled technology (including airplanes, subway trains and the Empire State Building). Fay Wray lights up the screen as the Beauty who drives the Beast to distraction, with support from Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot and the astounding visual effects work of Willis O’Brien. Introduction to screening by sci-fi/fantasy legend Forrest Ackerman, creator of "Famous Monsters" magazine.



Friday, August 11 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

WESTWORLD, 1973, Warner Bros., 88 min. Dir. Michael Crichton. Bored suburbanites, Richard Benjamin and Jame Brolin, embark on a weekend at a new-fangled amusement park offering a deceptively "real," idealized fantasy experience. It just so happens, they’ve chosen Westworld, where immersion in the cowboy experience of frontier times is the order of the day. Unhappily, they’ve picked a weekend where electronic glitches in the park’s security suddenly make the park’s androids go on the fritz. Once things go haywire, there’s one very aggressive gunslinger robot in particular (a maniacal Yul Brynner) that seems to have it in for the boys. And he pursues them relentlessly as fantasy devolves into a nightmarish reality.

THE OMEGA MAN, 1971, Warner Bros., 98 min. Dir. Boris Sagal. Whiskey-drinking, WOODSTOCK-watching scientist Charlton Heston faces the possible extinction of mankind, while bug-eyed Anthony Zerbe and his legions of soul-brother vampires prowl the night, in this whacked-out adaptation of Richard Matheson’s classic novel I Am Legend. Here, Heston remade himself as an über-cool 1970’s action star, cruising the plague-ridden streets of L.A. in a convertible Mustang.



Saturday, August 12 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

CONAN THE BARBARIAN, 1982, Universal, 129 min. Dir. John Milius. Before he was the Terminator, before he was the Governor, he was the Barbarian. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in the film adaptation of the Robert E. Howard novels. Writer/director John Milius’ intelligent and visceral sword and sorcery film features Ron Cobb and William Stoudt’s beautiful production design and an inspiring score by Basil Poledouris. Also stars James Earl Jones and Max Von Sydow.

CONAN THE DESTROYER, 1984, Universal, 103 min. Dir. Richard Fleischer. A kinder, gentler Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) leads Akiro (Mako) and Zula (Grace Jones) on a quest to save a princess. Also stars Wilt Chamberlain (!) and Tracey Walter. Written by Marvel Comics titans Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway, stunningly photographed by the incomparable Jack Cardiff and saturated with a more go-for-broke, gonzo appeal than its slightly more serious predecessor. Actress Sandahl Bergman who played Valeria will appear in person for discussion between films.



Sunday, August 13 – 3:00 PM

Family Matinee:

NEVER ENDING STORY, 1984, Warner Bros., 102 min. Dir. Wolfgang Petersen. One of the only modern children’s films that can be said in the same breath as the Wizard of Oz. A true kid’s classic about courage, friendship and the magic of reading. Filled with giant turtles, rock creatures, and furry blue Luck Dragons it captures kids’ imaginations. With a theme song you will sing for the rest of your life.



Sunday, August 13 – 7:30 PM

BRAZIL, 1985, Universal, 142 min. Director Terry Gilliam’s surreal black comedy combines past and future with anarchic glee, creating a world of pneumatic tubes, giant samurais and lilting South American ballads where harried Everyman Jonathan Pryce tries to escape from a maze of crushing conformity to pursue elusive love Kim Greist. Featuring fellow-Python Michael Palin as upwardly mobile Jack Lint and Robert DeNiro as an outlaw heating engineer. The film holds special pride of place for the L.A. Film Critics Society, who championed the full-length version of the film and Gilliam’s unique vision in the face of studio interference and a radically-shortened cut. (Note: This is the European cut of the film, 10 minutes longer than the U.S. version.) "It’s really about someone who doesn’t take reality seriously enough." - Terry Gilliam.



Thursday, August 17 - 7:30 PM

Lasting Impressions Series with Ed Crasnick!
GALAXY QUEST, 1999, Dreamworks, Dir. Dean Parisot. Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Sam Rockwell, Tony Shaloub and Enrico Colantoni star in this delightfully daft send-up of the STAR TREK films and TV series. The has-been cast of a STAR TREK-like television show, reduced to appearing at fan conventions, are suddenly kidnapped by an alien race who believe their TV show broadcasts were real, and the performers can somehow help them save their planet from total destruction. Discussion following with director Dean Parisot and actor Enrico Colantoni.


Friday, August 18 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE, 1961, Canal +, 99 min. Dir. Val Guest. Widely hailed as one of the most gripping science fiction films of the 1960’s, this is a chillingly prescient warning of ecological disaster. The U.S. and Russia set off simultaneous nuclear bombs at opposite poles, resulting in the Earth tottering off its axis to head for the sun. Edward Judd delivers a career-making performance as an embittered, alcoholic journalist who finds last-minute redemption through the love of Janet Munro and the salty advice of fellow reporter Leo McKern. When we screened it a few years ago at the Egyptian Theatre, the entire audience gave a 5-minute standing ovation at the end – come and you’ll see why.

LAST MAN ON EARTH , 1964, MGM Repertory, 86 min. Dir. Sidney Salkow (co-dir. Ubaldo Ragona, uncredited). Terrifying, vastly underrated adaptation of Richard Matheson’s landmark sci-fi horror novel, I Am Legend (shot in Italy), with Vincent Price as the lone survivor of a vampire plague that has left the world population a shambling, nocturnal undead race thirsty for immune Price’s blood. Full of starkly surreal, nightmare images that are aided immeasurably by the film’s desolate, Italian suburban locations. Once seen, who can forget Price’s haunting, daily pilgrimages to the smoldering pit where he transports the bodies of the undead to be burned? An underrated gem.