Retro Theaters for Classic Kid Flicks

Living in Tinseltown, being a movie lover is pretty much obligatory. The city lives and breathes film and we want our kids to love them as much as we do—especially the classics. Taking the tots to the hush and glamour of a vintage theater downtown or to meet Dorothy and the Tin Man on a big screen is a visual and visceral treat for the whole family.  Here are 5 spots where you can see mini-movie maven appropriate screen gems, larger than life.

movie theater CRDT
photo: James Emery via flickr

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New Beverly Cinema
This theater is a piece of LA history. It started as a vaudeville locale with acts like Dean Martin and Jackie Gleason and it’s now owned by Quentin Tarantino. And while you can catch a midnight screening of a Tarantino classic that’s decidedly not for the kids, this sweet revival house offers a proper vintage film education for wee ones via weekly “Kiddee Matinees” and screen selections both rare and popular, from sci-fi classics to musicals. Kiddee matinees are every weekend at 2 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $6 and includes popcorn.

7165 Beverly Blvd.

aero theater sm
photo: Elizabeth Mathews via flickr

Aero Theatre
Introduce your budding cinephiles to the oldies, from Wizard of Oz, Star Wars or Mary Poppins at weekend family matinees to Friday eve psychic power fun like beloved ’70s fantasy Escape to Witch Mountain. Don’t forget the “Bugs Bunny” shorts every Easter and  Marx Brothers every New Years Day. PS: They also screen eclectic and visually stunning new films for parents. Check the calendar to see what’s playing this month.  The Egyptian in Hollywood, another American Cinematheque house, also shows classics, but usually caters more to the grown up movie geek.  But it’s worth keeping an eye on their calendar, too.

1328 Montana Ave.
Santa Monica

Last Remaining Seats: see old movies in glamorous old theatres in LA
photo: Los Angeles Conservancy

Last Remaining Seats
Kids of all ages will be impressed with the opulent beauty of the historic movie palaces The Los Angeles Conservancy selects for its Last Remaining Seats series. Think the Theatre at Ace Hotel, the Orpheum and the Million Dollar Theatre. It makes movie going the glam experience it used to be. Indulge in nostalgia with oldies-but-goodies like Singing in the Rain or take the prodigy on an adventure with Raiders of the Lost Ark. Check the website to see what’s screening in this series that takes place each June, with special additional screenings throughout the year.

Various Locations
Downtown LA

photo: Meghan Rose

Cinefamily at Silent Movie Theatre
Silent films? In black and white? Your color-conditioned wee ones will think you’ve lost your mind—but once they catch the often slapstick heavy shows, they will love it! The fare served at this historic spot leans toward adults, but the also show kid-appropriate classics or cartoons (Animation Breakdown or ABD’s Saturday Morning Cartoons: Musical Edition!). Just check the schedule. This theater is a blast for kids to lounge in, too, with couches taking the places of many of the chairs.  And it’s right next to Canter’s Deli, for a fully old-school outing.

611 N Fairfax Ave.

Movies, Magic and More
photo: Disney’s El Capitan Theatre

The El Capitan Theatre Hollywood
This grand dame of cinema (nee 1926) boasts a fitting setting for vintage flicks, with its opulent East Indian decor that will wow even the teeniest aesthetes. On Throwback Thursdays you can encounter Disney classics such as Beauty and the Beast or Alice in Wonderland, plus truly old timey shorts before the main movie that feature early Mickey. This state-of-the-art big screen truly wins out over the iPad! Check the website for the next Throwback or classic showcase.

6838 Hollywood Blvd.

movie popcorn CRDT
photo: Elizabeth M via flickr

Did we miss any vital vintage theaters? Share your favorite spots in the comment section.  See you at the movies!

—Sylvie Greil

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