I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – as a classic film lover I’m so lucky to live in Southern California. Not only are there screenings weekly but there are MULTIPLE screenings every week meaning I often have my choice of which film to see. That’s a rare treat indeed. I try to take full advantage and support my local theatres as much as I can. One of my very favorite’s is Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo and it’s high time that I sing its praise.
Old Town Music Hall was founded in 1968 by Bill Field and Bill Coffman. The two friends had purchased a Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ and needed a place to put it. The 1921 El Segundo State Theater proved to be the perfect spot and Old Town Music Hall was born.
Over fifty years later it’s still going strong offering classic films and live performances nearly every week. Nearly every genre is featured from silents to musicals to classic horror and westerns and every screening is an entirely unique experience.
When you attend a film at Old Town Music Hall you get so much more than a chance to view a classic on the big screen for each screening features a live organ show, a sing-a-long and a short – just like what you’d experience 100 years ago. It’s truly a throwback to another era and every time I visit I’m filled with joy when the entire audience starts singing a classic tune like “By the Light of the Silvery Moon.”
Over the years I’ve seen many of my favorites screened. From The Bells of St. Mary’s to The Ghost and Mrs. Muir I’ve happily watched them flicker across the screen and entertain a whole new audience. Recently, my friend Mary and I headed there to catch a screening of Stowaway starring Shirley Temple. We caught a matinee and joined a diverse audience, from kids to seniors, to watch the 80 year old antics of the famed child star. Several decades may have passed since its debut but Stowaway is still a delight and the audience responded accordingly with laughter and applause.
Old Town Music Hall remains one of my favorite venues in Southern California. It’s utterly unique and offers an array of films to please all tastes. This weekend you can catch a screening of Miracle on 34th Street and I can’t think of a better place to watch the Christmas classic.