After big summer, Silver Lake Picture Show plans bonus screening

After big summer, Silver Lake Picture Show plans bonus screening
Michael Keaton in "Beetlejuice," which will play Oct. 17 at the Sunset Triangle Plaza in Silver Lake. (Geffen Co.)

What speaks to the population of Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood more than free outdoor movie screenings, local grub and music?

Not much, as Silver Lake Picture Show co-founder Nicholas Robbins has learned.

In its second summer, the Silver Lake Picture Show, which shows independent films and feature-length movies at a hipster-friendly spot known as Sunset Triangle Plaza, drew a total of nearly 4,000 attendees over the course of its seven screenings.

Not bad for a neighborhood event that Robbins and his associates started last year as a way to get people to come and watch short projects from local filmmakers.

"I had no idea that this was going to be anything," Robbins said. "We were just trying to do our thing, but it ended up being this scene."

Residents flocked to showings of "Wet Hot American Summer," "The Sandlot," "Zoot Suit," "Empire Records," "To Wong Foo" and "The Princess Bride." That last one, the mother of all nostalgic crowd-pleaser fantasies, brought out the most visitors, with 700.

The screenings also featured 14 shorts, including efforts by filmmakers from the nearby Echo Park Film Center.

This year's series also included live music performances and local restaurants giving out free food samples. Robbins and his crew got financial support from clothing brand Topshop Topman, Los Angeles City Council District 13 and Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.  

With cash left over, Robbins and his team will show a bonus movie, Tim Burton's 1988 comedy "Beetlejuice," on Oct. 17.

Robbins said he wants people to experience an alternative to seeing films at traditional movie theaters, where people sit in the dark and aren't supposed to talk. He said the event will be back for a third season next year.

"What I hope people get out of it," Robbins said, "is a rediscovery of a community movie-going experience, where they're seeing a movie with their neighbors and experiencing it as neighbors."


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