Classic movies in L.A., O.C.: ‘Safety Last!,’ ‘Donnie Darko,’ Bruce Lee and more

A man dangles from a clock face on the side of a building high above downtown L.A.
Harold Lloyd in the silent comedy “Safety Last!”
(The Harold Lloyd Estate & Trust)

Find a flick with our weekly curated list of classic movies, cult favorites, film festivals, etc., streaming online or coming soon to a theater, drive-in, pop-up or rooftop near you.

“The African Queen”
TCM Big Screen Classics presents 70th-anniversary screenings of John Huston’s 1951 adventure tale starring Oscar winner Humphrey Bogart as the salty skipper of a small steamboat and Katharine Hepburn as his passenger, a prim and proper missionary. Fathom Events, various local theaters (see website). 3 and 7 p.m. July 18, 7 p.m. July 21. $15; advance purchase required.

“Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams”
The Japanese auteur best known for samurai epics like “Ran” and “Kagemusha” mined his own subconscious for this 1990 collection of fantastical vignettes. Secret Movie Club Theatre, 1917 Bay St., 2nd floor, downtown L.A. 8 p.m. July 22. $16, $19.


“Anna’s Sin” (“Il peccato di Anna”)
The UCLA Film & Television Archive presents a screening of Camillo Mastrocinque’s 1952 reimagining of Shakespeare’s “Othello” set in 1950s Rome; dubbed in English. A live conversation follows. UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Virtual Screening Room. 4 p.m. July 22. Free. RSVP at

“The Big Boss”
Bruce Lee kicks butt and takes names in his first major big-screen role in this 1971 kung fu flick. Arena Cinelounge, 1625 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood (outdoors). 8:30 p.m. July 22. $27.50.

“Donnie Darko”
It’s the end of the world as a young Jake Gyllenhaal knows it in writer-director Richard Kelly’s apocalyptic 2001 fable. With Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone and Patrick Swayze. Rooftop Cinema Club El Segundo, 1310 E. Franklin Ave., parking structure, El Segundo. 10:30 p.m. July 21. $18.50-$22.50; advance purchase required.

“Le Cercle Rouge”
There is no honor among thieves in a new 4K restoration of Jean-Pierre Melville’s suspenseful 1970 heist caper. Alain Delon and Yves Montand star. Laemmle Royal, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Laemmle Playhouse 7, 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Laemmle Town Center 5, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino. Various showtimes beginning July 16. $7-$14.

“Lethal Weapon”
Mel Gibson is a cop on the edge and Danny Glover is his mismatched partner (who’s getting too old for this stuff) in this 1987 action comedy directed by the late, great Richard Donner. Hollywood Legion Drive-In at Post 43, 2035 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. 8:20 p.m. July 18. $25 per vehicle and up; advance purchase required.

For many of us, last year was spent indoors, or masked, anxiously awaiting news of vaccines. This year? We want outside, right now. So here’s your guide to creating the ultimate summer fun playlist.

July 2, 2021


“Malcolm X”
Denzel Washington gives a towering performance as the 1960s civil rights leader in director Spike Lee’s 1992 bio-drama. With Angela Bassett and Delroy Lindo. The Frida Cinema, Calle Cuatro Plaza, 305 E. 4th St., Santa Ana 7 p.m. July 18-19 and 21, 2:30 p.m. July 20. $10.50.

“National Lampoon’s Vacation”
Chevy Chase takes the fam on the mother of all road trips in Harold Ramis’ hit 1983 comedy. With Christie Brinkley, Randy Quaid and Beverly D’Angelo. Tropicana Movie Nights, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Tropicana Pool & Cafe (rooftop), 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 8 p.m. July 19. $17-$52; advance purchase required.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street”
Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) is coming for you — in your dreams! — in writer-director Wes Craven’s 1984 shocker. With Heather Langenkamp and Johnny Depp. Rooftop Cinema Club Presents the Drive-In at Santa Monica Airport, 3233 Donald Douglas Loop S., Santa Monica. 11:15 p.m. July 16. $36 for two, $48 for three or more; children 8 and under free; advance purchase required.

“PBS Short Film Festival: A Decade of Being Seen”
Issues such as race, culture and identity are examined in this collection of 25 short documentaries, dramas, comedies, etc. Available anytime on demand through July 23. Free.

“The Philadelphia Story” with “The Awful Truth”
This double bill pairs George Cukor’s 1940 rom-com starring Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart with Leo McCarey’s 1937 romp with Grant and Irene Dunne. American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. 7:30 p.m. July 21. $8, $13.

Theaters such as the Lumiere Cinema at the Music Hall, Alamo Drafthouse, Landmark Theatres and Laemmle Theatres try to rebound as they wait for big indie releases.

July 13, 2021


Taron Egerton is Elton John in this 2019 musical fantasy about the life and times of the veteran English rocker. Marina Drive-In, parking lot 2, 13477 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey. 8 p.m. July 17. $20 per vehicle; advance purchase required.

“Safety Last!”
Harold Lloyd hangs around downtown L.A. — literally — in the actor-director’s stunt-filled 1923 silent comedy. Presented in 35mm by Retroformat Silent Films, with an introduction by the star’s granddaughter, Suzanne Lloyd, and live piano accompaniment by Cliff Retallick. The Hollywood Legion Theater at Post 43, 2035 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. 3 p.m. July 17. $16-$50.

An ogre and a talking donkey walk into a fairy tale in this computer-animated 2001 fantasy comedy featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and John Lithgow. Cinespia at the Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. 8:45 p.m. July 16. $18.

“The Sixth Sense”
Bruce Willis is a child psychologist who sees a young patient (Haley Joel Osment) who sees dead people in M. Night Shyamalan’s atmospheric 1999 supernatural thriller. Hollywood Legion Drive-In at Post 43, 2035 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. 8:20 p.m. July 21. $25 per vehicle and up; advance purchase required.

Roy Scheider (“Jaws”) stars in director William Friedkin’s “dynamite” 1977 suspense thriller, based on the same novel that inspired Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1953 classic “The Wages of Fear,” about four truck drivers tasked with schlepping a load of TNT through a South American jungle. Brain Dead Studios at the Silent Movie Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. 8 p.m. July 17. $12; advance purchase required.

“Toy Story 4”
Tom Hanks and Tim Allen get animated one more time in this 2019 entry in the popular Pixar franchise. PCH Movies & Moonlight, 2nd & PCH, East 2nd Street and Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach. 8 p.m. July 16. Free. (424) 217-2337.