Classic movies in SoCal: Dracula, Madonna, the Muppets and more

Actor Bela Lugosi dressed as a vampire in the movie “Dracula.”
Bela Lugosi as the titular vampire in the 1931 horror classic “Dracula.”
(Universal Studios)

Find a flick with our weekly curated list of classic movies, cult favorites, film festivals, etc., streaming online or playing at a theater near you. Before you go, remember to call or check online for reservation requirements and other COVID-19 protocols.

16th Aero Horrorthon
This six-film marathon that runs into the wee smalls gets underway with John Carpenter’s 1994 horror fable inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft and starring Sam Neill and Charlton Heston. American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. 7 p.m. Oct. 23. $25.

H.P Lovecraft, the writer who inspired the HBO series “Lovecraft Country,” was a virulent racist with a complicated legacy. Here’s what you need to know.

Aug. 13, 2020


Animation Is Film Festival
In-person screenings of new and recent animated features from around the world, plus free virtual programming. TCL Chinese 6 Theatre, Hollywood & Highland, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Various showtimes, Oct. 22-24. $8-$13.50.

Betty Boop’s Cartoon Madness
Classic Halloween-themed cartoons from the 1920s-’30s and more. Arena Cinelounge, 1625 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23. $10.

“Dracula” and “Dracula”
Old Town Music Hall offers free screenings of Tod Browning’s 1931 vampire tale starring Bela Lugosi as well as George Melford’s lesser- known 1931 Spanish-language adaptation starring Carlos Villarías and shot on the same sets as the Browning version. 140 Richmond St., El Segundo. English version: 2:30 and 7 p.m. Oct. 23 (both shows are nearly sold out); Spanish version: 2:30 and 7 p.m. Oct. 24. Free.

“Dracula” and “Frankenstein”
Hollywood Legion Theater also has the 1931 vampire tale starring Lugosi, followed by James Whale’s classic 1931 creature feature starring Boris Karloff. Post 43, 2035 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. 2 and 3:30 p.m. Oct. 24. $13-$22; advance purchase required.

Veteran Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi, 73, best known for his many Dracula screen roles, died late yesterday in his apartment at 5620 Harold Way, apparently the victim of a heart attack.

Aug. 17, 1956

“The Fly”
Something’s bugging Geena Davis — and it’s Jeff Goldblum! — in David Cronenberg’s gruesome, effects-laden 1986 remake of the 1958 sci-fi-horror fable that starred Vincent Price. Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, David Geffen Theater, 6067 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. 9:30 p.m. Oct. 23. $5-$


German Currents
The 15th edition of the American Cinematheque’s annual showcase for recent German cinema is an online affair featuring several U.S. and Los Angeles premieres, plus shorts programs, filmmaker Q&As, etc. Oct. 22-31. $12; passes: $25; some free screenings.

“God Told Me To”
… is the excuse given by assorted New Yorkers moved to commit random acts of murder and mayhem by a mysterious cult leader in writer-director Larry Cohen’s bonkers 1976 sci-fi-horror-police procedural mashup. With Tony Lo Bianco and a pre-”Taxi” Andy Kaufman. Brain Dead Studios at the Silent Movie Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. 8 p.m. Oct. 24. $12; advance purchase required.

“The Howling”
New 4K restoration of Joe Dante’s 1981 sendup of the werewolf thriller genre, with the filmmaker on hand for a Q&A at the 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 screening. Dee Wallace stars. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A. 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22, 25-28; 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Oct. 23; 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30 Oct. 24. $9.50, $12.50. (310) 473-8530.

“In the Best Interests of the Children”
Online screening of Frances Reid, Elizabeth Stevens and Cathy Zheutlin’s groundbreaking 1977 documentary about the challenges faced by lesbian mothers and their children. Includes a pre-recorded Q&A with Reid. UCLA Film & Television Archive’s virtual screening room. 4 p.m. Oct. 28 only. Free; register at

“Lost Highway”
Director David Lynch bends the conventions of film noir to his Lynchian will in this inscrutable 1997 exercise that presages his 2001 masterpiece “Mulholland Dr.” With Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette. American Cinematheque at the Los Feliz 3, 1822 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. 10 p.m. Oct. 22. $8, $13.

When I conjure up the most iconic images of America, I see Washington crossing the Delaware and the Rev.

June 20, 2018

“Mad Monster Party”
Take Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus, et al., replace them with Dracula, Frankenstein and other classic creatures and there you have this stop motion-animated 1967 musical romp from the nostalgia factory that was Rankin/Bass Productions. With the voices of Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller. Presented in 35mm. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., L.A. 2 p.m. Oct. 23. $10, $12; advance purchase recommended.

“Madonna: Truth or Dare”
SOS! presents a 30th anniversary outdoor screening of this intimate 1991 doc that captures the Material Girl onstage, backstage and elsewhere during her Blonde Ambition tour. The evening includes live DJs and a vogue showcase. Exposition Park, south lawn, 500 Exposition Park Drive, L.A. 6 p.m. Oct. 28. $25, $40.

“The Muppet Movie”
Recoil in horror as felt puppets come to life and ... oh wait, it’s just the family-friendly 1979 musical comedy featuring Kermit & Co. plus a cavalcade of celebrity cameos. The Ford, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood. 8 p.m. Oct. 23. $30.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”
The Pumpkin King is out of his gourd in this stop-motion animated 1993 fantasy musical from the twisted mind of Tim Burton. Presented in 3-D. El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 9:55 p.m. Oct. 22-24 and 29-31. $12, $15.

New 4K restoration of Andrzej Żuławski’s disturbing 1981 horror fable about a married couple whose relationship takes a dark turn — then an even darker turn. Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill star. Various venues, showtimes and prices.,,

“Re-Animator” and “From Beyond”
Double bill pairs Stuart Gordon’s 1985 horror comedy with the director’s 1986 terror tale, both based on stories by the aforementioned Lovecraft, both starring Jeffrey Combs and both presented in 35mm. Secret Movie Club Theatre, 1917 Bay St., 2nd floor, downtown L.A. 7:45 and 10 p.m. Oct. 27. $19-$28.