Classic movies in SoCal: A ‘LOTR’ marathon, ‘Selena,’ ‘Dr. Caligari’ and more

A slideshow features images from “The Return of the King,” “Mississippi Masala,” “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” and “Selena.”
“The Return of the King,” “Mississippi Masala” “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” and “Selena” are among the classic films showing at area theaters this week.
(New Line Productions; Samuel Goldwyn Films; LACMA; Warner Bros.)

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

‘Back to the Future’
Michael J. Fox is pretty McFly for a white guy in Robert Zemeckis’ lighthearted 1985 time-travel comedy. With Christopher Lloyd. Rooftop Cinema Club, El Segundo, 1310 E. Franklin Ave., parking structure, El Segundo. 4:30 p.m. May 28. $19.50-$26.50; advance purchase required; for ages 18 and older only.

Also at Cinespia at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. 8:30 p.m. May 29. $22.


The 1985 Robert Zemeckis action-comedy “Back to the Future” is the latest winner in the L.A. Times Ultimate Summer Movie Showdown.

July 16, 2020

‘The Best Years of Our Lives’
The Hollywood Legion Theater marks Memorial Day with a screening of director William Wyler’s multi-Oscar-winning 1946 drama about three World War II veterans readjusting to life in their shared hometown. Post 43, 2035 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. 3 p.m. May 30. $15; free for veterans, active-duty military and their families.

‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’
A deranged hypnotist uses a sleepwalker to do his dirty work in director Robert Wiene’s silent 1920 terror tale, the sine qua non of German Expressionist cinema. Presented in 35mm with live score by Rose Droll. Brain Dead Studios at the Silent Movie Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. 8 p.m. May 29. $12; advance purchase required.

‘The City of Lost Children’
The kids aren’t all right in Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s dark, visually ravishing 1995 sci-fi/fantasy fable. With Ron Perlman. In French with English subtitles. The Frida Cinema, Calle Cuatro Plaza, 305 E. 4th St., Santa Ana. 2:45 p.m. May 29, 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. May 30, 5:15 p.m. May 31. $8.50, $10.50.

“Sons of Anarchy” actor Ron Perlman fired off a tweet at Rep. Matt Gaetz, sparking a messy Twitter feud that eventually got Sen. Ted Cruz involved.

June 15, 2020

‘Distant (Uzak)’
An Istanbul photographer and his country cousin form an odd couple in 20th anniversary screenings of this acclaimed 2002 drama directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. In Turkish with English subtitles. Laemmle Royal, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A. 1:20, 4 and 7 p.m. May 27-June 1, 1:20 and 4 p.m. June 2. $6-$14, Also at Laemmle Playhouse 7, 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. 4 p.m. May 27-June 2. $6-$14.

‘The Godfather’
It’s not personal, it’s strictly business in the 4K restoration of Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscar-winning 1972 Mafia epic. Marlon Brando and Al Pacino star. American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. 7:30 p.m. May 27 and 30. $8, $13.

‘The Godfather Part II’
And because you can’t have one without the other, here’s Coppola’s Oscar-winning 1974 sequel/prequel (we don’t talk about “Godfather III”). With Robert De Niro. American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. 7:30 p.m. May 28. $8, $13.


‘Jurassic Park’
Cloned dinosaurs run amok on a billionaire’s private island/amusement park in Steven Spielberg’s effects-laden 1993 adventure tale. With Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum. Street Food Cinema at the Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, L.A. 8 p.m. May 28. $10-$30; children 5 and under, free.

Visual effects master Phil Tippett discusses ‘Jurassic Park’ on the Ultimate Summer Movie Showdown.

June 25, 2020

‘Lord of the Rings’ Marathon
Journey from the Shire to Mordor and back again with this butt-numbing daylong screening of Peter Jackson’s adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy. First up: 2001’s “The Fellowship of the Ring” (10 a.m. May 28) followed by a lunch break; then 2002’s “The Two Towers” (3 p.m.), then a dinner break; and lastly, 2003’s “The Return of the King” (8 p.m.). Presented in 35mm. Secret Movie Club at the Million Dollar Theater, 307 S. Broadway, downtown L.A. $14-$33; advance purchase required.

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival
The 21st edition of this celebration of Latinx filmmakers and stories includes feature films, shorts, animation, etc., plus panel discussions, musical performances and more. TCL Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood and TCL Chinese 6, Hollywood and Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Various showtimes, in-person and online, June 1-5. $10-$75.

‘Mississippi Masala’
The film series “Summer of Love: 1990s Romances” gets underway with Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury in Mira Nair’s steamy, spicy 1991 drama. Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Ted Mann Theater, 6067 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. 7:30 p.m. June 2. $5.

‘Mulholland Drive’
An aspiring actress (Naomi Watts) forms an unlikely bond with an amnesiac woman (Laura Harring) — or at least, that’s what we think is happening — in a 4K digital restorarion of David Lynch’s dark and surreal 2001 Hollywood fable. Part of “The City in Close-Up: L.A. Classics Series.” Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A. 1:45, 4:45 and 8 p.m. May 27. $14. (310) 473-8530.

‘Rebel Without a Cause’
James Dean plays the titular troubled teen in this coming-of-age drama directed by Nicholas Ray. Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood also star. Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo. 2:30 and 7 p.m. May 28, 2:30 p.m. May 29. $10, $12.

Jennifer Lopez gives a starmaking performance as the beloved but ill-fated Tejano singer in this 1997 bio-drama written and directed by Gregory Nava. With Edward James Olmos. Rooftop Movies at the Montalbán, 1615 Vine St., Hollywood. $28, $58.

‘I was so lucky to be chosen to play her,’ singer and actor Jennifer Lopez said of her acclaimed turn as late Tejano icon Selena Quintanilla.

March 22, 2022

‘Shogun Assassin’
There will be blood — lots and lots of blood — in this 1980 release stitched together from the first two films in the 1970s-era samurai saga “Lone Wolf and Cub” ... and then dubbed into English! Tomisaburo Wakayama stars. Alamo Drafthouse, 700 W. 7th St., downtown L.A. 9:15 p.m. May 28. $10.

‘Smokey and the Bandit’
Burt Reynolds hits the highway in a black Trans Am, with runaway bride Sally Field along for the ride and Texas lawman Jackie Gleason hot on their heels in 45th anniversary screenings of Hal Needham’s action-packed 1977 comedy. TCM Big Screen Classics, various local theaters (see website). 4 and 7 p.m. May 29, 7 p.m. June 1-2. $14-$18.


This 1984 BBC television drama, about survivors in the U.K. barely hanging on in the aftermath of a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, makes the similarly-themed American-made 1983 TV movie “The Day After” look like “The Adventures of Milo and Otis.” American Cinematheque at the Los Feliz 3, 1822 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. 10 p.m. June 1. $8, $13.