I hadn’t paid much attention to Dan and Sammy Harkham‘s recently re-opened Fairfax Cinema. It used to be the notorious Cinefamily, of course, which was shuttered in 2017 amid sexual misconduct allegations. The 163-seat Fairfax, which has an outdoor patio, bookstore, cafe and “art space”, opened its doors on 12.25.19. But until last night, I hadn’t given it much thought.
I was returning from an acutely painful viewing of Reed Morano‘s The Rhythm Section when I saw the brightly lighted marquee. My first thought was “can’t be real.” Who would program a double bill of The Misfits and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed with a straight face?
Then I wondered if it had been dressed for a currently-shooting film set in the ’70s. It resembled the marquee of the small-town theatre playing Samson and Delilah in George Pal‘s War of the Worlds (’53). It certainly looks out-of-time. Except for QT’s New Beverly, Glendale’s Alex and Santa Monica’s Aero, classic-style theatre marquees have all but disappeared.
Then I realized it was for real. I would never buy a ticket, of course. I own The Misfits on Bluray and have seen it three or four times. I can’t imagine how the Fairfax Cinema can possibly survive playing half-century old (and older) films, but I like that a theatre is at least giving it the old college try. Adds to the local cultural atmosphere and all.