American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for Over 80 Years!

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Series programmed by:

Festival produced by James A. Fino and Laurent Bouzereau in collaboration with The American Cinematheque’s Chris D.

Special Thanks to: Caitlin Robertson/20TH CENTURY FOX; Jared Sapolin, Helena Brissenden & Grover Crisp/SONY REPERTORY; Emily Horn & Barry Allen/PARAMOUNT; Paul Ginsburg & Dennis Chong/UNIVERSAL; James Fino & Laurent Bouzereau/PGA; Brian Long/MEYER SOUND LABORATORIES; Ron Surbuts/DOLBY.



SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.



All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.

Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $10 general admission unless noted otherwise.
SERIES SCHEDULE (Egyptian Calendar)
FILM SCHEDULE (Egyptian Calendar)
24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
Contact Us
The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling. Aero Theatre: Barry King.

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<<< January 2 - 11, 2009 >>>

Masters of Disaster: The Golden Age of Cataclysmic Cinema


This is an Egyptian Theatre Exclusive


Special screening of EARTHQUAKE in Sensurround sponsored by The Producers Guild of America: New Media Council and Meyer Sound Laboratories.

Six movies and six nights of epic big-screen calamities and disaster-flavored spectacles, from the kitschy delight of THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, THE TOWERING INFERNO and EARTHQUAKE! (yes, in Sensurround!) to the comparatively sober, yet no-less-over-the-top thrillers BLACK SUNDAY, THE CHINA SYNDROME and THE HINDENBURG. Don’t miss out on this unique celebration of big-budget catastrophe-themed movies from the 1970s, the Golden Age of Cataclysmic Cinema! With special guests and surprise shorts!



Friday, January 2 – 7:30 PM

THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, 1972, 20th Century Fox, 117 min. Director Ronald Neame and producer Irwin Allen’s literally titanic disaster epic features a boatload of acting talent – Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Jack Albertson, Roddy McDowall, Stella Stevens and more -- all doing their best to stay alive in the hellish inferno of the capsized ocean liner the S.S. Poseidon. Special kudos to Shelley Winters for her unforgettably ballsy performance, and to special effects expert L.B. Abbott and stunt coordinator Paul Stader for some of the most spectacular disaster scenes in movie history, including the famous upside-down ballroom. Trailer | More on this Movie


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Saturday, January 3 – 7:30 PM

In Sensurround!

EARTHQUAKE, 1974, Universal, 123 min. It’s almost a given that 90% of big-budget disaster films begin with a complicated network of soap opera subplots involving scores of characters, and director Mark Robson (VALLEY OF THE DOLLS) makes no exception. He spins a spectacularly entertaining guilty-pleasure yarn of Los Angeles denizens trapped by a high-magnitude earthquake, with Charlton Heston as a construction engineer trying to deal with his boozy, jealous wife, Ava Gardner, whose father (Lorne Greene of TV’s "Bonanza") just happens to be his boss, while walking a tightrope with his mistress, widow Geneviève Bujold. Meanwhile, maverick cop George Kennedy may quit the force, and lecherous grocery store manager Marjoe Gortner has the hots for Victoria Principal (of TV’s "Dallas") whose brother Gabriel Dell is the assistant to hot-shot motorcycle stunt rider Richard Roundtree (SHAFT). Then the earthquake hits! With Barry Sullivan, Lloyd Nolan and Walter Matthau in a surprising cameo. "…maximum mayhem and on that score EARTHQUAKE really delivers. The Oscar-winning visual effects still impress 25 years on and the specially developed 'Sensurround' works a real treat..." -- Almar Haflidason, BBC (U.K.) Introduction to the screening by Geneviève Bujold. Trailer | More on this Movie




Sunday, January 4 – 7:30 PM

THE HINDENBURG, 1975, Universal, 125 min. Director Robert Wise helmed this film about the Hindenburg conflagration touched off when the German zeppelin landed in Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1937. George C. Scott is a conflicted German security officer aboard, Anne Bancroft is a wayward countess, William Atherton (DAY OF THE LOCUST) a possible saboteur, Roy Thinnes (TV’s "The Invaders") a fanatical Gestapo officer and Charles Durning (DOG DAY AFTERNOON) the Hindenburg’s captain. Recipient of two Oscars for Special Achievement in Sound Effects (Peter Berkos) and Visual Effects (Albert Whitlock, Glen Robinson). More on this Movie




Friday, January 9 – 7:30 PM

THE TOWERING INFERNO, 1974, 20th Century Fox, 165 min. Dir. John Guillerman and Irwin Allen. The big daddy of disaster pictures, with one of the all-time largest all-star casts ever assembled. Architect Paul Newman is having problems getting multimillionaire building owner William Holden to take safety issues seriously as they rush toward the grand opening of their new mega-skyscraper. Sure enough, something goes wrong, and the race begins in earnest to save a Who’s Who of Hollywood greats from burning to a crisp in the ensuing holocaust. Steve McQueen is the no-nonsense fire chief trying to make the best of a horrific situation. With Fred Astaire, Faye Dunaway, Susan Blakely, Robert Vaughn, Robert Wagner, Jennifer Jones, Richard Chamberlain and O.J. Simpson trying to reach the ground floor without becoming toast! Winner of three Oscars for Best Cinematography (Fred J. Koenekamp, Joseph F. Biroc), Best Film Editing (Harold F. Kress, Carl Kress) and Best Original Song (Al Kasha, Joel Hirschhorn – "We May Never Love Like This Again"). "…a brawny blockbuster of a movie, by far the best of the mid-1970s wave of disaster films…a masterpiece of stunt coordination and special effects" –Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times; "THE TOWERING INFERNO’s glass-spangled erection burns with an uncontrollable lust for spectacle." – Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine. Introduction to the screening by actress Carlena Gower. Trailer | More on this Movie




Saturday, January 10 – 7:30

THE CHINA SYNDROME, 1979, Sony Repertory, 122 min. Dir. James Bridges. "Today, only a handful of people know what it means... Soon you will know," warned the ominous tagline. TV reporter Jane Fonda, eager to do something other than puff pieces, covers a routine story at a nuclear power plant with cameraman Michael Douglas. While talking to operations manager Jack Lemmon, the pair witness a near-miss crisis that could have resulted in a catastrophic meltdown. The company powers-that-be immediately try to cover it up, but soon even true believer Lemmon is having serious doubts about the safety of the plant. Fonda and Douglas race against time to prevent a full-scale nuclear cataclysm, trying to get Lemmon’s story on the air before the nuclear plant owners can take lethal action against them. "…smashingly effective… as topical as this morning's weather report, as full of threat of hellfire as an old-fashioned Sunday sermon and as bright and shiny and new-looking as the fanciest science-fiction film…the film makes a compelling case based on man's not-so-rare predisposition to cut corners, to take the easy way out, to make a fast buck, to be lazy about responsibility and to be awed by the authority representing vested interests…There is suspense almost from the film's start…and it builds without much letup until the finale." – Vincent Canby, The New York Times Trailer | More on this Movie




Sunday, January 11 – 7:30 PM

BLACK SUNDAY, 1977, Paramount, 143 min. Director John Frankenheimer (THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, THE TRAIN), collaborating with screenwriter Ernest Lehman, adapts the novel by Thomas Harris (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) into a taut suspense thriller. Israeli agent Robert Shaw is on the trail of Marthe Keller, a Black September terrorist operative intent on manipulating deranged Vietnam vet Bruce Dern into piloting the Goodyear blimp in a plot to kill thousands during the Miami Super Bowl. Fritz Weaver (DEMON SEED) is Shaw’s American FBI liaison. "You simply haven't lived until you've seen the innocuous Goodyear blimp turned into an instrument of death." – Christopher Null,; "…an intelligent and meticulous depiction of an act of outlandish terrorism…a well-plotted, well-executed countdown to potential mass disaster. The motivations of stars Robert Shaw, as an Israeli guerrilla, Black September activist Marthe Keller and mentally unbalanced pilot Bruce Dern are handled with unusual dramatic depth which displays the gray areas of real life." -- Variety. Trailer | More on this Movie