Post image for Film Preview: FIRST PHYSICAL MOVIE THEATER OPENS IN LOS ANGELES (Arena Cinelounge on Sunset)

by Jim Allen on June 19, 2020

in Film,Theater-Los Angeles


Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood’s location for arthouse, genre, and independent cinema, will be the first physical movie theater in Los Angeles to re-open today, Friday, June 19, 2020 with special engagements of the classic and highly, highly recommended The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Babyteeth starring Ben Mendelsohn. On June 26, you get Demme’s classic Stop Making Sense and Kurosawa’s 1975 adventure film, Dersu Uzala. Beginning July 3, catch screenings of the horror/thriller Game of Death and the Afghanistan War movie, The Outpost (more info on the films below).

Arena Cinelounge re-opens in full compliance with public health protocols, taking important safety precautions such as a new air purification system, seat disinfecting between screenings, socially distanced seating and concessions specially packaged for contactless delivery. On a side note, owner Christian Meoli has taken his indie theater business one step further by creating distinctive gourmet popcorn in 9 flavors — each dedicated to the true cinephile including Natural Corn Killers, APOPalypse Now, Popcorn of the Living Dead and Once Upon a Time in Popcorn.

Meoli originally founded Arena Cinelounge in 2012, when he saw the need for an art house cinema devoted to new indie films in Hollywood, and began exhibiting films in a 99-seat theater located next to The Egyptian, previously the former iconic Egyptian Theater 2 & 3 that closed in 1992. Through sheer determination and a love of new filmmakers, Arena Cinelounge quickly became Hollywood’s premiere arthouse film destination for new, truly independent cinema.

Now housed in a built out, state-of-the-art new concept cinema, Arena Cinelounge is an Academy Award-qualifying theater that has shown over 2000 new titles with 1-2 premieres a weekend for new titles. The outfit works with premier industry institutions such as Amazon, HBO, Google, IFC, Sony, Lionsgate, Participant Media, YouTube, and Conde Nast.

As a response to the innovative but ill-fated MoviePass, Meoli also created the Cinelounge Unlimited app which offers audiences a base monthly subscription service with incredible perks such as free concessions, free parking, and access to private special events and premieres. Cinelounge Unlimited gives audiences the opportunity to experience new content and support great new filmmakers with the convenience of one low price.

Arena Cinelounge Sunset
6464 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood,
special engagements begin June 19, 2020
$16 each feature-length film / $10 Matinees

for show times, contact venue at (323) 924-1644

June 19- June 25, 2020: The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Romance. Beautiful 4K restoration of this cinema classic. Directed by Philip Kaufman. Written by Kaufman and Jean-Claude Carriere. Based on the novel by Milan Kundera. Produced by Saul Zaentz. From Orion Pictures. (Color, 1988, USA, 171 minutes, rated R) Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin, Erland Josephson, Derek De Lint, Pavel Landovsky. Tomas is a doctor and a lady-killer in 1960s Czechoslovakia, an apolitical man who is struck with love for the bookish country girl Tereza; his more sophisticated sometime lover Sabina eventually accepts their relationship and the two women form an electric friendship. The three are caught up in the events of the Prague Spring; Pingyao (1968), until the Soviet tanks crush the non-violent rebels; their illusions are shattered and their lives change forever.

June 19- June 25, 2020: Babyteeth. Comedy/Drama. Directed by Shannon Murphy. Written by Rita Kalnejais. Produced by Alex White. From IFC Films. (Color, 2020, Australia, 118 minutes, not rated) Starring Eliza Scanlen, Ben Mendelsohn, Toby Wallace, Essie Davis, Andrea Demetriades, Emily Barclay. When seriously ill teenager Milla falls madly in love with smalltime drug dealer Moses, it’s her parents’ worst nightmare. But as Milla’s first brush with love brings her a new lust for life, things get messy and traditional morals go out the window. Milla soon shows everyone in her orbit – her parents, Moses, a sensitive music teacher, a budding child violinist, and a disarmingly honest pregnant neighbour – how to live like you have nothing to lose. What might have been a disaster for the Finlay family instead leads to letting go and finding grace in the glorious chaos of life. Babyteeth joyously explores how good it is not to be dead yet and how far we will go for love. Winner- Palm Springs International Film Festival; FEST International Film Festival; Luxembourg City Film Festival; Marrakech International Film Festival; Pingyao International Film Festival; Sao Paulo International Film Festival; Venice Film Festival; Zurich Film Festival.

June 26- July 2, 2020: Dersu Uzala. Adventure/Biography. Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Written by Kurosawa and Yuriy Nagibin. Based on the novel by V.K. Arsenev. Produced by Yoiti Mattsue. From Satra Films. (Color, 1975, Soviet Union/Japan, 142 minutes, rated G) Starring Maksim Munzuk, Yuriy Solomin, Mikhail Bychkov, Vladimir Khrulyov, V. Lastochkin, Stanislav Marin. A Russian army explorer who is rescued in Siberia by a rugged Asian hunter renews his friendship with the woodsman years later when he returns as the head of a larger expedition. The hunter finds that all of his nature lore is of no help when he accompanies the explorer back to civilization.

June 26- July 2, 2020: Stop Making Sense. Documentary/Music. Directed by Jonathan Demme. Written by Demme and Talking Heads. Produced by Gary Goetzman. From Cinecom Pictures. (Color, 1984, USA, 88 minutes, not rated) Featuring David Byrne, Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymounth, Chris Frantz, Steve Scales, Edna Holt, Lynn Mabry, Alex Weir, Bernie Worrell. An innovative concert movie for the rock group The Talking Heads.

July 3-9, 2020: Game of Death. Horror/Thriller. Directed by Sebastian Landry and Laurence Morals-Lagace. Written by Landry, Morals-Lagace, Edouard H. Bond, Philip Kalin-Hajdu. Produced by Kalin-Hajdu, Mathias Bernard, Pierre-Alexandre Bouchard. From Cleopatra Entertainment. (Color, 2020, France/Canada/USA, 77 minutes, not rated) Starring Victoria Diamond, Samuel Earle, Emelia Hellman, Catherine Saindon, Erniel Baez Duenas, Nick Serino. Kill or be killed is the golden rule of the Game of Death. Sucks for seven millennials who ignored that rule. Now each one’s head will explode unless they kill someone. Will they turn on each other to survive, or will this sunny day be the last for the innocent people of their middle-of-nowhere town?

July 3-9, 2020: The Outpost. War/History. Directed by Rod Lurie. Written by Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy. Based on a book by Jake Tapper. Produced by Tamasy, Marc Frydman, Jeffrey Greenstein, Paul Michael Merryman, et al. From Century 21. (Color, 2020, Bulgaria/USA, rated R) Starring Orlando Bloom, Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, Milo Gibson, Jacob Scipio, Celina Sinden. A small team of U.S. soldiers battle against hundreds of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

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