Another One Bites The Dust: Cinefamily To Shut Down Permanently



The Cinefamily has shut it down.  The Cinefamily group was involved in events at venues all around the city, such as the Vista Theatre in Los Feliz and the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, but its main exhibition space and office remained at the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax Avenue.



The Silent Movie Theatre is owned by brothers Dan and Sammy Harkham, who bought it in 2006 and co-founded the Cinefamily. (Dan Harkham was on the organization’s board.) This isn't the FIRST time this beloved space has been shut down.  Remember that shooting in the 90's?


John Hampton and his wife Dorothy started the Silent Movie Theatre in 1942, on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, California. Fifteen years after silent films became obsolete.


Movies with stars like Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Harold Lloyd, Felix The Cat, Rudolph Valentino and the Keystone Cops  were being played on the big screen so that they could be appreciated by younger generations.

The legend tells that Clara Bow and Charlie Chaplin would come disguised with dark glasses and big hats, sit in the back of the theater and watch their respective own movies.


Acoording to our friends at IamNotAStalker:  After the murder, the Silent Movie Theatre was put up for sale.  A man named Charlie Lustman happened to pass by the property in 1999 and became intrigued.  Though he knew nothing about silent films, he decided to purchase the theatre at a cost of $1.3 million.  He remodeled the space and added a new marquee.  The cinema re-opened its doors on November 5th, 1999.  Besides showcasing films, Lustman also offered the theatre for special events.  It proved to be a popular venue.  In 2006, after falling ill, Charlie sold the property to Dan and Sammy Harkham.  The brothers then formed Cinefamily, a “nonprofit organization of movie lovers devoted to finding and presenting interesting and unusual programs of exceptional, distinctive, weird and wonderful films.”


Don't worry folks, the dead shall rise again.  According to the statement released by the Cinefamily board, the Silent Movie Theatre “will be closed and renovated by the landlord.” A source close to the Harkham brothers said they are committed to having the space remain a venue for repertory film exhibition and are considering whether to again start something on their own or take on an outside partner.


The shutdown is in due to the Cinefamily scandal...as told in this grat article in LA Weekly Article


“I’m sure the people who were devotees are feeling the loss of it, but it doesn’t mean that a space like that won’t exist again,” said Maggie Mackay, board chair of the Vidiots Foundation, the currently shuttered longtime Los Angeles video store that is itself actively looking to move further into the programming and exhibition arena.

As attorney Rory Miller put it, “No one is happy, including the Board. They joined Cinefamily and contributed their time, energy and money because they loved it just like everyone else. They were hopeful they could save it, but the issues became too immense.”

Well there you have it folks, another one gone, but hopefully it will be reopen again.

The Silent Movie Theater...we ❤️ you.
Another One Bites The Dust: Cinefamily To Shut Down Permanently Another One Bites The Dust:  Cinefamily To Shut Down Permanently Reviewed by #IheartHollywood on November 20, 2017 Rating: 5

1 comment

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