Sad news for LA film press: Now run by the 100-year-old Charles’ grandson Josh, the Charles Aidikoff Screening Room closed Tuesday night after a press screening of “The End of the Tour.” Whether the closing is permanent remains unknown, though sources told TheWrap that “the popular screening venue is shutting down due to a court order. While details remain vague, the problem involves the lease…”
Will the Screening Room—also a popular invite-only platform to debut films during awards season—reopen? (There’s word of two new rooms coming soon across the street on Rodeo.) The venue’s website has already shuttered. Charles Aidikoff, a famed projectionist who’d been screening films for press and industry insiders since 1967, tweeted a picture of himself (and Arnold Schwarzenegger) with the message “I’ll be back.”
Ask any Los Angeles Film writer and they’ll have something sweet to say about the Screening Room (amid complaints about the rake, which made reading subtitled foreign films difficult). Always complimentary parking, water, Red Vines and a colorful candy basket made this a homey place to watch films, which were screened both digitally and on celluloid. The poster for any given film has always been nicely displayed in the wall-to-wall red corridors leading you into the theater. And you can usually stop in and chat with the projectionist while in the bathroom line.
The last film I saw at Charles Aidikoff was an emotional screening of “Amy,” which now bears more sentimental heft knowing it may have been the last time I’ll see a film in that comfy room.
Here’s an NPR story from 2012 on the venue’s history.