The modern-day Angeleno can be forgiven for thinking of first-run movies and spankin' fresh blockbusters when it comes to a certain stretch of Hollywood Boulevard. Barricades go up frequently, the red carpet goes down, and next week's splashy flick has its starry premiere.
But it is a stretch, and a town, built brick-by-brick -- or make that frame-by-frame -- on the reel canisters of films gone by. And for one long springtime each year, the cinema of yore reigns in the city it raised, in one four-day, actorful, memory-laden blowout.
We do speak of the TCM Classic Film Festival, indeed. It runs from Thursday, April 10 through Sunday, April 13 around Hollywood -- so think the TCL Chinese Theatre, the Egyptian, and such -- and the "TCM" in the name says that the star factor shall be high.
Some highlights? "A world premiere restoration from the original negative" of "A Hard Day's Night" is on the schedule. A tribute to Maureen O'Hara and a Jerry Lewis handprint ceremony in front of the Chinese Theatre. And Richard Dreyfuss will get his career-sweep overview, too.
Oh yeah. And Mel Brooks is going to present "Blazing Saddles." Did you just drop everything and cancel on all your friends? They get it.
The panel discussions are plentiful, as are poolside screenings. We mean, honest now. What's a tony Hollywood yore-sweet to-do without something poolside? Just keep an eye out for TCM leading men Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz around the boulevard, as they'll be popping up and chatting with stars and fans at a bevy of cinematic spots.
Tickets? They're a la carte. See one movie or see ten. It is difficult to stop, though, when Hollywood classics are the thing. Because while we love seeing a new blockbuster open on the boulevard, the word "classic" isn't yet in front of its title.
That takes time, love, and magic.