TCM Classic Film Festival Diary, Day 1

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First day of fun times at the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival.

The TCM Classic Film Festival was a delightful series of slightly unreal and enriching movie experiences that could have gone on a few more days, and an event I can’t recommend highly enough. Every penny and effort it takes you to get there is not only worth it but is rewarded many times over in every way. As a first timer I feel like I spent the whole four days in a wide eyed, bewildered, barely functional goofy daze most of the time (sorry, everyone I met), and little wonder with all the options, choices and things that happened to me–and I loved every minute of it.

Laura was my midnight welcoming committee when I arrived (we were at the same hotel), so nice of her and great way to finally meet! The next morning I was lucky Karen was a) staying right across the street and b) a super early bird like myself so we had our first meeting after 11 years of knowing each other! Wonderful start to the fest, getting together with such longtime friends. Thursday morning Laura and Casey & I went for a walk around the neighbourhood (helped give me my bearings, thanks ladies) which started with a trek through Hollywood & Highland to Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The famous foot/handprint area was closed off for that night’s red carpet preparations but I managed to snap a few pix. You wouldn’t believe the teeny tiny shoeprints left by ladies like Joan Blondell.

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Picked up my pass and swag bag at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel.

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I ran into Karen again (we had pretty different movie schedules so we never seemed to have enough time to chat!).

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Great time for a photo op with Laura, who would turn out to be at the same movies, which was so much fun and no surprise to me since we have almost identical tastes (except for horror and there was to be no going Psycho 🙂 ). Can’t say enough how great it was to see these ladies in person after all these years.

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Next a visit to Larry Edmunds bookshop, a great place packed to the brim with movie books, lobby cards, etc, and I bought enough heavy volumes to test the limits of the luggage allowances and suitcase stitching on the trip back home (my overstuffed purse completely ripped and fell apart when I got off the plane in Toronto).

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During the walk around I got my first looks at the El Capitan and The Egyptian theatres where I’d return for screenings. Noir fans, here’s a pic of the First Baptist Church you can spot in Gun Crazy, and to the left Laura pointed out Miceli’s restaurant seen in Nightfall (in my pic Miceli’s is hidden behind that truck, Stephen got a better pic showing Miceli’s a few days later, here).

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Time for lunch and another first for me was trying In-N-Out burger, great and lived up to the reputation. While there we enjoyed the company of Kendra Bean, film historian and author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait.

After lunch, went back into the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel to see the Meet TCM panel (and later the Trivia contest), held in the Blossom room and Club TCM central. What a thrill to stand in the room where the first Oscars were held.

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Ben Mankiewicz, TCM GM Jennifer Dorian and programming chief Charlie Tabesh answering viewer questions

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The movies and events are great and I’ll get to those in the next posts, but this intro is mainly about what I found to be the best part of TCMFF– meeting all the people. Here’s longtime friend Stephen, aka Classic Movie Man. Such a joy to talk with and attend all the screenings that we did!

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Just as delightful was meeting people I only knew from twitter and blogs and there were more of those than I’ll ever be able to name, but here’s a great example:

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Wonderful ladies it was a pleasure to meet: bloggers Kendahl of A Classic Movie Blog, Casey of Noir Girl, Jessica of Comet over Hollywood and Raquel of Out of the Past (who put together great recap posts while there).

…and I was happy on that first day to also find Will, Joel, Danny of Precode.com, Paula & Tim, and Aurora and Kellee who were part of the tireless Social Producer crew for TCMFF.

Fantastic first day and haven’t even got to the movies yet. Next up, The Sound of Music.

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24 thoughts on “TCM Classic Film Festival Diary, Day 1”

  1. Sounds a great first day. Bet you were bushed at the end of it! And meeting so many other bloggers. Great pics.
    Looking forward to your next post.

    1. Sleep deprivation and jet lag were there but I honestly didn’t feel them til I got home 🙂 too much fun! Loved meeting everyone, as I say that’s a big big part of the fun, sharing all the movie watching with equally obsessed and enthusiastic fans. Thanks and I hope you get half the fun out of reading as I got being there.

    1. Thanks and you bet! All the welcoming and friendly people like you make the thing extra fun for newbs like me. Love reading everyone’s posts too, always got me so interested in going 🙂

  2. Ah, my friends, I wish I could get both the money and the stones to join you all at TCM Classic Film Festival Diary, Day 1, but seeing you all enjoying your fun made me as happy as as if I could be with you all! I look forward to your next reports! 😀

    1. (my first reply didn’t go through) I always loved reading every word about it before I could go, so I want to do the same now that I was lucky to be there. Hope you enjoy and hope you do make it someday! Thanks 🙂

    1. It was fun, no downside that I could find except the days fly by WAY too fast. Hope you like the account of it and even more, hope you make it someday!

    1. Thanks, it was fun and I hope all these posts (by everybody) nudge you to go someday. You would love it and no lie, we actually talked about you and how you should be there. 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience. After following from the sidelines on Twitter, including many of the same people you mention above, I asked the wife (aka “the boss”) for permission to go next year. She’s all in. She won’t have the endurance for all the screenings I’ll take in, but she’ll find plenty to do. I’m pretty sure that I have similar tastes as you and Laura, so I’m certain we’ll be seeing a lot of the same movies if you go again.

    1. Well that’s awesome and I hope it all works out that you do make it! You’re guaranteed to enjoy yourself way more than you expect. Like a broken record I’ll say again that the movies are certainly great on their own, but sharing the experience with these types of people makes them that much better and more memorable. I know what you mean about the sidelines, reading all previous years coverage made me want to go and I can’t believe I was there yet! 🙂

  4. Wonderful first post! I’m so happy to have met you and had the opportunity to spend some time with you, Kristina. Can’t wait to read your other posts!

    1. Thanks so much and the feeling is mutual 🙂 it was fun to have such great company that first day and enjoy those movies together, only sorry we didn’t have time to check out the fabric store! Best!

    1. It totally was, and I am going to be a typical first timer who can’t contain herself so you better brace for more of these posts in coming days 🙂 and you have to go someday, you’d have a great time!

  5. Really enjoyed your TCM Fest diary, Kristina – thanks for all the info and pics! Just like the other commenters who weren’t able to attend, I sure hope to make it to the fest one of these years.

    1. Thanks for checking it out! This is my reason for doing the posts, to share with people who couldn’t go, because I always got such a big kick out of reading all about it when I was stuck at home 🙂 Hope you enjoy them and hope you get there someday soon!

  6. This is great! I loved hearing about your experiences Kristina. It was so much fun to meet you and share some great screenings.

    1. Thank you and likewise, loved meeting you and everyone and sharing all these movies. It was such a great time with my only complaint being that it flew by way too fast.

  7. What a fun four days, Kristina! And it was fun to read about all the places you went to in Hollywood on Day 1, and they were quite a few I knew and have been to, having lived in San Diego for so many years: the Mann’s Chinese (as I’ll always know it as), Larry Edmunds, the Egyptian and the El Capitan, and of course In-N-Out! I wish I could’ve recommended Hamburger Hamlet to you before you left…there used to be one not far from the Chinese.

    1. Well there’s always next time! I’ll have to remember to look for Hamburger Hamlet, and on my way out I had Pink’s pointed out to me too, it was only a couple blocks away. Great to hear you’ve been to all those places, it was my first time in California too so I was doubly bowled over and in a daze the whole time 🙂 the movie palaces are fabulous! I can see why it’s a bucket list item to see them, even better with friends. It was a great 4 days and really the only complaint is that it went by so fast it hardly seems real. Thanks for reading!

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