Before I get into my favourite movies and events, I’ll do exactly what we do at the fest, spend a day wandering, socializing and sightseeing. Thursday you have most of the day free before lining up for the 6:30 screenings. There’s a Meet TCM panel and a fun trivia contest that afternoon at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in their historic (and gorgeous!) Blossom Room, and most fest-goers pop in and out through the day to meet up, pick up passes and gift bags.
The Roosevelt on Thursday morning
If it’s your first time at the fest, Thursday is a good chance to walk around, pick up some souvenirs at the TCM Boutique, familiarize yourself with the neighbourhood, and see exactly how long it takes to walk to the Egyptian and back to the Hollywood & Highland mall/TCL Chinese and inside to the multiplex.
Food, when and where to get it, is a hot topic at TCMFF, because once movies start rolling, it’s tough to find time for real sit-down restaurant meals. There are concession stands and handy fast places like Baja Fresh and Subway, even Johnny Rockets inside the mall (all of which I ate this year between screenings), but most other places need way more time, so you need to skip something, load up at breakfasts, and/or plan special meals before the fest starts.
That morning and one other, I ate at Mel’s Drive-in, conveniently located kitty-corner to the mall. It’s a great short order eatery with neat souvenirs, and open 24 hours.
For lunch it was 25 Degrees inside the Roosevelt, good food and lots of fun.
Afterwards, the Canadians among us formed a small mob and went to check out The Hollywood Museum, located right next to Mel’s.
Ruth, Pam, Mike and I had a great time exploring the many floors and rooms in the Max Factor building. TCMFF passholders get a discount, and Laura told us Tara Gordon, daughter of Leo is often there and loves to chat (we missed her). Here are a few of the exhibits:
Lots of these rooms with items and outfits of Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, etc.
the beauty calibration contraption ! ready for her close up!
marveling at the sheer amount of stuff Lots of Planet of the Apes items Columbo’s trenchcoat, strangely un-rumpled it’s not the basement of the Alamo! It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World wear and full-wall model Mary Pickford items back when Superman didn’t need teflon body armor and CGI a big part of the basement is set up like the prison hall, guess whose cell is next..Miggs! Bride and groom Death masks of Lorre, Price, Karloff, Chaney and others.
Not pictured: many more TV series and Oscar-nominated wardrobes, tribute to Nolan Miller, Sinatra’s suit, horror and Star Wars items and much more.
A “must” side trip is a visit to Larry Edmunds Bookshop, a wallet-busting store full of movie and theatre books, posters and more. Last year it seemed like I bought the heaviest books they had (the United Artists story, the Films of 20th Century Fox, The Baron of Mulholland, The Films of Alan Ladd…). This year I made two visits and picked up some lobby cards. Along for the shopping were Danny, Jandy, Kendahl and Laura, who introduced me to this great place (and many more) last year!
Afterwards we went back to Club TCM to listen to the trivia contest, and spent the rest of the time reuniting with friends from last year, like Stephen!That afternoon it was also a pleasure to meet Monika Henreid, daughter of Paul. Check out the documentary she’s producing about her father here.
Fun day, with food! Next up, the movies.
Previously: The 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival, Intro