Egyptian redo will be open to bookers

Self-distributing filmmakers soon will have a new venue: Hollywood’s venerable Egyptian Theater. The American Cinematheque, which is in the midst of a $9.5 million renovation of the historic theater, plans to make the venue’s two theaters available for booking by independents as well as distribs of foreign films and limited-release indie fare.

Margot Gerber, producer of the Cinematheque’s Alternative Screen series, says, “While the number of film festivals throughout the world is at an all-time high, there are not enough commercial screens in Los Angeles to play a high percentage of the truly interesting films that are being made.”

Through its series “The Alternative Screen: A Forum for Independent Film Exhibition & Beyond,” the Cinematheque has made an effort to show those interesting films at its temporary home at Raleigh Studios. The program, which started in December 1995, has screened award-winning Amerindies including “Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern,” “Paul Monette: On the Brink of Summer’s End” and “The Last Big Thing.”

The Cinematheque also recently presented the L.A. premiere of Peter Greenaway’s “The Pillow Book” and of Agnes Varda’s “One Hundred and One Nights,” both with the directors in attendance.

The Egyptian, which is expected to reopen by fall, will have a 600-seat theater and a 70-seat screening room.

The Cinematheque is seeking submissions for the Alternative Screen program, as well as animated short films. For information, call (213) 466-3456 ext. 115.

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