Hollywood could use more gestures of showmanship such as Monday night’s preem for “The Matrix Revolutions” at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Premieres don’t get much bigger than the bow for the third and final film in a billion-dollar box office trilogy.
If there was an irony in matching “Matrix” with the Disney Hall, it was that the building takes itself much less seriously than the film does. Frank Gehry‘s $274-million creation is playful; the Wachowskis’ movie is about as lighthearted as Nietzsche.
The evening began with guests making an “Escape From Los Angeles”-style drive in rush hour traffic through the wildfires’ haze.
The aud arrived to see the Disney bathed in “The Matrix’s” signature chartreuse green; dozens of Klieg lights of the same hue filled the smoke-filled sky.
Warner Bros. chairman Barry Meyer opened the festivities by praising Gehry for creating “a dramatic and stirring landmark to our city.” (The architect had an engagement in Miami and was unable to attend.)
Warner Bros. prexy Alan Horn said the film repped an “enormous, outrageous effort” by the Wachowskis, and he hailed producer Joel Silver as “an engine of accomplishment.”
The screening was hampered by a buzzing sound from the speakers during the first half-hour. One technician said they had to “patch” around it. The buzz was not heard during the many pre-screening sound tests, even as late as 6 p.m.
The screen could be clearly viewed, even from the last row of the upper balcony, because of the hall’s steep raking. The seats on the sides of the auditorium were not as good, but they worked well enough. (Venue has 2,265 seats; 1,600 were used.)
There were no complaints heard about the projection and seating — though the buzz was noted by many — at the after-party, which was held in the elegant tubular tent erected for last week’s opening galas.
So, will there be more preems at the Disney Hall? Music Center chairman John Emerson said, “We’d love to do it again. But we’re going to charge a helluva lot more.”