Every Tuesday at 1 pm, LACMA screens a classic film as part of LACMA’s ongoing Tuesday Matinees series. One of the museum’s oldest traditions, the program highlights the careers of famed filmmakers and actors and presents rarely seen films, often on 35mm print. The audiences for these screenings are diverse and range from middle school students on a class trip to working screenwriters searching for inspiration. One of our loyal film lovers, Lee Ravitz, rarely misses a matinee. To celebrate Lee’s 67th birthday this month, I asked him a few questions.
How long have you been coming to LACMA’s Tuesday Matinees?
I’ve been attending Tuesday Matinees regularly for over 15 years.
Do you have a favorite past film screening?
I really enjoyed watching Girl Happy (1965), directed by Boris Sagal and starring Elvis Presley. I was a teen when that picture came out but [at LACMA] was the first time I had ever seen it. What a fun movie!
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
I really enjoy action and thrillers but I also really love Laurel and Hardy movies and The Three Stooges. I also enjoy the old Walt Disney Classics—it reminds me of when I was little and my dad used to take me to watch Walt Disney Pictures like Darby O'Gill and the Little People, In Search of the Castaways,and Old Yeller. I watched all these movies back east when I was growing up in Ohio. My father would drive us to Kent, Ohio to watch pictures in the theater.
Who’s your favorite actor?
I love Bob Hope, Elvis Presley, Bud Abbott, and Lou Costello—I have a lot of favorites. They are just so fun to watch. I also enjoy films with The Andrew Sisters, old time singers. I still have their records. I still listen to them on 33 and a 1/3 RPM—some are reissues.
If you could program a month of Tuesday Matinees, what would you choose?
Back in the day, I would watch Elvis Presley movies on TV—I never got to see them on the big screen. They used to edit them out and add commercial interruptions and I did not like that. I would love to see his movies on the big screen, in a theater, uncut and commercial-free. Print or digital—it doesn’t matter to me. I would just like to see these movies in their complete form.
What’s your favorite part of LACMA’s Tuesday Matinees?
I love seeing the old, classic pictures on the big screen. Nothing beats watching the films in a theater. Also, every Tuesday I run into so many friends. They come every Tuesday and we talk about films. We are a small community.
Check out the film listings for Tuesday Matinees and join Lee and his friends in enjoying classic films.