The National Movie Theatre in Westwood is gone. They tore it down. That’s the end of an era for me since we premiered “THE HITCHER” there back in ’86. More importantly, it was a magnificent movie theatre with a state of the art projection and sound system and it was where you go to see a movie. Heartbreaking. And just the latest developer carelessness that threatens to turn one of the great fun neighborhoods of Los Angeles into a faceless no class condo subdivision.

For most of the last 20 years I’ve lived walking distance–well, walking distance for me since I’m from New York City–from Westwood. Over the last few years, I’ve watched with sadness as four of the major movie theatres and film multiplexes in Westwood were torn down to make way for a Save On, a Whole Foods and a expensive condo complex. Goodbye Coronet. Goodbye Festival. Goodbye Westwood theatres. That’s quality of life for you. You go to Westwood to see a film, eat at a restaurant, check out a bookstore. Tear that stuff down who wants to live there? Oh right, U.C.L.A. students. Who are really going to be able to afford these pricey condos. Not.

What are the money-grubbing bribe paying zoning morons thinking? To quote Walter Matthau in one of my fav films, “Why would anybody go there for Italian when we got Chuck E. Cheese right here?”

There goes the neighborhood.

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