DGA Los Angeles Theater Reopens with Grand Celebration

DGA Los Angeles Theater Reopens with Grand Celebration

September 21, 2019 A DGA Special Event

After months of planning, construction and anticipation, the DGA celebrated the grand re-opening of its brand new, state-of-the-art theater in Los Angeles on Saturday, September 21. Conceived from the ground up by filmmakers for filmmakers, the new theater is designed to vividly showcase the contours of every visual element, sound and nuance conceptualized by directors in the creation of their art – providing the ultimate theatrical experience for member and industry audiences.

The theater reflects the vision of a Guild committee of top filmmakers – including Michael Apted, Jon Favreau, Shawn Levy, Michael Mann, Christopher Nolan and Betty Thomas – who were involved in every phase of the process with every decision made with future generations of Guild members and the broader entertainment community in mind. Their vision was brought to life by the premier names in the theater-construction business, including the leading theater design experts at Gensler and the top audio-visual specialists at Dolby.

“[Our] theater has served as home to our members for three decades – as a safe place for them to introduce their creations to their fellow members, to the industry and to the world – in exactly the way that they intended. Tonight, we unveil a new version, for the next generation,” said DGA Secretary-Treasurer Betty Thomas at the evening VIP reception unveiling the new theater. “More than just a technological, or design feat – which it is – the theater symbolizes our Guild’s commitment to the theatrical experience, which is so special for us not only as filmmakers – but for our greater culture.”

Thomas capped off her remarks with a celebratory champagne toast: “To the next 30 years!”

The reception was preceded by two screenings. Director James Cameron’s 2009 DGA Award-nominated sci-fi drama, Avatar was projected in 3D, which showed off more of the capabilities of the new theater.  The film was introduced by Director Michael Mann, who had personally selected it for screening. Earlier in the day, Thomas kicked off the very first screening in the new theater with her personal choice, Director Penny Marshall’s 1992 comedy, A League of Their Own.

The main event of the day followed the reception: a screening of Ridley Scott’s final cut of his 1982 sci-fi drama, Blade Runner. DGA Third Vice-President Jon Favreau, who had personally selected the film for this event, drew applause when he noted the synchronicity that the fictional world of Blade Runner was set in the then far future Los Angeles of 2019 and the audience would now be viewing the film in the very real Los Angeles of 2019.

“Technological innovation is allowing filmmakers to tell stories the way they never could before. Having a theater that is designed to showcase those stories with the most cutting-edge systems available continues to be our mission,” said Favreau. “From not knowing what’s real and what’s fake, there are a lot of themes in Blade Runner that are remarkably timely. And the look that was set continues to inform our idea of science fiction. Let’s thank Sir Ridley Scott for this beautiful vision he brought us.”

Following the screening, Favreau welcomed Director Ridley Scott to the stage for a discussion about the making of this now classic film.

“Congratulations on this theater, that sound was fantastic,” observed Scott, commenting on the new theater’s capabilities in screening Blade Runner as he’d intended. “This is the best I’ve seen it in 20 years.”

During the Q&A, Scott also definitively settled a longstanding question when he spoke about whether or not Blade Runner’s central character, Rick Deckard, was indeed a replicant himself and how making a directorial decision played into the performance of Harrison Ford who portrayed the character.

“He [Ford] really didn’t believe he was a replicant,” said Scott, who then explained how they achieved a subtle effect on the eyes of the replicant characters that would distinguish them from the humans and noted that the same effect can be seen on Ford’s Deckard. “He’s a bloody replicant. I didn’t tell him though.”

  • Click here for more about the new DGA Los Angeles Theater.
Video of the Q&A with Director Ridley Scott is featured in the gallery below.

You can listen to audio of the Q&A by clicking the podcast episode embedded below. You can find more DGA podcast episodes here.

Pictures & Video

photos by Shane Karns and Elisa Haber

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