National Treasure

National Mark Evanier reports that the Mann National in Westwood is closing. I remember how wowed I was by that theater when I first came to Los Angeles in 1980 to go to school at UCLA. To me, the Mann National epitomized everything that was Hollywood. It was huge (this was the era before stadium seating), it was plush, it was gaudy, and it was glitzy. Every time a big movie opened at the theater, they’d paint a three-story reproduction of the one-sheet on the side of the building. And it wasn’t uncommon to bump into stars like Neil Simon, Dustin Hoffman, and Sean Connery at the popcorn counter. I once nearly collided with Woody Allen on my way out of theater…because I was busy staring up at one of those  big movie poster paintings. I saw hundreds of movies at that theater while I was in college…and every time I’ve driven past the building since, I’ve thought about those movie poster reproductions. I’m sorry to see the theater go…but given the value of real estate these days, I’m not surprised.

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