At the Charles Aidikoff Screening Room on Rodeo Drive, filmmakers can screen their works in progress for an invite-only audience in the small, 57-seat theater. The screening room is also rented to show films to members of the Academy and the press.
Credit Thaddeus Bridwell / Charles Aidikoff Screening Room
Charles Aidikoff, 97, learned the art of projection from his father, who ran silent movies in a Coney Island theater in the early 1900s. Aidikoff's grandson Josh carries on the family tradition — he became manager of the screening room at age 19.
Credit Cindy Carpien / NPR
Josh Aidikoff mastered the complicated business of running film projectors when he was still in his teens. Now, the Aidikoff Screening Room has a digital projector, too, and Josh predicts that in a few years he won't be handling film at all.
Before they made it to the Oscars, the nominated films — not to mention all the films that didn't make the cut — were viewed by some 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Many of those movies were shown in small, private, rented screening rooms all over Hollywood.
The studios have their own screening rooms, of course, but often directors want a more private place to screen works in progress — with no studio suits in sight.
In the 11 years since the Oscars introduced an award for Best Animated Feature, the category has been dominated by children's movies, often with computer-animated pandas, penguins and ogres at their center. This year's a little different. Two of the animated films are subtitled, and one is definitely aimed at adults: the Spanish film Chico and Rita, an animated love story steeped in jazz.