Street Food Cinema's "Xanadu" at Pan-Pacific Park

By Kathy Flynn

Xanadu at Pan-Pacific Park
Photo by Kathy Flynn

Street Food Cinema has been providing exceptional outdoor movie experiences since 2012. With their high definition, 50' screen and QSC speakers, they bring the best in contemporary and classic films to parks throughout Los Angeles every Saturday night. There's pre-show music in the form of both DJ's and emerging music artists, and you can bring in your own food and beverage and picnic, or sample fare from a rotating variety of food trucks each week. It's a fun, family-friendly night out, and most of the parks even allow you to bring your dog along.

Street Food Cinema at Pan-Pacific Park
Photo by Kathy Flynn
This past Saturday, Street Food Cinema paid tribute to L.A's past by screening 1980's Xanadu, which features the Pan-Pacific Auditorium as a main location, at Pan-Pacific Park, the former site of the auditorium. While Xanadu was never known for its quality, it was a box-office flop that inspired the Golden Raspberry or "Razzie" awards for the worst in filmmaking, the soundtrack was a huge hit and the crowd at Saturday's screening seemed to love every moment. The film was certainly made much more enjoyable by the cheers that greeted Olivia Newton-John's every appearance.

While Xanadu has not aged well, and the special effects are particularly atrocious, there is a certain nostalgic bit of baton passing in this film, which combines golden-age musicals (this was Gene Kelly's last film) with "modern" 80s rock musical. Watching the film under a full moon, at the actual site of Xanadu, added some much appreciated "magic" to the night.

Pan-Pacific Auditorium
The Pan-Pacific Auditorium, which was designed by Los Angeles architects Wurdeman & Becket, opened to the public in 1935. It was noted as one of the finest examples of Streamline Moderne architecture in the United States. It seated 6,000 and was perhaps best-known for hosting Elvis Presley in 1957, shortly before he was drafted. It closed in 1972 after the much larger Los Angeles Convention Center opened, and was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. In 1989, the dilapidated building was destroyed by a fire that was visible throughout much of Los Angeles. The memory of Pan-Pacific Auditorium lives on at Disney's California Adventure, where the main entrance gates were inspired by the auditorium's façade.

Customers visiting the food trucks at Street Food Cinema
Photo by Kathy Flynn

Street Food Cinema will be hosting Saturday screenings through October 27 at various parks throughout Los Angeles. Visit their site, for information on titles, locations, and food truck availability. They do a great job of making sure both vegetarian and vegan options are available.

Posted By Kathy Flynn on August 27, 2018 04:20 pm | Permalink