Popcorn and a Movie: Guild Screenings at the Writers Guild Theater
Q&As with Better Living Through Chemistry’s Geoff Moore & David Posamentier and moderator Billy Ray and Rob the Mob’s Jonathan Fernandez highlight this month’s Guild Screenings schedule.

Written by Brittany Flores

(March 11, 2014)

It’s 10:30 a.m., but that doesn’t stop Writers Guild members from getting their popcorn to go along with their movie. A stream of people checked into the Writers Guild Theater on a Sunday morning for the 11 a.m. screening of Monuments Men. Most went straight to the Homeboy concession counter. Some grabbed a coffee and nestled into a comfy chair to go about their Sunday newspaper. Others caught up with old friends over tea and chocolate croissants in the lounge area. But throughout the morning, one phrase seemed to be repeated as more members discovered the concession counter for the first time: “Oh, they have popcorn!”

After a major renovation, the Writers Guild Theater reopened in October 2013. Screenings are now free to all members in good standing plus one guest (3 guests for most family films). New seats, carpets, plus cozy tables and chairs in the lobby create a community atmosphere. Refreshments were added at the request of many Guild members. Only popcorn and water (flat or fizzy) are allowed inside the theater, but coffee, tea and soda are available for lobby consumption. On weekends, pastries from the Homeboy Bakery are also for sale.

Homeboy Industries was selected to be the vendor after querying several concessionaires. Guild member Maria Elena Rodriguez approached the non-profit, noting: “They already ran food stands at Farmers Markets and City Hall as well their own bakery and cafe. Popcorn was just a new product for them.”

Concession staffers Bert and Gus, who are trainees of the Homeboy’s education and rehabilitation program, are getting to know Guild members who regularly attend screenings. When there’s a family movie showing, they have a good supply of popcorn and water ready to go. The line of popcorn-hungry kids went out the door during recent screenings of The Lego Movie. On Saturdays and Sundays, coffee and baked goods help fuel post-movie debates and conversations. A first-time Homeboy concession visitor enthusiastically scanned the pastries, pointing to one glazed with chocolate, saying, “If I see something covered in chocolate, of course I'm going to get it."

Compared to commercial movie houses, refreshments here are reasonably priced to serve the Writers Guild community and to support Homeboy’s mantra: “Nothing stops a bullet like a job.”

Board member and chair of the Guild Screenings Committee, Scott Alexander, describes the vision for the revamped space and screenings: “Our goal was to foster community and turn the theater into a fun hangout, a clubhouse for the writing crowd. Screenwriters are the wittiest, funniest people in town. What better than a whole building of them? We're trying to get eclectic with our programming, mixing major studio titles, indies, and foreign. I feel like I'm running the Landmark!”

Upcoming Q&A discussions with screenwriters after their movies this month are: Better Living Through Chemistry with Geoff Moore & David Posamentier moderated by Billy Ray on March 22 at 5 p.m. and Rob the Mob with Jonathan Fernandez on March 30 at 5 p.m.

If you know Guild members who are unaware of the free Screenings, please tell them to call Membership (323) 782-4532 so they can be added to the email list.

Be sure to check the Guild Screenings schedule regularly for the latest films, Q&As and events.

See you at the movies!