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It's fright night at the movies in L.A.

October 30, 2008|Susan King

There are plenty of movies to get you in the Halloween spirit this weekend.

The American Cinematheque's Egyptian and Aero theaters are hosting their annual Halloween Horrorthon, Spooky Double Features festival. Kicking off the Egyptian's fright fest tonight is a Peter Cushing double bill from director Terence Fisher: 1958's "Horror of Dracula" and 1960's "The Brides of Dracula." Ushering in Halloween on Friday is the "Dusk-to-Dawn Horrorthon," which features 1989's "Santa Sangre," 1960's "Atom Age Vampire" and 1969's "Night of the Bloody Apes." The Egyptian festival concludes Sunday evening with a "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" double bill: 1941's glossy adaptation with Spencer Tracy and 1931's pre-code dazzler starring Fredric March in his Oscar-winning performance.

The Aero mixes horror with slapstick with its Abbott and Costello double bill Friday evening: the 1948 classic "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein" and 1949's "Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff." The Aero unveils its marathon Saturday evening with such gruesome goodies as 1986's "Night of the Creeps" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2," also from 1986.

But the theater has saved the best for last with former "Mystery Science Theater 3000" stars Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett riffing live during a Sunday screening of Ed Wood's 1959 masterpiece of ineptitude, "Plan Nine From Outer Space."


UCLA Film and Television Archive has dug deep into its crypt for its "Classic Horror of the '30s and '40s" program, which opens Halloween night with two tantalizing thrillers from 1932: "The Most Dangerous Game" and "White Zombie" with Bela Lugosi. On tap for Saturday is 1934's "The Black Cat" with Karloff and Lugosi and the deliciously wild 1943 Val Lewton production "The Seventh Victim." Concluding the festival Sunday is 1946's "The Beast With Five Fingers" with a scene-stealing Peter Lorre, and Robert Siodmak's effective 1946 thriller "The Spiral Staircase."

Disney Concert Hall

The 1925 silent version of "The Phantom of the Opera" will fill Walt Disney Concert Hall on Halloween evening when the horror classic screens with live organ accompaniment by Clark Wilson. Lon Chaney's performance in the title role is the stuff of legend.

A movie and a dance

The Silent Movie Theatre will provide thrills, chills and party frills Friday night with a screening of William Castle's fun 1959 "The Tingler." After the flick, the theater will be converted into a dance floor. Perhaps they'll be doing the Monster Mash?

'Ed Wood' screening

On a non-Halloween note, the Aero Theatre is presenting an "Ed Wood" reunion Wednesday evening. In addition to screening the Tim Burton-directed flick, screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, and Martin Landau, who won the supporting actor Oscar as Bela Lugosi, will chat after the movie.


King is a Times staff writer.

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