The Showing of The Haunting at Alex Theatre

Alex Theatre - photo courtesy of blog.redfin.com
Alex Theatre - photo courtesy of blog.redfin.com

Glendale, CA – The 1963 movie classic, “The Haunting” premiered for a one night event at the Alex Theatre Performing Arts & Entertainment Center last Saturday hosted by Michael J. Kouri.
Hundreds of people gathered to fill the seats almost to capacity at the 84 year-old theatre to watch the classic film directed by Robert Wise. The pre-show included a live introduction by world renowned Psychic Medium and Parapsychologist Investigator, Michael J. Kouri.
Kouri’s introduction included a pre-recorded video shown on the big screen and is about the legend of Alex Theatre. Kouri clammed to know of several ghosts that reside within the theatre and warned the audience that they may encounter a spirit while enjoying their visit in the theatre. Kouri takes the audience onto a journey of myths and legends and what he claims is truth that the theatre is in fact haunted and spoke of who is haunting the theatre.
While Kouri’s claims may appear far-fetched to some, others may believe in his tails. Even if Kouri’s claims are fiction, he still gives audiences that added touch of live entertainment before the opening of the movie.
The movie “The Haunting” is based on the Shirley Jackson novel entitled, The Haunting of the Hill House published in 1959.

The Haunting - photo courtesy of Image Guardian
The Haunting - photo courtesy of Image Guardian

The Plot

The movie takes place at an 80-year-old mansion in a rural area outside of town which is believed to be haunted. The protagonist, Dr. John Markway played by Richard Johnson, selects a team of paranormal investigators to team up with Dr. Markway to observe and notate this legendary phenomenon and gather data to document their experiences at the haunted house.
Dr. Markway is accompanied by Julie Harris as Eleanor Lance who was selected for her experience with poltergeist she witnessed as a child. Dr. Markway also selected Theodora played by Claire Bloom for her ESP (Extrasensory Perception) ability. Luke Sanderson the last of Dr. Markway’s team, played by Russ Tamblyn (West Side Story) was not chosen for any psychic ability nor for any personal paranormal experience, but for his disbelief in the paranormal and to help keep the team grounded to be effective for the investigation.
Together, this cast of characters in the film brought balance to the screen with Dr. Markway’s quest for scientific evidence of the supernatural and Eleanor, for her gradual unstable behavior, and the clairvoyant, Theadora was less noticeable for her ability was more interested with her affection for Eleanor, and the cynical, yet comedic character of Luke Sanderson. All of which, gave this suspenseful film grace and a realistic quality, yet keeps the audiences on the edge of the seat throughout the movie.
While the film lacks luster for its visual effects and poor sound quality, the film makes up for the psychological drama and suspenseful undertones for which the cast of characters portray on the big screen. Overall this is an enjoyable movie, especially when the movie is viewed in its original format in the fully restored Alex Theatre.
Built in 1925, Alex Theatre has been entertaining its patrons, but it wasn’t always in its present condition. The exterior landmark was redesigned by S. Charles Lee in 1940 when he added the recognizable outer tower. This 100 foot art-deco tower was given colorful lights to give it the “Hollywood” appeal.
Today, this landmark theatre is owned by the Alex Film Society and remains a Los Angeles icon. The Alex Film Society schedules an upwards of 250 events every year including, plays, orchestrated musical events, and classic movies events.

For more information about events at the Alex Theatre Performing Arts & Entertainment, go to: www.alextheatre.org or contact the box office at 818-243-ALEX (2539)

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