Lebowski Fest 2019 at the Wiltern Theatre in Hollywood

Lebowski Fest 2019
at the Wiltern Theatre in Hollywood
Friday, April 19, 2019 at 7pm

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Ticket to Lebowski Fest 2019 at the Wiltern Theatre in Hollywood!

LebowskiFest Time!
At the Wiltern in L.A.
With Jeff Bridges too!

Lebowski Fest 2019
with Jeff Bridges and The Abiders!
and Trainwreck featuring Kyle Gass
and a 35mm screening of “The Big Lebowski”

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We’ve always wanted to go to LEBOWSKI FEST! So when tickets went on pre-sale in February, we grabbed a seat in the front section at The Wiltern for $50+fees and made plans to attend in April. We didn’t know when we bought the ticket that it was also the first night of Passover (a Jewish ritual holiday). “Shomer Shabbos” does not apply here.

 

We drove over the hill into Hollywood and then south on Vine Street to Wilshire Blvd (in Koreatown, not quite Downtown LA). Hollywood construction is OUT OF CONTROL! Everything has changed. It’s not even recognizable and so much traffic.

We made our way to the theatre and drove around for a bit until we found FREE street parking across from the Starbuck’s. And we got an iced mocha with whipped cream and walked around the park and adjacent neighborhood until we were ready to stand in line.

Welcome to the Wiltern Theatre at Wilshire Blvd and Western Ave in Hollywood!

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Lined Up On Wilshire Blvd – “The Waiting is the Hardest Part”

The Wiltern Theatre in Hollywood (actually now it’s Koreatown)

Built in 1931, the Pellissier Building and Wiltern Theatre is a twelve story, 155 foot Art Deco landmark, an example of French Zig-Zag Moderne styling with blue-green glazed architectural terra-cotta tile, named after the family that owned the land it was built on.

The Wiltern Theatre and the Pellissier Building are on the National Register of Historic Places and are City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments.

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Joined the line on Wilshire Blvd, and waited on the sidewalk for the doors to open with a few hundred other “The Big Lebowski” fans. Some folks came in character costumes too!

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The Wiltern is such a beautiful building! We watched the sunset down Wilshire Blvd, as the temperature dropped and the wind picked up, and they opened the doors after 7pm and the line moved quickly through the security checkpoint at the front.

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The Wiltern Theatre in Hollywood

Once inside the theatre, there was a fun scene happening in the lobby! There were backdrops for photos & selfies, artwork from the film, the bars were decorated with bowling pins and trophies, a vendor booth selling t-shirts and posters, and costumed bartenders waiting to serve you “caucasians” ($14 for a single, $21 for a double!).

Bottled Water $5.00!
There was also some snack food available for purchase: popcorn, pretzels, etc.

NOTE: A “Caucasian” is a White Russian cocktail with vodka, coffee liqueur and cream.

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The restrooms were upstairs on the balcony level or downstairs in the cool basement bar area. And the real “Mind if I do a J?” party crowd was just outside on the smoking patio.

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

We wandered around and eventually went inside the actual theater space, with a bar in each of the back corners and no one waiting in line there. We checked out our seat in the front of the house, then we returned to the bar and ordered a double caucasian  from our bartender Roxanne, dressed in a Valkyrie costume, with slides from the film flashing on the tv screen/menu board beside her. We sipped on our beverage and then went back out to the lobby, sat and people watched until the first band came onstage.

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Watch the “Lobby Scene” LIVE at Lebowski Fest 2019 on Periscope>
https://www.periscope.tv/JoshWillTravel/1ynJORgZdAVGR

And then the show began. Trainwreck rocked the house! Never heard of them before we bought the ticket and Kyle Gass was mysteriously absent from the band….

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Then there was an intermission, and more wandering around, looking at all the weirdos, checking out the costumes, chatting with other Dudes, waiting for the next band….

JEFF BRIDGES and THE ABIDERS took the stage and opened with some Creedence. They played a full set of rock, country, blues and mellow music. It was a happy jam with Jeff Bridges sharing anecdotes and telling stories about film and the projected slides (black and white photographs he shot with his panorama camera during the production) on the big screens.

NOTE: My phone’s camera ran out of memory, and wouldn’t focus properly because of the lights and music stand, and we were seated so close that the sound over-modulated the phone’s microphone in the music videos we shot of the performance. We still got pics and video, but it should have been easier and the pics should have been better.

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Jeff Bridges is a talented musician, and his backing band was made up of very skilled professionals. They played a long set peppered with a few anecdotes in-between songs.

Right Click and “Open in New Window”
Jeff Bridges and The Abiders LIVE at Lebowski Fest 2019 on Periscope> https://www.periscope.tv/JoshWillTravel/1yoJMEbZRDOJQ

Following the performance there was another intermission, then a short Q&A Session with Liam (Jesus’ bowling partner), the Cab Driver, and the Supermarket Checkout Girl.

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“F*ck you man.
You don’t like my f*cking music,
get your own f*cking cab!”

Ajgie Kirkland, the actor who played the Cab Driver, said he had only worked one day on the film long ago as a day player, and it changed his life in a positive way.

And then, once he had recovered from the musical portion of the night, Jeff Bridges came back onstage and did a longer Q&A with the host and then was joined by The (real) Dude, Jeff Dowd. It was already after 11pm and they still had to show the film!

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Fun Q&A with Jeff Bridges and the Host

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The Dude laid hands on The (real) Dude and he rose up out of his wheelchair!
It was a Dudely Miracle! Not really a miracle, but it was still pretty fun to watch.

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The Dude and The Dude – Together Again!

The Dude and The Dude
At Friday’s Lebowski Fest
Together again

Following the Q&A, and after 11pm, they showed a 35mm print of “The Big Lebowski”.

It was great to see it on the big screen again! Everyone knows all the lines. Might have seen it once or twice (or over a hundred times) before. Such a great film, with a great cast, and great performances! So much fun and still funny every time!

We eventually made our way out of the theatre and back to the car, and then motored home well after midnight. It was a mighty fine evening out and we hope you enjoyed it.

Pellissier Building & Wiltern Theatre3870 Wilshire Blvd, LA CA 90010 (at Western)

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1 thought on “Lebowski Fest 2019 at the Wiltern Theatre in Hollywood

  1. Pingback: July 2019! | JoshWillTravel

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