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FilmWeek Screenings: ‘Chinatown’ — selected and hosted by Larry Mantle

The Theatre at Ace Hotel
© Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

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“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

Roman Polanski’s iconic, Oscar-winning film “Chinatown” is a dramatization of California’s water wars. Based on real-life characters, this neo-noir film has been a cultural touchstone for decades, and it is a must-see for students of Southern California’s history. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won best original screenplay for Robert Towne.

On August 4, Larry Mantle returns to the Theatre at Ace Hotel for another installment of FilmWeek Screenings to showcase the movie and host a post-screening conversation with special guests.

“I’m typically hazy about the calendar, but I know where I was Friday afternoon, June 21, 1974 – attending a matinee of ‘Chinatown’ at a theater on Hollywood Boulevard. The movie had just opened, and as a 15-year-old fascinated by Los Angeles history I wasn’t going to miss it. I came out of the theater so excited I couldn’t wait to tell my parents and friends about what I’d seen. It’s hard for me to choose one movie as my all-time favorite, but there’s no movie I love more than ‘Chinatown.’”– Larry Mantle

The FilmWeek Screenings series – selected and hosted by Larry – is dedicated to movies set in Southern California. “Chinatown” was inspired by the battle for water rights between the city of Los Angeles and farmers, ranchers and residents of Owens Valley in the early 20th century. Shooting locations for the film included Echo Park, Brentwood, Glendale, Hollywood, Sunland, South Pasadena, downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Rancho Palos Verdes, Venice, Crescent Bay, San Pedro, Catalina Island, Channel Islands and…Chinatown.

In the film, L.A. private detective J.J. "Jake" Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired by Evelyn Mulwray to expose her adulterizing husband. Not long after, he discovers he was hired by an imposter and meets the real Mrs. Mulwray (Faye Dunaway). Gittes then finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder. And Mrs. Mulwray’s father (John Huston) is a suspect.

“Chinatown” (1974)   
Directed by Roman Polanski
Written by Robert Towne
Starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston
Running time: 130 minutes


Please note that this movie is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America. This rating suggests that the movie contains some adult material and those under the age of 17 are required to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. If you have any questions about this or the event, please contact us at