Seeing Stars: Where the Stars Meet the Public

at the Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Blvd.,
Hollywood, CA. / (323) 466-FILM

The American Cinematheque is a non-profit cultural organization & theatre dedicated to the public presentation of the motion picture in all its infinite variety.

What's important to the avid star-gazer, though, is that Cinematheque also presents live events, tributes and special benefit premieres where top-name movie stars put in personal appearances. Most of the events & screenings now take place at the recently renovated Egyptian Theatre, on Hollywood Blvd.

And you can be in the audience.

Cinematheque specializes in film festivals and retrospectives, such as 1999's "James Cameron Retrospective," featuring films by the "Titanic" director.

Often these programs also include a live discussion with the director and/or the performers who starred in the films being screened.

For instance, their "A Tribute to Don Siegel" series not only featured screenings of the director's work (such as "Dirty Harry," "The Beguiled," & "Invasion of the Body Snatchers",) but also included an appearance by special guest Clint Eastwood, who discussed working with Siegel.


Another film tribute, this one to TV director Bud Beddiker, was followed by live discussions not only with the filmmaker himself, but also with actors Robert Stack ("The Untouchables"), James Garner ("Maverick" & "The Rockford Files"), Craig Stevens ("Peter Gunn") and Roddy McDowall ("How Green Was My Valley" & "Planet of the Apes").

"Shock Value: A Weekend with Ken Russell" featured the eccentric director introducing his own films, such as "Altered States," "The Boyfriend," "The Devils" and "Women In Love," followed by discussions about the movie with Russell himself.

Other Egyptian events have included live appearances by George Clooney, Nicole Kidman, Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Mariel Hemingway, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Walken, Carol Channing, Ray Liotta, Alan Arkin and Malcolm MacDowell. The photos of the two actresses below were shot by a fan, Tara Moore, who attended those events at the Egyptian after reading about them on Seeing-Stars' Calendar of Events.

Diane Lane

Nicole Kidman

These kind of star-studded affairs are held frequently at Cinematheque.

Tickets to these special events are available to the general public at very reasonable prices (usually $9 for the public, $8 for members). Phone ahead to see what events are scheduled for the future, and keep in mind that tickets to prime events (especially those featuring live stars) go quickly. You can listen to a recorded schedule of upcoming events (including a list of celebrity guests) by calling (323) 466-FILM.

The organization now has a permanent home, in an old Hollywood landmark: the historic Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Blvd., where they will present the best of film and video in a custom-designed environment. The Egyptian re-opened in late 1998, restored after years of neglect, thanks to the efforts of American Cinematheque..

(Click here to read more about the Egyptian and its history, and to see a schedule of celebrity appearances at the theatre.)

Later in the year, American Cinematheque also hosts the annual Moving Picture Ball (now called the American Cinematheque's Annual Gala Tribute), an elegant black-tie dinner followed by a multi-media award show with tributes to the honoree by their celebrity peers. It's a fabulous opportunity to mingle with top stars - if you can afford it. Tickets start at $550.

Robert Downey JrThe 25th annual show will be held on Friday, October 14, 2011 , at the Beverly Hilton Hotel's International Ballroom.

This year's honoree will be Robert Downey Jr., star of the "Iron Man", "Chaplin", "Sherlock Holmes, etc.

Presenters will in include Jennifer Aniston, Jodie Foster, Michael Douglas, Jamie Foxx, Jack Black, Robert Downey Sr., Jon Favreau and Anthony Michael Hall.

For more information & tickets, call (323) 314-7000.

Last year, the tribute was held on Saturday, March 27, 2010, and the honoree was Matt Damon, star of the "Bourne" and "Ocean's" movie franchises, in addition to "Good Will Hunting", "Saving Private Ryan", "The Talented Mr. Ripley", etc.

In 2008, the 23rd annual award show was held on Monday, December 1, 2008, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel's International Ballroom. The honoree was Samuel L. Jackson, star of "Pulp Fiction", "Star Wars" and much more.

In 2007, the honoree was Julia Roberts, star of "Pretty Woman", "Runaway Bride", "My Best Friend's Wedding" and "Erin Brockovich". The presenter was Denzil Washington. Ticket and table prices range from $550 to $25,000. The show was televised later on AMC (in December).

In 2006, the 21st annual Ball's honoree was George Clooney, star of "Oceans Eleven", "ER", "Good Night & Good Luck", "Three Kings" and "Syriana". Other celebs present included Ellen Barkin, Don Cheadle, John Cusack, Danny DeVito, Morgan Freeman, Salma Hayek, Bonnie Hunt, Bernie Mac, Julianna Margulies, Carl Reiner and Noah Wyle. Julia Roberts presented the award.

In 2005, the 20th annual Ball's honoree was Al Pacino, star of "The Godfather Part II", "And Justice For All", "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Serpico".

In 2004, the 19th annual Ball's honoree was Steve Martin, star of "Father of the Bride", "L.A. Story" and "All of Me". Other stars on hand for the tribute included Ron Howard, Robin Williams, Michael Caine, Martin Short, Carl Reiner, Claire Danes, Jon Lovitz, Eugene Levy, Rita Wilson, Dana Delany, Catherine O'Hara and Brian Grazer.

In 2003, the 18th annual Ball was held Friday, November 14, at the Beverly Hilton. The honoree was Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, star of "The Hours", "Moulin Rouge" and "Eyes Wide Shut". Other stars in attendance included Russell Crowe, Meryl Streep, Lauren Bacall, Natalie Portman, Michael Keaton and many others.

In 2002, the 17th annual Ball was held Friday, December 6, at the Beverly Hilton . (That was a departure from previous years, when it was usually held on a Saturday in September.) The honoree was Oscar winner Denzel Washington, star of "Training Day," "Courage Under Fire," "The Pelican Brief," "Philadelphia," "Glory," "Malcolm X" and "The Hurricane." Tom Hanks presented the award, and other celebs on hand to honor Denzel included Halle Berry, Mel Gibson, Angela Bassett, Bruce Willis, Spike Lee and Robert Downey Jr.

In 2001, the 16th annual Ball was to have been to be held Saturday, September 22, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel's International Ballroom. But due to 9/11, it was rescheduled for Sunday, October 28. The honoree was Oscar winner Nicolas Cage, star of "Face/Off," "Con-Air," "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Gone in 60 Seconds." Samuel L. Jackson was the host, co-chairing with director Jerry Bruckheimer. Nicolas Cage .... Other stars included Jim Carrey, Dennis Franz, Elisabeth Shue, Jay Leno, Christian Slater and others.

In 2000, the Ball was held Saturday, September 23, at the Beverly Hilton. The honoree was Bruce Willis, star of "Moonlighting," "Die Hard," "Armageddon" and "The Sixth Sense." Participants included Julia Roberts (who will present the award to Bruce), Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Paul Reiser, Melanie Griffith, Antonio Banderas, Billy Bob Thornton, Linda Fiorentino, Michael Clarke Duncan, Haley Joel Osment, Shaquille O'Neal, Amanda Peet, Cate Blanchett and others. And there were taped messages from Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, George Bush, George Clooney, Harrison Ford, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson, Norman Jewison, David Letterman, Regis Philbin, Brad Pitt, Rob Reiner and the cast of "Friends."

In 1999, Ball was held on Saturday, October 9th, once again at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The honoree was Jodie Foster, and the event was hosted by Fraiser's David Hyde Pierce.

In 1998, the Ball was held at the Beverly Hilton and honored Arnold Schwarzenegger. Stars at the 1998 Ball included Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Willis, Sharon Stone, Tim Allen, George Clooney, Danny DeVito, "Terminator" director James Cameron, Jamie Lee Curtis, Magic Johnson, Jay Leno, and the President of Austria. Garry Shandling was the host. (The Ball was delayed until October last year, due to Arnold's scheduling problems.)

In 1997, the Moving Picture Ball honored John Travolta; guests included host Jay Leno, plus Dustin Hoffman, Kirstie Alley, Olivia Newton-John, Gene Siskel, Howie Long and Garth Brooks (who performed for the crowd).

In 1996, the Cinematheque honor went to Tom Cruise, and the host was Rosie O'Donnell.

In 1995, the ball was held at the Century Plaza hotel, and honored actor Mel Gibson; featured celebrity guests that year included Steven Seagal, James Garner and Ron Howard.

Previous honorees at the Ball were Rob Reiner (1994), Michael Douglas (1993), Sean Connery (1992), Martin Scorsese (1991), Ron Howard (1990), Steven Spielberg (1989), Robin Williams (1988), Bette Midler (1987) and Eddie Murphy (1986).

[For more information about purchasing tickets to the Moving Picture Ball, Call Mann Productions at (323) 314-7000, or call Cinematheque at (323) 466-3456.]

[For more information on this subject, you can access American Cinematheque's official website at:]

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Copyright  1999-2022-Gary Wayne
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