The history of The Orson Welles Theatre was as colorful & controversial existence as the man for whom it was named--you can read a capsule history of it here:
And there is a Wikipedia entry for it as well…
I’m sure ChiBob has similar tales about series at the PFA during the late 70s, and many Angelenos have fond memories of the pre-Tarantino New Beverly Theatre, which took up the gauntlet for an eclectic mix of programming in the 80s, when the bottom began to seriously fall out from under the repertory film market. The New Bev never really had festivals, however: they just had a frequent mix of classic films that contained a generous dollop of noir titles. This was also the time when Ron Haver ran the LACMA film program, which had several events with Welles while also conducting many genre-based series over multiple weekends. Hager’s taste ran more toward musicals and screwball comedy (the future early staples of TNT/AMC/TCM) but he did program one or two semi-adventurous (for the times) noir festivals (almost as large as a latter-day NC).
But Elliot’s total of 45 noir titles in his 1991 series (as will be outlined daily over the next few weeks) arguably counts as the first large-scale revival of noir and paved the way for what has happened since.
Love that story about DON’T BOTHER TO KNOCK!
If you can dig up the Welles Theatre’s noir series lineups from ‘75 and ‘76, Dan, that would be fascinating to look at…