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Holiday Movie Recommendations From the Experts

(LA Trend) — If you’ve been watching TV and movies constantly since March, you’re not alone. A study by Tubi TV reported that Americans are watching an average of eight hours of content per day and binge-watching three shows per week from the short-lived Tiger King to the calming Great British Bake Off.

It’s not just streaming services that are benefitting from the lockdown lifestyle, movie rentals are on the rise as well. Take a break from nonstop Netflix and cozy up with cinematic masterpieces from L.A.’s enduring movie rental stores.

“We’ve experienced a big surge. October traditionally does well for us thanks to Halloween but this year was huge. Perhaps people’s online options are getting slim…they appreciate browsing in a curated physical space,” said Mark Wright, owner of Vidéothèque.

East of downtown, movie buffs can visit Vidéothèque in South Pasadena for an extensive selection of Blu-rays and DVDs, including foreign films and hard-to-find gems. They also sell t-shirts, CDs, vinyl, books, postcards, and other film memorabilia. Wright offered a few holiday classics for December viewing.

“Our Holiday Horror section is always popular, including titles like Black Christmas, Silent Night Deadly Night, and John Waters’ Yuletide fave, Christmas Evil,” Wright said. “Some holiday favorites of mine include Whit Stillman’s clever Manhattan-set indie comedy, Metropolitan, and a French jewelry heist movie I really love from ‘73, Happy New Year.”

Metropolitan follows a young student as he explores the concepts of social mobility and Fourier’s socialism with a group of upper-class Manhattan friends. Shot on Super 16 and originally released in 1990, this cult classic was shot in borrowed townhouses around Manhattan. This was Stillman’s first feature film and screened at MoMA’s New Directors/New Films series and the Cannes Film Festival.

Happy New Year or La Bonne Annee is a classic French heist movie with a touch of romantic comedy starring Lino Ventura as a jewelry thief recently released from prison, who is on a mission to recover his cut of the heist and recapture the heart of his former girlfriend played by Françoise Fabian.

If you’re looking for classic comforts, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas top most lists. Wright adds that the two versions of A Christmas Carol with Alistair Sims as Scrooge from ‘51 and George C. Scott as Scrooge in ‘84 are popular picks.

To keep in COVID-compliance, Vidéothèque transitioned to curbside pick-up in the summer and currently allows in-store browsing with eight or fewer people at a time.

Film lovers on the Westside can visit CineFile Video for an unparalleled library of 50,000 titles for rent. CineFile stocks 30,000 films you can’t find on streaming services. Choose from Blu-rays, DVDs, or VHS tapes which are all available for rent with a monthly membership. Shop custom merchandise or sell your Blu-rays, DVDs, or vinyl LPs for store credit.

The Los Angeles Public Library and most local branches are also open for curbside pickup. Log in to the library’s online catalog with your library card and place holds on the items you want. Most libraries offer email or text notifications to let you know when your books and movies are ready for pickup. Be sure to check the branch hours since many have reduced their working hours due to COVID.

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