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TCM Film Festival Day 1: Lunches, TCM Tweet-Up and Orientation



Technically, the TCM Classic Film Festival starts tomorrow, but I flew in this morning in order to orient myself and accomplish a few small goals before the madness begins and I have zero free-time.  With that being said, I was able to find a few of the theaters, cross off a few items on my TCM Top Picks, and spend a little time with Mr. Ben Mankiewicz and Ms. Illeana Douglas!  Yep, I’m officially in TCMLand.

After successfully landing at the airport all I had to show for my ability to control my panic about flying was an ear which refused to pop until this late in the evening!  My travel buddy (henceforth referred as Michelle) and I took in the awesomeness that is Hollywood Blvd including the Intolerance set, now known as the Hollywood and Highland Center; a grandiose tribute to consumerism within a grandiose Hollywood set.


We found Ms. Veronica Lake’s star on the Walk of Fame and I had to stop to take a picture with my girl.  Veronica’s star is outside a Hooters restaurant which speaks volumes to me about changing times and her placement within it.  I was glad her star didn’t look as trod upon as other stars (Hattie McDaniel’s star deserves a cleaning).  The TCM Classic Film Festival is prominently represented throughout the area and I couldn’t resist taking a few photos of the billboards.

Later on we stopped at the Disney, nee Ghirardelli, Soda Fountain.  Disney is beautifully represented in this opus of chocolate and Mickey Mouse.  I jumped to try the Nob Hill Chill, a delicious blended ice cream with enough hot fudge to give anyone a sugar high.  Two items crossed off my Must-See List!  While walking off the chocolate we stopped by the TCL Chinese theater and took some pictures of the stars hands and footprints.  You ever tried to navigate that area in a wheelchair?  No disrespect, but Jack Nicholson’s, and other stars with heavy shoes, kept catching my wheels.  I also wondered whether classic stars were smaller or we’ve become giants because dainty feet and hands abound (I still find it hard to believe Mary Pickford’s feet were so small).


Eventually, I made my way over to Sadie’s Kitchen and Lounge for TCM’s exclusive Tweet-Up, wherein their TCM Social Crew (those who promote TCM via Twitter) could mix and mingle.  I was proud of how many awesome bloggers and friends I knew on sight, including the fabulous Jessica Pickens of Comet Over Hollywood, Paula Guthat of Paula’s Cinema Club and others.  However, I think they’d agree that the best part of the evening was meeting the fantastic TCM host, Ben Mankiewicz and Illeana Douglas.  They were gracious enough to attend and mingle with all us bloggers.  For all my eloquence in typing, I’ll admit I was completely starstruck by the duo who agreed to snap a photo or two with me.  Can you tell I’m dazzled, still?  TCM also had trivia contests, prized, and excellent food to entertain us writers.  They definitely appreciate their press corp and I was so humbled to be a part of it.

We had plans to visit the Warner Archive crew at the Formosa Cafe and/or the pool party at the Hollywood Roosevelt but our hotel is a bit out-of-the-way and a long day translated to a total lack of energy after the Tweet-Up.  The festival officially kicks off today with a presentation of Oklahoma as the opening-night film.  I’ll be covering the red carpet, nervously asking celebs questions and trying not to fangirl all over everyone.  I’m also hoping to stop by the TCM Welcome Party and catch a screening of The Heiress.  I’ll be tweeting throughout the day (@Journeys_Film) and hopefully tackling another diary-esque entry tomorrow evening.  It’s all happening, and I’m shocked I’m here!

Kristen Lopez View All

A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.

6 thoughts on “TCM Film Festival Day 1: Lunches, TCM Tweet-Up and Orientation Leave a comment

  1. You can get a Nob Hill Chill any time you are in San Francisco!! Love them! Also… a bit of trivia, Ben Mankiewicz’s grandfather was Herman Mankiewicz, who won the Oscar for co-writing Citizen Kane with Orson Welles


    • Seriously?! I’ll be picking one up again next time I’m in the city. They’re addicting. Ben Mankiewicz deserves his own Private Screenings episode in the future. He told a few stories during the press conference I attended but he needs to be properly interviewed.


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