Brain Dead Studios

611 N. Fairfax Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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Brain Dead Studios (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: John Hampton

Functions: Movies (Classic), Movies (Independent)

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Silent Movie Theatre, Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, Fairfax Cinema

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 323.917.5053

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News About This Theater

Silent Movie Theatre - Los Angeles, CA

This 224-seat silent movie shrine was built in 1942, when silent movies seemed like ancient relics to the masses.

Though it has gone through hard times over the years, including having to close its doors for a few years (due to the infamous murder of the owner in 1996), it has never ceased to pay homage to the films that built the entertainment capital of the world.

With the switch to a new owner, it was completely renovated, and now beautifully captures the look of old time movie theatres. In 2006 it was sold to new owners who continue to show silent movies with live music once a week. The theatre also showed a variety of other movies and hosted many events including private parties.

Cinefamily at The Silent movie Theatre was closed November 14, 2017 due mainly to financial problems within Cinefamily and sexual misconduct allegations. In the summer of 2018 the owners of the building began renovations to the building and to find an operator. They decided to reopen and operate it themselves as a Cinematheque type operation. It was due to reopen as the Fairfax Cinema on December 25, 2019 with Adam Sandler in “Uncut Gems” screening in 35mm film. However difficulties arose with permissions to screen that movie. The seating capacity has been reduced to 163.

On October 13, 2020 it reopened as Brain Dead Studios. 35mm are still screened in a repertory programme.

Contributed by Carrick Bartle

Recent comments (view all 63 comments)

CStefanic on November 12, 2018 at 3:49 pm

Financial problems my foot! It closed because one of it’s owners went through some major publicity surrounding his actions with younger female co-workers and interns which garnered very negative vibes for the place. Almost every person who attended regularly has a story about him or it. To say it suffered financial problems is a bit of a lie. It doesn’t really matter why the Silent went dark but for those who seek the truth, it was not “due mainly to financial troubles”.

dfc on March 22, 2019 at 1:07 pm

I watched a documentary about this theater last night. Interesting to say the least. I’ve never been to Los Angeles. Is the theater in a bad section of the city? Some of the later images of the theater show exterior bars.

CTCrouch on March 22, 2019 at 6:43 pm

dfc – It’s not a bad area. For decades the neighborhood was basically main street for the area’s large Jewish community (kosher markets, delis, etc.). However, in recent years that stretch of Fairfax has been transitioning in to a trendy youth fashion scene (sneaker and hip-hop fashion stores). You might encounter a random homeless person or street weirdo, but the bulk of the foot traffic will be people shopping for expensive shoes and clothing these days.

CStefanic on April 5, 2019 at 5:56 pm

Agreed with CTCrouch. It’s actually a pretty hip area of Los Angeles, known as the “Fairfax” district due to the street name. It is nearby the famous Regent Fairfax Cinemas which resides just South on the streetcorner of Beverly and Fairfax (closed for awhile now). There is a wildly popular Jewish Deli called Canters.

CStefanic on December 18, 2019 at 3:08 pm

I’m very interested to see what the new “Fairfax Cinemas” has going for it. The fact that they are opening with a screening of a 35mm print of a newer film, shows us promise.

DavidZornig on December 19, 2019 at 12:15 pm

LA Times article confirming “Uncut Gems” will not open there.

silver on February 1, 2020 at 4:16 am

Does anyone know or care to speculate what documentary user “dfc” (in his/her 3-22-2019 comment) might have been referring to? Thx.

I see that they have actually re-opened, showing a mix of old films at the moment.

silver on February 1, 2020 at 4:19 am

I forgot to put their website in my comment: Hope the theater is successful.

ckyrico on July 3, 2021 at 2:42 pm

This theater is now called Brain Dead Studios. It’s owned by the clothing company Brain Dead, and it’s a repertory theater that is programmed by the company’s owner. Films are frequently shown in 35mm, each night at 8:00pm. Here’s the blurb from their website:

“On October 13th 2020, Brain Dead Studios opened its doors on 611 Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles. Featuring a cafe, lounge, showroom and repertory cinema, the space serves as a cultural center, programming both locally in Los Angeles and virtually throughout the world. BDS celebrates the weird, wonderful and unsung. 611 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA

BRAIN DEAD STUDIOS is an experiential space collaboratively curated by the Brain Dead family to share our design, creation and inspiration. Located at the historic Silent Movie Theater site in Los Angeles, the Studios feature a green room, cafe, and movie theater.

The green room showcases the latest Brain Dead merch drops, alongside apparel exclusive to the Studios. Everything on site is sourced and created with thought, from our handpicked record collection to our collabs with local growers and artisans.

The patio restaurant SLAMMERS serves coffee all-day, as well as lunch and dinner. Our culinary director selects local, seasonally sourced foods to create a unique menu of cafe cuisine inspired by recipes from around the globe.

The movie theater remains true to its origins as an arthouse repertory cinema. Each month we present an all-inclusive blend of films ranging from the silent era to the contemporary, orchestrated around the nuances of a specific theme."

ckyrico on July 3, 2021 at 2:46 pm

Also, here is an interview with the Brain Dead owner who is responsible for buying the theater and programming its films, Kyle Ng:

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