A special screening of “When Harry Met Sally” — considered one of the best romantic comedies of all time and a film that propelled Long Beach native Billy Crystal to Hollywood superstardom — will be held at Long Beach Cinema 4 on Valentine’s Day.
The 6 p.m. showing will mark the iconic film’s 30th anniversary, and organizers say a portion of the proceeds will benefit local women’s and children’s groups. The Long Beach VFW Post 1384 is sponsoring the event.
“We wanted to put something together that’s fun for the community and also in turn helps the community,” said Long Beach resident Amanda Tolmach, who organized the event with Peter Scherer. “Both of us had come up with the idea of bringing throwback movies to the community.”
In December, Tolmach and Scherer worked with the movie theater, at 179 E. Park Ave., to arrange a screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the holidays, which sold out two theaters.
That event raised money for six families in need in the Long Beach school district, as well as St. Mary’s Church, the Long Beach Soup Kitchen, the Long Beach STEAM program, and Buddy’s Lighthouse. Local businesses also donated raffle items.
“That one was fantastic,” Tolmach said. “In one hour, we sold 70 seats and sold out two of the four theaters, over 200 seats. We figured we’d put something together with community along with businesses.”
Tolmach, who was previously involved in organizing movies on the beach, said that the response to a screening of “When Harry Met Sally” has been positive. She said the event would again include raffle prizes donated by local businesses.
“We wanted to do something for Valentine’s Day,” Tolmach said. “The theater was so receptive. Our plan is to have different events during the year. Our whole thing is to bring art to the city in all different types of venues, that’s really what our plan and focus will be.”
The film, directed by Rob Reiner and written by Nora Ephron, was released in 1989 and is one of Crystal’s most celebrated films. It co-stars Meg Ryan as Sally and follows the title characters from the time they meet before sharing a cross-country drive and over 12 years of chance encounters in New York City.
The movie was a box office hit, received rave reviews and a scene in Katz’s Deli includes what is considered one of the funniest lines in movie history — “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Tickets are $20 and available at eventbrite.com or at Frippery, at 140 E. Park Ave. Tickets are limited. For more information, visit Eventbrite or the event’s Facebook page “When Harry Met Sally … in Long Beach Valentine’s Day.”