This year is the golden anniversary of the gleaming hero called Iron Man and the past five of those 50 years have been a turbo-charged ride to the heights of American pop culture. Before Iron Man (2008) the armored avenger was a second-tier Marvel character with a clunky name. Now he’s the world’s favorite canned ham and the bright knight of the box office.

On Tuesday night, Entertainment Weekly and Disney’s Marvel Studios will mark the anniversary with a free and early screening of Iron Man 3 for 600 fans, all of them either local EW subscribers (who were contacted via email with a special RSVP link) or members of the American Cinematheque, the Los Angeles non-profits arts center with a focus on film arts, Hollywood heritage, and the creative community linking them.

The screening takes place during the first night of the inaugural Entertainment Weekly CapeTown Film Festival, the festival with quirky name and a densely packed week of sci-fi, fantasy, comics, video games, horror and animation — the same vivid districts covered by’s record-breaking new CapeTown sub-site.

One fan in the room will also get rare souvenir to take home. Marvel’s president Kevin Feige will bring along the limited edition poster shown above, which was made especially for cast and crew and is not available for purchase. It looks even better in hi-res. The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew vibe is perfect for a movie that involves the knotty mystery of the location and intentions of a terrorist calling himself the Mandarin (played by Ben Kingsley).

Iron Man 3 opens this Friday with Shane Black coming aboard as co-writer and director, with former director Jon Favreau taking an executive producer credit and reprising his role as Happy Hogan, the comic relief (especially during a flashback sequence that goofs on Pulp Fiction with a memorable sight gag). The cast is led by Downey, Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and Guy Pierce.

Festival screening guests include Leonard Nimoy, Terry Gilliam, Kurt Russell and Edgar Wright. All tickets are $11 or less and going fast.

I’ll be interviewing Feige about the new film, the five-year Marvel Studios journey and specific questions about the upcoming slate of films, including Thor and Captain America sequels. If you have a suggested question for Feige, leave it the comments section below and if I use it I will be sure to mention your name during the taped Q&A.

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Iron Man
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