Laemmle closes Fairfax 3

posted by BradE41 on September 26, 2006 at 5:15 am

LOS ANGELES, CA — Laemmle closed The Fairfax 3 Cinemas last week. The theater was mostly known for second-run indepedent films and minor festivals. This is the message of the Laemmle website:

After five years and a thousand and one good foreign, independent and art movies (or thereabouts)

Laemmle Theatres reluctantly announces we are ending our tenancy at the historic Fairfax Theatre.

Sincere thanks to all our Fairfax customers for their loyal patronage.

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Comments (10)

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 26, 2006 at 9:13 am

The first time I saw a movie in Hollywood was at this theatre when its was part of the Cineplex Odeon family in 1989. The film: “Do The Right Thing.” An unforgettable experience. Another fond memory of this place was seeing “Braveheart” for $3.00 – and DTS Digital Sound to boot – on the Friday before the Oscars (when it won Best Picture).

I’ll miss this theatre. Hopefully another arthouse chain will sweep in and pick it up.

Coate on September 26, 2006 at 1:00 pm

I’ve lived in Southern California for many, many years, but have attended a movie at the FAIRFAX only a few times. In fact, I don’t recall ever attending a “regular” showing of anything; my visits were all during the spring/summer 1990 Sunday morning 70mm series.

Among the films I saw were “Blade Runner,” “The Great Race,” and “Raiders Of The Lost Ark.”

That “Blade Runner” screening was noteworthy, for those familiar with the film’s history, for it was when it was “discovered” that an alternative cut of the film existed. (Apparently, the film cans were either mislabeled or simpy identified the film’s title without clarifying it as being an early “test” print.)

William on September 26, 2006 at 1:56 pm

Michael you didn’t see the “In Harm’s Way” screening in 70MM? :)

The night before those Special Sunday morning screenings, we use to run the prints for friends. The manager was able to book some really special prints that the studios had. The theatre could run 70MM and 35mm 4-Track Stereo. It was fun during those Cineplex days of operation, there and in Westwood.

moviebluedog on September 26, 2006 at 7:34 pm

I can’t believe this theatre is now closed. I was just there to see a documentary on Syd Mead during the Dances With Films festival. There was a considerably large crowd there for most of the time I was there.

I was also at some of those 70mm screenings in 1990. What a great film festival. I saw that same “Blade Runner” print and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had in a movie theatre. Not only was it a neat surprise to hear that it was an alternate cut of the film, but the presentation was excellent. I also saw “Raiders,” “2001,” “The Wild Bunch,” and “Oklahoma!” in 70mm there. All were excellent prints, except for “The Wild Bunch” which terribly grainy and the 1995 restoration nearly looked the same.

What a sad loss with the Fairfax. It was kind of pain to get to coming from Orange County with the traffic. But it was a nice theatre.

meheuck on September 26, 2006 at 11:33 pm

The dirty and unconfirmed word on the street is that the landlord was unwilling to make certain physical improvements to the building, so Laemmle chose not to renew their lease.
I would like to see someone else take over the place, but I doubt anyone will be able to operate it as well as Laemmle did.

RayKaufman on September 27, 2006 at 5:36 am

William, do you remember the managers name? I recall a guy named Rob who was arranging Sunday morning screenings of special, found prints, that later grew into a series beyond anyone’s imagination. Can’t recall his last name, but he was originally working for Mann at the Chinese while Ray Howell was managing director there. Thanks

William on September 27, 2006 at 7:46 am

WGTRay it was Rob Bartha.

GaryParks on September 27, 2006 at 10:03 am

I’ve never been inside this theatre, although my folks attended it in the 1950s. I’ve long enjoyed its exterior. Usually it’s the facade which is the main attention getter—and the Fairfax has a nice deco one, but for me and doubtlessly for some others, the faded and overlapping layers of signage on the rear of the stage fly tower are what sets this theatre apart, with things like, “FOX FAIRFAX The Place to Go!” “FAIRFAX THEATRE Glorifying the talking screen” and a notification of seat prices, which was repainted a number of times as prices changed.

Regency on October 2, 2006 at 2:11 pm

Regency Theatres will be re-opening the Fairfax Cinemas on Friday, October 6th. The Admission Policy will be 2nd Run at $3 for All Seats, All The Time. In addition, the theater concessions will offer $1 Eisenberg Hot Dogs. The programming will be a combination of Commercial along with Independant & Foreign Films. The theater will also feature Daily Matinees and eventually a series of revival films similar to its Westlake & Ventura locations. Initially Dolby Digital will be installed in the big house and the other houses at a later date. More information is available at

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