Mann Festival closes
posted by Michael Zoldessy on August 3, 2009 at 3:45 pm
LOS ANGELES, CA — The Los Angeles Times discusses the quickly fading theaters of Westwood, as the Mann Festival closed Thursday.
Moviegoers in the 1960s and ‘70s flocked to Westwood Village, where they had their pick of first-run films on nearly 20 screens. With parking scarce, patrons stashed their cars at the Federal Building on Wilshire Boulevard and took shuttles into the village. A-list celebrities turned out for frequent splashy openings.
The occasional premiere still brings red carpets and klieg lights, but the neighborhood near UCLA is no longer the movie hub it once was. Nearby multiplexes have lured away most of the crowds, who favor comfortable stadium seating, state-of-the-art sound systems and other modern amenities.
Hadn’t heard about the Village and Bruin. Really a bummer.
Big bummer. Not quite the loss that the National was but another but another symbolic step in the wrong direction.
I hope that the Village and Bruin can hang in there.
The leases for both were pretty high a few years ago for Mann Theatres.
The only way the Village could be profitable is if someone the like Shubert Organization takes the lease and turns it legit. The BIG off Broadway productions could have west coast runs there. They would have to make some modifications, like extending the backstage, but it would be perfect for that type of venue.
The Bruin could work as a multiplex if they utilize the back parking lot as they once wanted to do.
Both theatre shells are Landmarks will remain…but as theatres who knows. Westwood needs to be enticing for people to come. As it is I pretty much just go see a film and then leave. It is a drag to be there otherwise. As the 2 theatres stand, unless the owners give dirt cheap rent no theatre chain will bite.
Pretty soon Westwood will just have the Avco for movies. The Crest is barely hanging, and who knows how long Landmark will run the Regent. It has the Landmark 12 down the street and I am sure the Regent is not raking in a profit for them. Once the lease expires I bet they bail.
My wife and I spent half a day in horrendous traffic trying to get to the Westwood Village Fox for the screening of LORD OF THE RINGS.
My God, what a fabulous theater, fabulous film AND fantabulous sound. I recall the audiance virtually rose to their feet for the gorgeous THX sound test… I can still hear it. Ah memories!!!
Wow!! Glad you had a wonderful time despite your time in horrible traffic.
It’s a horribly written article. The writer was apparently too busy talking to anyone else to get even a “no comment” from someone directly involved in the topic they were writing about, and does nothing to put any kind of business spin on the proceedings. Sure, having the Village closed for even a week would be sad, but no exhibitor has ever willingly walked away from a profitable location.
If you supposed Los Angeles movie theatre fans really wanted to keep the Village and the Bruin (and the Crest for that matter) open, you’d make regular and consistent efforts to seeing movies at these theatres. And if Westwood Village wanted to help keep them open, they’d build bigger and better parking structures and let the theatres offer affordable validated parking. Otherwise, Westwood will become like Beverly Hills, with only one functional commercial movie theatre left, and one that doesn’t really inspire people to go to the movies.
If anyone in the universe would want to save the classic theatres-you’d think it would be L.A. and Hollywood. Soon, like Hollywood Boulevard, all the theatres in Westwood will lie decrepid, a multiplex will be built and the chain stores and restaurants will come in, and the charm of Westwood will be gone. The new generation doesn’t give a crap about the past and America is pricing itself out of everything. Every street in America looks the same now-same chains, same everything. Blah!