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This really saddens me. I grew up and Santa Monica and attended this theatre when it was a single screen as a child. Now with the nearing of the end of the Bruin and Village it really stings.
Landmark would be great for the theatre. Maybe they would consider in order to get a foot in the Hollywood area.
I agree. It is sad seeing them go. I grew up with these theatres. We’ve already lost the National, Picwood, Plitt Century Plaza and the original Avco theatre. All of which were extraordinary theatres, the likes of which we will never see again. The Village and Bruin (along with the Chinese, El Capitan and Cinerama Dome) are the only major theatres we have left. Part of the experience of seeing a film has always been where I went to see it.
Heck, I used to go to the Pantages as a child to see movies. The last film I saw there was The Outlaw Josey Wales.
As long as Parking is awful, Westwood will have difficulties thriving again. I believe I read that any new Theatre additions have to provide “X” amount of parking spaces, and that may be an obsticle also.
If I were the owner of the Crest, I would reconsider selling. Come next March he may get better bookings. There are only so many films the Avco and Regent can play.
I really get the impression that L.A. County has no interest in Westwood these days. Downtown L.A. is really blossoming, Hollywood and the Fairfax are have turned around for the better. I’m thinking that Westwood will remain dormant for a long while, unless someone takes a chance. I’d really be interested if there are any talks with the owners of the Bruin and Village with anyone.
I actually think the Chinese looks better now than it did before the remodel when they added the box office to the forecourt. There is nothing wrong with the theatre as it is. Heck, I do not even mind the out of shape Superheroes and the drunk Shrek. I’d just like to see it get its fair share of films. Over the past couple of years Arclight seems to be out bidding Mann for films the would have not so long ago played at the Chinese. Back in 2005 Mann had Batman Begins, War of the Worlds and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory during that Summer. This year they all would have been probably at the Arclight.
The Chinese will always play films in one capacity or another. It’s significance is still vital.
Well, if you want to be technical. :–)
I think Pacific is content with what they have in Hollywood. The Chinese is desirable for its historic value, but beyond that it is not a top venue any longer. I live in West Hollywood and still choose it over the Grove, but I know many in my neighborhood who do not patronize the Chinese because they hate the touristy crowds. Like the Village and Bruin, the Chinese does not attract the current movie goer. They do not understand the significance of these theatres, and do not appreciate the beauty of them. Most people are lazy and rather just be hearded into a multiplex. It is sad.
The El Capitan has thrived because of Disney’s input. They took a large theatre and turned into a Grand Palace again. The bookings are like a Roadshow Special Engagement that used to be the norm for theatres like the Chinese. It gives the theatre an edge and makes it a special experience again. Perhaps that is what the Chinese will need, a studio to take over and use it as a showcase for their big films. But in today’s market it is all about just getting as many screens as possible and the big opening weekend payoff. It is going to be interesting to see what happens.
You really cannot blame Mann; they had many opportunities to bail over the years, but decided to keep these theatres and the National longer than they probably than they really wanted to. William is right in the fact that there are so many theatre options now compared to 20 years ago when these theatres thrived. Recent example: DARK KNIGHT opened at the Village, Landmark 12, AMC 15 Century City, Pacific Culver City, Criterion 6, and a theatre in Marina Del Rey on its release date. That is alot of options for the Westside residents to choose. If it were 1989 it would have opened at the Village and (maybe) the UA Marina. They would have had no choice nut to venture into Westwood to see it.
The only way they can work is to ‘plex’ them like William said. That option pretty much saved the Cinerama Dome and would keep the turnover of films quite rapid. Right now after a week or so when the film opens and dies down it is pretty empty. Harry Potter begins its 5th week the Friday and will just be coasting until they get a new film on the 21st. Mann ‘probably’ would consider extending the leases if they recieved a ‘break’ in the rents. But at this point they really just want out of film exhibition all together.
I do think eventually Westwood could have a comeback. Hollywood did, Santa Monica did. But it would take foresight by a chain to look towards that future and build those additional screens. They would have to accept the fact that they would take a loss for a while before it turns into green.
In the near future I think the Village and Bruin could go dark for a while. I’m not too sure they would turn retail since there are so many empty spaces in Westwood already. With the thought of that corner going completely dark, you have to wonder if someone will step in. The Village theatre is the heart of Westwood and will really be a glaring loss. As far as movie theatres in Westwood Village itself, it will just be the Regent and who knows how long Landmark will carry that lease. I bet they will drop it once the lease expires.
Westwood as a city needs to step up and do thier part also. In the past 20 years they have not done anything about the parking situation. They need to decide if they want it just to slowly turn into a sleepy college town or if they want revenue again. It is going to be interesting to see what happens.
I have been feeling that Mann has been slowly closing shop and I guess I was right. The Chinese would be an easier lure than the Village and Bruin because of its historic value. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Westwood, the Village is still my favorite theatre.
It is sad seeing these single screen theatres gone. They had so much more personality than the Monster-Plexes of today.
Pretty much anyone who takes over the Beverly Center theatres will have to run them as they are. There is not much you can do to improve them without gutting the place out and starting from scratch. As far as bookings; they will have to contend on getting 2nd run. Mann just pretty much took all the moveovers from The Grove and occasionally a really crappy film Pacific did not want for The Grove.
Isn’t Regency losing Fairfax anyway? I thought the property was going to be re-developed.
Wow! How did I guess it to be true? It appears Mann is just cleaning house all around. Pretty soon they will probably just run the Chinese…and very badly at that. The Beverly Center has not been a major player since The Grove opened. The mall owners will probably try to lure someone else into running it. Regency perhaps? Otherwise, it will probably remain vacant unless it turns into a retail outlet.
Is Mann dropping the Beverly Center? They have no listings of showtimes on thier website beyond tomorrow.
I totally agree. Hollywood films are for the mostly trash this summer; the choices have been dreadful.
The Village and Bruin have two things going against them.
The first is the nearby AMC 15 and LANDMARK 12 who have clearance to play the same films. With the blockbusters like Harry Potter available all three locations, the Village ends up third choice.
THE BIGGEST OBSTICLE is that Westwood Village is a complete drag. They have done nothing to entice the public to really come there. The parking is still awful and Rents are still ridiculous. Retails have bailed and have chosen not to come into the village whatsoever because the lack of return. There are places that have been empty for a decade. It is not an ejoyable place to hangout any longer. When I go see a film at the Village and Bruin I time it so I can see the film and then leave.
Doubtful any chain will take these leases in this current economy, and with Westwood a mess. It would take someone with foresight to hope it will turn around at one point. But Westwood has no interest in becoming a mecca again and will probably just ended up as it has settled into.
We can only hope that the owners will offer a deal to Mann to keep operating them until perhaps they find a new lease holder. I’m not sure when the lease expires, but Mann was flexable with the National for a while and kept it open an additional 8 months.
I’m very sad about this. Those 2 theatres and the National have always been my favorites since I was a teenager. THere will never be anything like them ever again.
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.
I really seem to think Mann is slowly closing shop. They are not renewing any leases in SoCal. All plans for new venues have been cancelled. The Chinese is getting mostly awful bookings. Before too long Mann theatres will be a thing of the past.
When does the lease run out? I thought they had another year? Sad to think that the Village and Bruin will cease to exist. The actual buildings are landmarks but it does not mean there will be films shown. Retail does not seem likely either since there are so many vacancies alreay in Westwood.
The only way they could be saved is if they did get “archlighted”. But then you have to get people back int Westwood. WW is not much fun these days. It is pretty gloomy, gone are the days of walking around, looking in shops, eating etc. Westwood needs to be jump started. Everything does have a comeback, but until then they will have problems getting people in.
Another route for the Village would be live theatre (ala Pantages). Geffen already has Theatre in Westwood and it could be a new theatre district. With the Schubert gone in Century City, the Westside has been lacking BIG theatre.
The Bruin could serve as an anchor for a Arclight situation.
Whatever the case may be, the shells of the buildings will remain. prhaps EMPTY for a long while. Westwood has to be tended to first.
Hmmm…I wonder what the future will be? Could someone take the lease? Westwood has so many empty retail spaces so converting it to a retail outlet is not logical. But at the same time it costs a pretty penny to operate the theatre. Sad, because this is a very nice screen.
Harry Potter tickets are on sale now for July 15. But yeah, Arclight is pretty much getting everything; next week Public Enemies and Ice Age, and probably Bruno the week after. I wonder how many people are showing up for Imagine That? How sad the theatre will be pretty much showing empty performances until the 15th. How great would Public Enemies have been in the Main Theatre for the 2 weeks before Potter? Something is wrong here.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in D-Box
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Opens July 15 at the Chinese 6
So is Harry Potter pretty much the only blockbuster the Chinese is getting this Summer?