Showing 51 - 75 of 200 comments
So let me get this straight… this was purchased only a year or so ago for $4m, was a complete failure from the get-go, and now the new owners want to flip it for a half million dollar profit? In a dying market with many issues related to parking and expansion, and a massively successful multiplex that gets all the best bookings not a mile down the road?
Depending on the interest rate a potential buyer could get and the amount of the down payment, one would be spending roughly $22-25k per month just on the financing, forgetting any other cost related to the operation of a movie theatre. When was the last time the Crest was able to book any movie to cover just those costs, factoring in just how much of the box office is returned to the distributor?
Save 1.33:1 silent movies on black and white nitrate film! Let’s not allow these infernal technological advances from the 20th Century destroy the art that Georges Méliès and D.W. Griffith and Buster Keaton lived for.
As for Jay… unless something has changed very recently, the Cultural Center known as New York City does not have a repertory house. Film Forum, Anthology Film Archives, Lincoln Center, BAM Cinematheque and The Museum of the Moving Image regularly show archival titles, but there is no theatre solely dedicated to revival cinema in The Big Apple.
The problems with motion picture exhibition in Westwood have nothing to do with parking, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise has never done anything more than look at the surface of the issue.
Someone needs to pay for that $2m upgrade, and it’s sure not going to be the owners.
In a theatre with 140 or more seats: Center, 2/3 of the way back.In a theatre with less than 140 seats: Center, very back row.
Let’s just keep speculating every couple days until it finally closes. That’s always fun!
Comparing movies theatres to amusement parks is like comparing apples to legumes. Both of the latter provide sustenance, but that’s about where the comparisons end.
An amusement park does not soly rely on product produced outside the environment on a daily basis in order to entertain its guests, nor does the amusement park need to hand over up to 90% of its revenue with the producer of said outside entertainment provider. The amusement park may entertain, but it entertains in a quite different way than a movie theatre, and that’s where the comparisons end.
Ask yourself this… why does the Landmark just one mile down the road often do 8-10x the business with the same movie as the Village? The Landmark does not offer season passes nor free wi-fi, and their ticket prices and snack bar items are more expensive than the Village. It’s because there is no one single factor that makes people change their habits.
We are cinephiles, and we care about the overall presentation. Most people don’t. They don’t care about the history of the place they are going to. They don’t care about what’s available at the snack bar. They don’t care if it’s a massive auditorium with a 60' screen and THX-approved sound and picture, or if it’s a thirty seat house with a 10' screen and sofas instead of seats. They don’t care if there is a wine bar. They don’t even really care if you have to pay for parking. All they want is a clean place to see a movie that has other things to do before or after the movie, in a convenient setting. Westwood isn’t all that convenient for most anymore, while the Westside Pavilion is. And that’s what makes all the difference in the world.
In 1988, my friends and I drove from Santa Cruz to San Francisco (roughly 75mi) in order to attend the first showing of The Last Temptation of Christ at the Cineplex Northpoint Theatre. We arrived around 5am, and there was already a half dozen people in line ahead of us, and by 10am, there was easily a thousand people in line behind us and another two or three thousand protestors, counter-protestors and press people covering the sheer madness of it all. When we got in to the theatre, the first four rows of the auditorium was blocked off across the entire length of the theatre, and several armed guards posted between the front row and the screen, lest anyone follow through on their threat to slash the screen.
Great movie (still own the Criterion DVD), great theatre (shame it’s no longer an operational movie theatre) and a great experience I will remember for the rest of my life.
Danny, the problems with parking for movies in Westwood have been like that for decades, at least since the mid-1980s, when I moved back to Los Angeles after graduating high school and started going to movies in Westwood.
The AVCO won’t work for this concept, but taking the Festival and the spaces next door would make more sense. Not that a single screen dinner theatre is all that smart either.
Please do, Titus. I wish I still had all my Sash Mill calendars.
Don’t worry Danny, you’ll see it again twice more… when you document the closing of the Westlake 8 and the Janss 9. :|
Going back to the pictures from Roger Rabbit, that is not the real El Rey. In the second linked photo, one can clearly see the One Wilshire building in the background, which puts this location somewhere downtown.
Bagdad Cafe opened in 1987, for the record.
The one and only time I’ve ever been to the Lumiere was to see Sling Blade in late 1996 or early 1997. Don’t remember much about the theatre, other than it felt quaint and antiquated at the time.
The biggest problem with the article is that it was written by someone who has no experience in exhibition, and has only tangental and anecdotal “facts” to form their worldview.
The Movies was where you ended up if you wanted to see a movie that was so bad, every other theatre in the area decided not to play it. If it played at The Movies, it didn’t play at any of the UAs, or the Skyview Drive-In, or Scotts Valley. And if you went to The Movies, you were subjected to the worst cinema experience possible: extremely long and narrow “houses” with screens probably less than ten feet wide, with poorly maintained mono sound and a “I think we can fit this here” mentality when it came to the box office and snack bar. This theatre was so bad, even Troma wouldn’t play their worst dreck here. It was about the only place one could see the late 1980s output of Cannon and Empire Films. It is surely not missed.
Those who wish to witness the destruction of the Beverly Center Cinemas can now do so, thanks to these photos from the crew who did the demolition.
Typical case of internet misappropriation and misrepresenting of other people’s hard work, and then having the lemmings respond not to the original points but the screwed up “facts.”
The only movie I remember seeing here is The Hindenberg, but I seem to remember seeing it appear in a couple of movies from the 1970s.
When I was an assistant manager at the Aptos Twin in the late 1980s, I got a call from the Area Manager (for whom I also was an assistant for at the 41st Avenue Playhouse), telling me that one of the storerooms upstairs needs to be emptied out. Didn’t matter what I did with what was in there, but that it all needed to go. Well, as it turns out, it was the poster room, and it had several thousand one-sheets from the 1960s and 1970s in otherwise immaculate condition (posters from National Screen Service were folded in those days), having been untouched since first use… if they even were used. An incredible treasure trove of artifacts from the era. It took two friends and I three trips in my 1964 Ford Falcon station wagon to get everything home. I have only one piece left from that entire collection, a one-sheet from the original Gone in 60 Seconds, for personal reasons, and there are times I still wish I had it, but that nights that followed, discovering and rediscovering all these older movies as I cataloged by hand everything I took home, was magical.
Ironic how EW thinks the way to fix movie theatres is to make them less movie theatres and more gathering places that happen to also show movies.
That is a mighty fine looking parcel of weeds. Thank you, owners of that plot of land, for bringing a little bit of dreariness to an otherwise boring area.
Following up on Joe Vogel’s post from May 2009… by the time I moved to Santa Cruz in 1982, the Playhouse was already a part of the UATC circuit. A late 1980s lawsuit against UATC by a local independent exhibitor (which can be read at View link) states UATC had already purchased Kindair by the time their Movie 1 & 2 Theatre opened in February of 1984.
I don’t know about the turning people away part, but I’ll never go back to the AVCO as long as the big auditorium remains twinned. AMC should take a lesson from the Del Mar in Santa Cruz, and restore the big house to its pre-split glory.
Not surprisingly, it’s the best damn movie theatre in Los Angeles, bar none.