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The previous owner of the Crest was able to book popular indie films that were audience pleasers. When the Landmark opened they canibalized those bookings the same way Arclight ate up the Sunset 5 first runs. The Landmark really did the most damage in killing Westwood even more than Century City.
They already started. A couple weeks ago they closed the 6 plex and have a night time RAVE party for some dumb ass DJ. They remodeled the 6 plx and from the looks of it pulled up the carpet to make it a dance floor. The new owners are really trashy people. I’m thinking the main theatre will remain. They are star f—kers and love the premieres and foot print ceremonies. Sad, really sad. This place has little class these days.
The Landmark 12 theatres is just down Westwood Blvd. When that theatre opened in 2007 it was the final blow that did Westwood in.
The Chinese may have hit an all time low for its Christmas film. They are getting The Darkest Hour. Really sad.
I visited the Sundance site. Theatres look very nice. Not sure how the smallish Sunset 5 theatres will translate. But I do think they will be nice. I’m really not crazy about theatres turning into dinner theatres. Hopefully they can keep the food and distractions outside of the auditorium. I’m looking forward to seeing the Noho 7. Art/Indie movies seem to be floundering in L.A. Hopefully they can be revived with the new theatres.
There is really no way to make the Crest a profitable investment. I’m afraid it will just remain inoperative for a long long time. It probably should be used as a Guild theatre (directors, writers, producers) or for UCLA to use for classes, revivals etc. Other than that I do not think it will succeed as a commercial theatre any longer.
I had no idea they raised the prices to compete with Arclight. At least with Arclight though you get stronger film choices. If the Chinese wants to charge so much they should at least TRY to get some tent-pole films booked. They are still just pretty much getting the crap Arclight passes on.
Sad year for L.A. Screens; the Crest (Westwood), Avco Cinemas, Laemmle Sunset 5, Mann Theatres and the Chinese. Yeah, I know the Chinese is still open but is still showing garbage and turning part time nightclub in the 6 plex.
The Avco is somewhat devastating; In its day it was one the best theatres in Los Angeles. I have great memories of it.
Sadly, I have not been to the Chinese theatres since the original Sherlock Holmes two years ago, and that was the Main theatre. The Chinese 6 I did patronize when Mann was able to book product first run. Now it is either Children’s films, move-overs or funky bookings. I would say it appears with this remodel the kept the function of showing films. It looks like this is how they intend to run the theatre. They really need to bring the Tent Pole movies into the main theatre again. The last one they had was Harry Potter last summer. Really sad for the most famous movie theatre in the world stuck with playing junk.
yes. It looks like the “Ballroom” is the lobby. Which is quite spacious.
The Chinese 6 is having an ‘event’ this Saturday. The remodel has turned into a Ballroom. They are not showing films tomorrow evening because of this event. I guess this is what they had planned for Special Events along with films.
World’s No #1 DJ David Guetta Coming to the newly renovated Grauman’s Ballroom at the Chinese Theatres December 3!
Not sure what they have as the Holiday film; Arclight is already posting times for Sherlock Holmes 2 and they are getting Girl with Dragon Tattoo and Mission:Impossible also. Does not leave much for wide releases unless they are getting Alvin and the Chipmunks.
In case anyone is interested. This is what the Sundance Cinemas are like.
Cinépolis seems to be the rumored new tenant. Not really sure how they would handle the kitchen area unless they are leasing the old cafe/deli across the courtyard. They could upgrade the lobby area into the lounges but they would be not very roomy unless they make auditriums smaller. I guess we’ll see next year.
The company was founded in 1942 by producer Joseph E. Levine, initially to distribute foreign films to the United States. Some of Levine’s early successes were the Italian-made Hercules films with Steve Reeves and the 1961 adaptation of The Thief of Baghdad. Embassy also distributed Federico Fellini’s film 8½ in the UK.
In 1963, Levine was offered a $30 million deal with Paramount Pictures to produce films in the vein of his previous successes. Paramount would finance the films and Embassy would receive part of its profits. Under the deal, Levine produced The Carpetbaggers and its prequel Nevada Smith, which were successes, along with flops such as Harlow, starring Carroll Baker, and The Oscar.
By the 1960s, Levine had transformed Embassy into a production company. Later in the decade, Embassy functioned on its own with many Rankin/Bass animated features (including Mad Monster Party? and The Daydreamer), and successful live-action productions including The Graduate, The Lion in Winter and The Producers.
New ownership and dissolutionIn 1967, Levine sold the Embassy corporation to Avco. In 1968, Avco Embassy launched Avco Embassy Television, which was sold to Multimedia, Inc. in 1976, becoming Multimedia Entertainment; that first television division has since been folded into what is now known as NBCUniversal Television Distribution, even though another company now owns television rights to the Embassy library.
The Embry-Riddle Company created the Aviation Corporation in 1928 as a holding company tasked with acquiring small airlines. By the end of 1929 it had acquired interests in over 90 aviation-related companies, and in the ensuing years it developed these into American Airways, the predecessor of American Airlines.
The company was required to divest American Airlines in 1934 due to new rules for air mail contracts. The Aviation Corporation later changed its name to Avco Manufacturing Corporation, and then, in 1959, to Avco Corporation. In 1984 Avco was purchased by Textron.
Avco’s affiliated company, Avco Financial Services, was spun off to Associates First Capital in 1998 , which itself was acquired by Citigroup in 2000.
I think the theatre only had the name Avco Center Cinema because of where it was located. It appears Avco Embassy and Avco Financial Services were associated. This is something I just learned.
I really do not remember it being tied to Avco Embassy. I’m pretty sure Avco finance occupied the office building next door at one time.
It is really sad to see this place go. During the 70’s and 80’s when Westwood, West L.A. and Century City thrived as the big movie district the Avco was one of the great theatres. I grew up with the Avco, Plitt Century Plaza, National, Picwood, UA Westwood (Festival), Plaza, Crest, UA Cinema Center now ALL GONE. These were all wonderful screens, with lots of character and were always fun to patronize. We will never have screens like this again.
Sad to see Laemmle go, but I am looking forward to see what Sundance will offer.
Landmark Regent has taken over the Midnight Showings of THE ROOM on Dec 3. It was a mainstay at the Sunset 5. I’m curious to see what Landmark starts booking in there now that the AVCO is gone.
I really do not think a new theatre will be erected in its place. Westwood is dead, and unless there is a big effort to provide more parking and a major overhaul we will not see anything new. Whoever takes over the theatre will work with what is already there. I’m curious to see what is done with it but I doubt I will be blown away.
Doubt the Avco will ever see the big screen again. There was talk about Cinépolis entering Westwood. I’d guess they will take over the space and refurbish it. Not really sure anyone is going to do anything major to it though.
Westwood is not a theatre district any longer. But there is no reason to try to turn them into little cafes. Now with the Crest gone and the Avco closing Regency will be able to book more freely and keep the films flowing. It will not be 1980’s capacity but they will not be stuck with films that do not fi the theatre. Westwood will become like Los Feliz with the Village, Bruin and Regent. At this point doubtful a new complex with be errected. I think everyone has resigned themselves to the fact Westwood will not have a big resurgence. I’m pretty sure Regency did not take over the screens expecting anything spactacular.
Wow…the Avco and the Sunset 5 closing on the same week. Sad to see both go. The Sunset 5 will have a new life next year, doubtful the Avco will. I have not been to the Avco in about 5 years. Like everyone else I did not see the reason when there are better venues. The Avco lost its lustre when they split the large theatre.
Sad to see Laemmle leaving, but I am glad Sundance is taking over. Arclight mostly killed the Sunset 5 buzz; Grove really does not book too much Indie and Foreign Language films.
Laemmle probably wants to place more energy on the Noho7 which has big potential for them. North Hollywood seems to have gained the edge that West Hollywood is losing. I really think the Noho theatres will be a success for Laemmle.
Glendale? Really? I thought it was decided that the Pacific theatres were enough for that area.
Last time I was at the Village this past Summer I thought the sound was still top notch.
They seem to do well enough with event films like Harry Potter, Inception etc. But obviously The Three Musketeers is not pulling them in. But you can probably find not very many people seeing Musketeers at the AMC Century City either. If a film is bad people will not go to a theatre to see it anywhere.
Regency pretty much went into the leases knowing they were not going to re-create 1981. It seems like a prestige thing with them, they have lots of premieres and pretty much the success of the other theatres in the chain make up for these theatres not really raking in the green. NO WAY should they turn the Village into a bargain theatre. We all should go to these theatres whenever we can. I’ll go see J. EDGAR at the Village in a few weeks.
If the Avco closes and WW ends up with only the Village, Bruin and Regent it will turn into Los Feliz pretty much. They will have pick of films and will probably have short 2 week engagements and will keep the flow going. Westwood is really not a theatre district anymore. But they can still show movies.
Yes, the Festival would be most logical choice for dinner theatre because of the Resturant spaces it sits between. But I cannot imagine a single screen with that format really working. I’d love to see the Festival open again. It is a nice theatre, nice sizs screen with great sight lines and comfy balcony.
The AVCO’s real estate property is pretty valuable and I think in its current condition is expendable. My opinion is we are seeing the last days of the theatre.
Parking is terrible in Westwood. The cheaper parking lots I used to park in are gone.
I think the Landmark 12’s success really hurt the Crest the most. The Crest used to be able to open First Run Independent films and would get an audience. Now those films go to Landmark first and instead. The Crest should probably be converted into a Guild theatre, along with periodic Retrospective and Special Engagements.