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Mark, not really sure
In Hollywood, face-lifts are pretty common, especially for an icon that is nearly 85 years old.
But this upgrade is expected to cost at least $2 million and draw close inspections by thousands of fans.
The Chinese Theatre in Hollywood is undergoing a renovation that will include a restaurant to serve gourmet food and a renovated lobby that will be used to host parties of up to 1,000 guests, according to the new owners of the theater. The theater recently added a new seating reservation system as part of the upgrades.
The face-lift should be completed by early November, said entrepreneur Elie Samaha, who bought the theater in May along with movie producers Don Kushner and Steve Markoff from a partnership between Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures parent Viacom Inc.
Samaha called the theater Hollywood’s most popular tourist attraction and said he wants to see it enjoyed by out-of-town visitors and Hollywood insiders.
“What we love about Hollywood is the history,” he said. “And we want to preserve that.”
The theater is scheduled to host about 40 movie premieres by the end of the year. With its upstairs lobby converted to a ballroom, the theater will be able to host after-parties and other private events, Samaha said.
“We pretty much want to do more premieres,” he added.
The single-screen theater — known for its giant, red Chinese pagoda, signature Chinese dragon guard dogs and cement footprints and handprints of Hollywood celebrities — was declared a historic and cultural landmark in 1968.
Warner and Viacom acquired the theater in 2001 along with six other theaters owned by Encino-based Mann Theatres after the chain declared bankruptcy in the face of rising competition.
Warner and Viacom have been trying to sell the theater for more than a year but had struggled to find a buyer. The details of the deal were not disclosed.
The Three Musketeers 3D opens Oct 21 Main theatre and 6 Plex. In addition the Chinese will (again) host the AFI Festival Nov 3-10. Opening Night Premiere Clint Eastwood’s J.EDGAR. It appears the 6 plex is getting renovation now to provide a Restuarant Atmosphere, to open in November. The renovation is why the 6 plex is closed for weekday matinees.
Chinese will be getting THE THING remake/reboot First Run on Oct. 14. Could be somewhat of a hit for the theatre.
No. Real Steel is booked at the El Capitan for 2 weeks.
The Chinese 6 appears to be dropping early matinee shows during the week (or at least next Monday through Thursday). They seem to be picking up new product though with What’s Your Number and will host Screamfest 2011 at the Chinese 6 on Oct 14.
This does not sound temporary. It sounds like they are walking away from it and putting for sale. Too bad American Cinemateque has the Aero because the Crest would be great for a Repertory theatre like the Egyptian. Having 2 theatres on the Westside would be too much.
Westwood is going to turn into Los Feliz. Once the Crest and Avco close there will only be the Village, Bruin and Regent in the heart of Westwood. It will be less of a district and instead will just be a few theatres in one area.
At this point you could reserve a row. They were able to get 2 tentpole films over the Summer but the Fall is not looking to good (so far).
Oh, okay. I know that they had a few theatres already set up for digital, with The Debt it was apparent that it was. AMC has gone crazy converting pretty much all their screens including all 4 AVCO. I guess that is where it is all headed.
Is digital needed for 3D?
So why are we supposed to hate digital? I was at Arclight Hollywood Saturday to see The Debt, thought the presentation was perfect as usual.
Sorry, I have to disagree. The Arclight Hollywood is the best thing to happen to Los Angeles movie exhibition in decades.
The AVCO really lost any lustre it had when they split the large theatre. The 80’s are when all the Westwood theatres thrived. Once Century City and Santa Monica took off the theatres in WW had drops, but with the Landmark 12, the newer Century City AMC and the Grove all doing well WW really took a severe nosedive. A resurgence for WW seems unlikely in the near future. Unless the owner give some kind of break, the AVCO seems nearing its end. That property is not great for retail. My guess either an office building or Apartments will be built there in the future.
Not really inticing at that price. Cannot imagine anyone jumping on the lease. AMC’s must run out soon. One day it will probably just close and be another empty shell in Westwood. Sad.
I would imagine the lease on it would be quite high. The profits seem to be less than stellar these days. I’m not really sure who would take it over as it is. My guess is it will slowly fade a away, be demolished, and something else will be built. Westwood is not on the map as a movie destination these days and is slowly turning into Beverly Hills. Now all we have is fond memories of the days that it thrived.
I do not think they expect Conan to do very well overall. They are probably obligated to offer some 2D showings and usually offer a non Dome showing of each film. I just checked, as of 11am Friday opening day they have only pre-sold about 90 tickets for the 8pm DOME Show. We are not talking about a blockbuster title. The Summer movie season is pretty much over.
This theatre opened in 1976 as a Tri Plex and by mid 80’s the larger theatre was split into 2 theatres. My family used to spend the latter part of Summer in Del Mar. I went here frequently. My first recollection was in ‘76 when I saw a DF of Bad News Bears and Paper Moon. Is it really demolished?
Unfortunately the days of long engagements, platform booking and roadshow bookings are long gone. A big part of the Chinese decline (along with the Village, National, etcis because of the huge and ever changing shift in exhibition. Cinemas are just a platform to launch films for optical, streaming, cable and whatever long term life they will have.
When I was growing up a film would play at the Chinese for 2 or 3 months, then go wide and either have a Network TV run a few years later or would get theatrical re-issues years later.
Today a film will make most of its theatrical revenue the first month, and then it is gone from theatres forever. A theatre like the Chinese has to continue to move product through every few weeks and even then if the film sucks it is a large empty theatre. The Cinerama Dome was saved because of Arclight cinemas attached, but sadly the Chinese 6 theatres have not nursed the big theatre.
Sadly, there is no significance in opening a film at the Chinese anymore. Pretty much alot of the discussion the past couple years has been about that exact subject. “Was” is the key word.
I go to Arclight at least once a week and have no issues with projection, sound or anything. Next to the Village Westwood it is still the best moviegoing experience in L.A.
I went to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes yesterday at the Dome and loved it. The presentation was quite nice; I have not been in the Dome itself for many years even though I go to Arclight almost every weekend. It is great that it remains open and even with the refurbishing has not strayed far from what it originally was.
I love it!
Posting what is being booked at the Chinese is part of the recent discussion. Over the past few years it has been neglected as far as quility or even quantity of bookings by Mann. Since this is undisputed the Most Famous Movie theatre in the world and is a treasure there has always been discussion about the topic. I do not think anyone uses it to want 15 minutes or turn it into Facebook, it is part of the general discussion quite often in this string.
I disagree, The Chinese can stay a movie theatre if utilized correctly. They just need to keep films booked so they are not there a eternity. Mann kept The Book of Eli in the main house for 9 weeks, 7 more than it should have. The Cinerama Dome keeps the flow going and never lets the momentum slow down for it.
The Final Destination 5 3D is up now for Pre-Sale at the Main theatre, an for 2D at the Chinese 6. Opens Aug 12.
Great theatre. One of biggest losses in LA county. The AMC 15 is a dump compared to this theatre.
The 1978 photo is when this theatre rocked. GCC had a great theatre back then. I miss those days.