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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » Westwood booking pattern shifting? (Page 2)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Westwood booking pattern shifting?
Brad Erickson
Member

Posts: 117
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006


 - posted April 12, 2007 08:59 AM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
I love the National. It is a theatre I grew up going to. Back when I was a teenager I used to take the bus to Westwood every Saturday to see a film. Films I saw at the National in the mid-late 70's - 1980 include The Bad News Bears, Fun with Dick and Jane, Islands in the Stream, FM, Heaven Can Wait, Superman, The Main Event, Star Trek The Motion Picture, Jaws (a filler in 1976 around the Oscar period), The Big Bus, The Front, The Nude Bomb, Urban Cowboy (to name a few).

In late 1980 through 1982 I worked at the Village. Back then the National and the Village were the "It" theatres. Studios fought to get bookings at those theatres. Usually Paramount won out for the National and Warner for the Village. During the Summer of 1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark played at the National while we had Superman II at the Village. It was a fun time to work there and in Westwood.

I'm hoping something keeps the National open. It needs some Tender Loving Care. A paint job, new seats, curtains and a nice scrub down is all it needs. If Mann put a little $$$ in it they could still make $$$ with it. A nice clean theatre would invite more premieres and would supplement the costs of running it. Both the Village and the Bruin make money from the premieres to make up for the lull's in the box office.

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted April 12, 2007 09:05 AM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
I sent in some new pictures of the National to Cinematour last weekend. Hopefully they will be up soon. I included a sequence of stills captured from a video of the curtain closing.

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Michael Coate
Member

Posts: 56
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted April 13, 2007 01:48 AM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
During the Summer of 1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark played at the National while we had Superman II at the Village. It was a fun time to work there and in Westwood.

"Raiders" played at the National for 16 weeks, making it one of the longest-running bookings in the theatre's history. (I'd have to check some references and do some number-crunching, but I think only "The Exorcist" and perhaps one or two others played longer than the 16 of "Raiders.")

So popular was "Raiders" that it actually played three separate engagements at the National!

Eng. #1: 06/12/81-10/01/81
Eng. #2: Nov. '81
Eng. #3: Sep. '83

As for Westwood, "Raiders" also played at the Avco during summer '82 and the Bruin in Spring '83. (Both "Raiders" follow-ups also played their first-runs at the National.)

For more, see:
http://www.fromscripttodvd.com/70mm_in_los_angeles_1981.htm

As for the main thread topic and Westwood's current booking patterns, I wonder if anyone observed what I did regarding Disney's "Meet The Robinsons." Assuming the "Disney Digital 3-D" thing is the showcase version of the movie, anyone notice that Westwood (and Century City) are NOT playing the movie in that presentation? Not a big deal, really, since there are numerous 3-D bookings throughout Southern California, but the observation is that if this were the 1970s or '80s or even the '90s, you could bet that Westwood or Century City would've run the "best" version of the movie...and quite possibly as an area exclusive.

Westwood Village used to be my favorite place to see movies. It's really depressing to see how downhill it has gone. I feel little excitement to go there anymore.

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Adam Martin
Administrator

Posts: 1090
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted April 13, 2007 09:20 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
Mark's photos posted.

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Bill Gabel
Member

Posts: 288
From: New York, NY
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted April 16, 2007 04:49 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
It looks like the National Theatre might be closing later this week.

National

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted April 16, 2007 04:55 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Bummer. I was wanted to see Zodiac when it was there not to long ago but had no time. Perhaps this is a false alarm, but I doubt it. The National has been getting move-overs for some time now. However, there have been a few falso alarms about the National's demise.

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Brad Erickson
Member

Posts: 117
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006


 - posted April 16, 2007 05:09 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
Very sad. It really seems like the past few years have been the most harsh. Recently as lately as 2003 I went to The National on opening weekends and sat with a large crowd. The AMC CENTURY, Grove and Arclight really put the final nail in it. I'm glad I was able to see a film there recently. Music & Lyrics was my final National film. It really is a huge theatre and Mann lost interest in it a long time ago.

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted April 16, 2007 05:11 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
My final film there was "Rocky VI". How fitting, an underdog film...

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted May 05, 2007 02:58 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
...actually I got to see "Shooter" (ugh!) at the National closing night.

Adam has posted my closing night shots of the National on Cinematour.

http://www.cinematour.com/tour/us/2134.html

And somebody on Cinema Treasures claims the National will reopen under a new operator on May 11th. True? or speculation?

http://cinematreasures.org/theater/799/

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