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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » Laemmle's Music Hall 3 Closing

   
Author Topic: Laemmle's Music Hall 3 Closing
Jeff Arellano
Senior Member

Posts: 685
From: Monterey Park, CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted December 29, 2010 02:15 PM      Profile for Jeff Arellano   Email Jeff Arellano         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Laemmle's Music Hall Likely to See Its Last Picture Show
34.06705
-118.388838
primary
Laemmle's Music Hall Likely to See Its Last Picture Show
Laemmle Music Hall 3
9036 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA
/listings/laemmle-music-hall-3
212613
/locations/2898640

The Beverly Hills movie theater will probably close in early 2011 as it has been unable to reach an accord with its landlord on a new lease.

A real-life drama is playing out at Beverly Hills' last picture show: Laemmle's Music Hall 3 will likely close its doors in early 2011 after almost 40 years on Wilshire Boulevard near Doheny Drive.

It comes down to three factors: attendance is waning, revenue has dropped and its 15-year lease is up, according to Laemmle President Greg Laemmle.

Laemmle said he is not sure there's much of an option. "We'd need a lower rent, although we are renting at under market. Not that the landlords are being unreasonable, but unfortunately business is not good."

The leasing agent for Coldwell Banker Commercial Westmac, David Thind, told Patch that negotiations are continuing. "We won't know anything for sure until after the first of the year."

From Laemmle's point of view, conversations about the fate of the theater "have not been fruitful."

The history of the Music Hall goes back to 1938, when it opened as The Elite. In 1950, KLAC-TV (now KCOP Channel 13) took out a six-year lease on the theater to use it as a live television venue. Rows of seats were removed and a stage was created. Banks of overhead lights and a control booth were added.

It was the Golden Age of Television, and some very popular national shows had their local debuts there, including Liberace and Life With Elizabeth, starring Beverly Hills High alum Betty White. Audience tickets to these shows were such hot commodities that people waited weeks to get in.

After 1956, the Music Hall became a movie house again, and in the early 1970s, the Laemmle chain took over its operation, ultimately converting it to a three-screen multiplex. The company said that until several years ago, the theater was very successful. Then came The Grove Stadium 14, The ArcLight Cinemas and The Landmark at The Westside Pavilion.

"There is a direct relationship between the opening of (those) theaters and attendance waning at the Music Hall," noted Laemmle, whose family business also includes six other locations in Southern California.

Another factor affecting attendance at the Music Hall was the loss of Farsi language films from Iran. "We used to enjoy a regular stream of films from Iran, but apparently because of political changes they've stopped coming into the United States," Laemmle said.

Laemmle also expressed disappointment that residents have not supported the theater's eclectic and independent offerings, which have included experimental indie films as well as foreign pictures and late runs of major movies. During the Academy Awards voting season, the theater has run films that are up for consideration. In November, the Music Hall held a special screening of Waiting for 'Superman,' a documentary about public schools, as a fundraiser for the Beverly Hills Educational Foundation.

Laemmle pointed out that in similar situations, communities have taken over a theater along with a nonprofit organization. American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on Montana Avenue is an example of one such arrangement.

Finally, lack of adequate and dedicated parking is an issue. Although Music Hall patrons can use the Writers Guild Theater parking lot at night, there are no provisions for matinees.

So with the Music Hall's future in doubt, will another theater operator step in to save it? Probably not, given its real estate listing as "prime Beverly Hills retail space..." with a list of potential alternate uses ("subject to municipal approval") including adult day care facility, potential medical conversion, potential government facility and classroom facilities, among others.

It is a drama with an ending that probably won't be a happy one for movie fans.

http://beverlyhills.patch.com/articles/beverly-hills-last-picture-show-likely-to-close-soon

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted December 29, 2010 04:07 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
That theatre is INDIE to the bone! Will be a shame to see it go.

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Mark Campbell
Member

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


 - posted December 29, 2010 05:48 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Although from a technical standpoint it is a very odd triplex with the main house being offcenter and the 2 back houses having one very wide and one very narrow, I have a soft spot for this place. (I am very forgiving to art houses, in fact sometimes the odder the better). I saw so many great foreign and indie films here during my years in LA Some films which were a mere blip and then gone in a week. Kudos to Laemmle for keeping it going for so long with such great programming and such competition. Certainly the last of a dying breed. Fingers crossed that the landlord will look at the vast unoccupied commercial real estate in the LA area and opt to let Laemmle continue with a break in the rent. They should look at the NuWilshire in Sanata Monica and the National in Westwood as an example of what happens when you oust an operator in hopes of something better.

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Danny Baldwin
Member

Posts: 130
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted December 29, 2010 07:52 PM      Profile for Danny Baldwin   Author's Homepage   Email Danny Baldwin         Edit/Delete Post 
As I wrote when I posted this to Cinema Treasures, it's hard to believe second-run business didn't pick up after the closures of the Beverly Center and the Fairfax. I guess those theaters, more than anything, attracted mall shoppers and a hipper crowd, respectively. I've only been to the Music Hall once--I saw a movie in the wider small house--but I dug it. I hope they're able to work something out.

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Brad Erickson
Member

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


 - posted January 11, 2011 02:32 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
Goodbye to films in Beverly Hills.

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Edward Havens
New Member

Posts: 50
From: Walnut Creek, CA
Registered: Oct 2009


 - posted January 12, 2011 10:00 AM      Profile for Edward Havens   Email Edward Havens         Edit/Delete Post 
There are still plenty of films in Beverly Hills. Right across the street, at one of the best movie venues in the world...

The Samuel Goldwyn Theatre

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Brad Erickson
Member

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


 - posted January 12, 2011 12:34 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, I know and the old Doheny Plaza. But these generally are for private screenings.

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Richard A Stegman Jr
Member

Posts: 267
From: Calimesa,CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 12, 2011 02:03 PM      Profile for Richard A Stegman Jr   Email Richard A Stegman Jr         Edit/Delete Post 
If Laemmle closes The Royal,classic single screen movie going truly is dead. Certainly in Los Angeles.

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Ron Newman
Member

Posts: 145
From: Somerville, MA
Registered: Jan 2005


 - posted February 13, 2011 11:01 AM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
Not quite - Nuart down the street is still a single screen.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted February 13, 2011 06:46 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
Vista's still alive & kickin too.

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Brad Erickson
Member

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


 - posted March 01, 2011 01:46 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
This was posted on Facebook today:

Good news, everyone! We finalized a one-year (minimum) extension of operation for the Music Hall in Beverly Hills!
Now we need your advice. Only increased support by the community surrounding the Music Hall will keep it open. What would make you more likely to attend the theater? Extended hours? Changes in programming?... Leave your wish list in the comments below or on our website: http://laemmle.com/generalinfo.php

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