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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » Westwood booking pattern shifting? (Page 0)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Westwood booking pattern shifting?
Chris Utley
Senior Member

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


 - posted April 04, 2007 08:50 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
Is it too early to declare Westwood DONE? All the signs are pointing to that fact. Aside from the Village and (maybe) the Bruin, there's no reason to see a flick there anymore - especially after hearing about how Mann has allowed the National to turn into a dump.

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Mark Campbell
Member

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


 - posted April 04, 2007 10:58 AM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
The National still has top-notch presentation, however. Within the last year I saw "March of the Penguins", "Superman Returns" and "Rocky Balboa" there and the presentation was first-rate. Still one of the best screens and sound systems around.

However it does seem like the Mann dumping ground now, with Festival even getting better product. This weekend they are getting a move-over of "Shooter" from the Bruin to replace their last Bruin move-over "Zodiac". Meanwhile the Festival had gotten a first run of "TMNT" and is now replacing that with a move-over of "300" from the Village. Too bad. "300" would probably be great at the National.

It seems they are hesitant to book a first run film there. Perhaps in case they suddenly decide to pull the plug? In last Sunday's LA Times, the "Are We Done Yet?" ad showed the National being the Westwood theatre where it would open. Now IMDB showtimes has it opening at the Avco and the National getting the "Shooter" move-over.

Its too bad this theatre can't be listed as a historical place worth preserving. After all, it is the last single screen in the area to be built and is a perfect representation of the generation of giant widescreen theatres of the 60's and 70's.

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Brad Erickson
Member

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


 - posted April 10, 2007 03:59 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
I went to see Music & Lyrics at the National on the opening Saturday afternoon. The theatre was almost empty. It is sad seeing it that way. MANN has no intentions on refurbishing it and my guess it will close sooner than later. I think that the arrival of the Arclight and Grove really hit those theatres hard. Not so long ago(2003) I went to see The Italian Job opening Saturday and the theatre was packed. Cut to 2007 and it is a grave yard. Funny what a few years will do.

I think Are We Done Yet was pulled because Paramount probably wanted Shooter to stay in theatres, and wanted a move-over to the National.

With the arrival of the Landmark 12 in June, I think Westwood Village will continue to dwindle. Pretty Much the Village and Bruin are safe. They make enough money from premieres and 'event' films. Films seem to move in and out very quickly. When I worked at the Village back in 1981 we had films forever.

My guess is the National will go eventually. But I think perhaps the Avco will go in the near future; Wilshire Blvd. property is a hot commodity. I feel bad for the Crest, The Landmark 12 will hit him hardest. Since the Crest is a indie theatre, Landmark will take bookings away from that theatre. Mann has WB, Paramount, Some Sony, Newline and Fox to keep bookings steady for them,

I don't think it is time to call it a day for Westwood though, it will resurge some day.

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


 - posted April 10, 2007 04:24 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
The Landmark 12 will be an arthouse. The owner of the Crest has been running mainstream films there lately. So they may be safe after all. If there's any Westside single screener that may get hurt by the new Landmark, it'll be the Nuart. Lucky for them they switch back and forth between arthouse and retro so they won't feel too big of a sting.

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Mark Campbell
Member

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


 - posted April 11, 2007 07:05 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
My guess is the Nuart will keep its pattern booking indie and restored films for one week only and then if they have enough box-office, move them to the Landmark 12.

Regarding the Landmark 12's impact on Westwood theatres: Landmark will probably book art and foreign fare only because they are too close to the AMC Century City 15 which books mainsteam and they cannot play day and date with them (I think). They can (I think) play day and date with Westwood, but since the AMC Century 15 will have all the mainstream films in Landmark's zone, Westwood should be able to keep most of it's mainstream bookings.

However, I think Landmark might try to steal away from AMC some of the more edgier/serious films from the majors studios. Think "Babel", "The Departed", "Children of Men" and "Pan's Labyrinth", all of which opened at the Century 15 this last winter. All of those would be at home at a Landmark Theatre.

That's what I think, but what do I know...

TRYING TO BE POSITIVE: Of course Music and Lyrics left the National mostly empty opening weekend, it's another Hugh Grant + younger-cute-American-star-that-Hugh-Grant-has-not-been-in-a-movie-yet-with film!!! But thank you, Brad, for your support or my favorite Westwood theatre!

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Dan Roben
Member

Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted April 11, 2007 08:49 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Hmmmmm...with the National's days numbered (it seems), I had best try and hightail it down thataway. I love 1960s era single screen deluxe houses. There aren't that many of them left.

I'm guessing that I have through the summer? I'm thinking Mann will book some sort of crappy "blockbuster" in there to keep it on life support.

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Brad Erickson
Member

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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
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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
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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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