Los Angeles sees movie theaters making a comeback with flurry of openings and renovations – The Hollywood Reporter

Three years after the pandemic forced a number of Los Angeles theaters to close their stores, the city is suddenly buzzing with new openings and renovations.

Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas opened one of the world’s only Imax dining locations in Englewood in July; Amazon has refurbished and operated since December 2022 the Culver Theatre, which doubles as a first-run theater and home to some Prime Video premiere events. Landmark, which closed its popular Pico location last year, opened a new theater in Sunset in June; Quentin Tarantino’s Vista Theater and Netflix’s The Egyptian Theater are both undergoing renovations — Al Masry plans to add an LED billboard to their roof, causing more than 4,000 people to sign on. Change.org Dissenting petition – due to be opened before the end of the year. The beloved ArcLight Hollywood and Cinerama Dome were also expected to open in 2023, but updates have been limited since they closed in April 2021 (owner Decurion Corporation hasn’t pushed back). THR’comment request).

I think it’s shockingly optimistic. Who knew that after the pandemic ended, art and independent cinema in Los Angeles would suddenly thrive like it does now? says Maggie MacKay, CEO of Vidiots, which in June opened its own theater alongside a new video store in Eagle Rock, after the women-led movie space was forced to close its Santa Monica location in 2017.

Vidiots seats 271 people inside the renovated Eagle Theatre, with two to three shows per day ranging from old art house classics to modern blockbusters. Shows are selling out consistently, says Mackay, “the response has been beyond what we imagined” — on top of renting nearly 1,200 films a week at the video store and hosting a handful of industry showcase events.

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She continues, “What we’ve said we want to do is create a space for community — seeing the real community reflected in the audiences, and seeing the diversity of our communities in those audiences and on screen.” “We wanted to see kids, families, teens coming into their own, all these things happening. We’re looking at these audiences, and that’s exactly what we set out to do.”

The Cinépolis Theater in Hollywood Park saw similar early success, after becoming the first theater to land in Englewood in nearly 30 years. Featuring 12 screens, curated dining, an upscale lounge, and a sports bar, it opens just in time to take advantage of Taylor Swift’s final six nights at neighboring SoFi Stadium and the upcoming NFL season.

“We didn’t expect to be as successful as we have been—we didn’t expect to have as many people as we have in the lobby and just people coming in for a drink or dinner or lunch,” says Cinépolis Luxury. Cinemas CEO Louis Oloki, while also acknowledging the benefits of Barpenheimer’s craze. Oloki points to the unique response of the Englewood community as well, saying: “If you go to other cities or places where we’ve opened theaters, it’s like, ‘Okay, the new theater is great’ and they’re really happy. But this, you really feel like it was their theater and they’ve taken it over.” And this is really exciting.

On the other side of theater news, the site of the Winnetka Pacific Theaters complex in Chatsworth is being demolished, with plans to build a delivery center and service center for Tesla. And Westwood’s iconic Fox Village theater is for sale, with the Regency Theatres’ lease expiring in July 2024 – says Newmark Capital Markets, which owns the listing, THR It is aiming for more than $17 million for the building (which also includes nearly 7,000 square feet of retail space), which has not previously been made available for sale.

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However, these investments in movie theaters in Los Angeles prove that people wanted to go back to movie theaters but were limited by logistics and a lack of options in their neighborhoods, says McKay: “The myth that people have stopped wanting to go to the movies or they have stopped On caring, it was really dangerous. I think it was about how hard it was to afford it, how complicated it was to go to the movies. It became more difficult, not because people didn’t want to do it.

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