Laemmle Theatres, 81-year-old Art Film Chain That Operates Pasadena’s Playhouse 7, Could Be Up for Sale

Published : Wednesday, August 21, 2019 | 5:09 AM

Family-owned Los Angeles-based arthouse chain Laemmle Theatres, which includes Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, could be up for sale, according to a report by Deadline early this month.

The report said it still wasn’t clear whether the owners wanted to sell the whole 41-theater chain, or just some of the theaters.

After the report came out, Greg Laemmle, president of the chain, said he couldn’t comment on it, but announced they were continuing construction of a new Laemmle Theatres location in Old Town Newhall.

“We’re continuing with the Newhall development,” Laemmle told Santa Clarita Valley news outlet The Signal on August 5.

The Newhall cinema, which will have a new seven-plex with a 500-seat auditorium, is expected to open before the end of the year, the report said. It is close to Melody Ranch where Quintin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Django Unchained” were filmed.

Two weeks ago, film industry news source IndieWire reported there could be at least six potential buyers if Laemmle Theaters were for sale, including Landmark Theaters, Reading Cinemas, Regency Theaters, as well as Netflix and Amazon.

The chain has been renowned throughout its history for booking Oscar-qualifying runs for contenders, including indie films, shorts and documentaries.

The Laemmle circuit was started in 1938 by Kurt and Max Laemmle, nephews of legendary Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle. The chain has continued through three generations, including Max’s son Robert, and Robert’s son, Greg, who now operates the business with his father.

Aside from Pasadena’s Playhouse 7, Laemmle currently has eight other locations: Claremont 5 in Claremont, the Ahrya Fine Arts center on Wilshire Blvd., The Glendale, The Santa Monica Film Center, the Beverly Hills Music Hall, the Noho 7 in North Hollywood, the Royal on Santa Monica and the Town Center 5 in Encino.

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