Owners Reverse Course, Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 Theatre Won’t Be Sold

Published : Saturday, November 23, 2019 | 5:27 AM

Laemmle Theaters, the Los Angeles-based arthouse Owner Reverchain which owns Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, is no longer for sale but still struggling after a sharp drop in revenue.

Greg Laemmle, president of the family-owned chain that has been showing movies for the past 80 years, made the announcement Thursday, November 21, as the company closed its historic Music Hall theater in Beverly Hills, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Pasadena location will remain open for the time being.

Laemmle told the Los Angeles Times box office revenue for their chain was down as much as 30 percent for the first six months of 2019. Business has improved in recent months, he said, but ticket sales for the year are still expected to be down between 10 percent and 20 percent.

In a separate statement, Laemmle told Variety that there has been an uptick in business recently, in part owing to Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” which is now showing at Laemmle theaters, including Pasadena’s Playhouse 7, and will start streaming on November 27.

“Our numbers have been improving lately,” he said. “We’ve done well with ‘The Irishman.’ There’s no question that people want to see good movies as they were intended on a big screen rather than waiting for it to be available on streaming through Netflix.”

The moviehouse chain has reportedly been on the block since summer. Laemmle said they have been in talks with a number of possible buyers but could not come to an agreement.

“While there are risks to continue owning and operating the business, the reward of continuing was greater than the reward of selling, ultimately,” Laemmle told the L.A. Times. “Part of that reward is doing what we do.”

Laemmle said they’re expecting to open a seven-screen multiplex in Newhall early in 2020 and are developing locations in Azusa and Bellflower.

The “arthouse” theatre is known for its specialty art films, sometimes more visionary and experimental and uncompromisingly artistic than mainstream movie studio fare.

Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 is at 673 East Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena.

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