Sad state of the art house theaters

I'm just catching up with this from last week's LA Weekly. Katrina Longworth pokes around and finds that the Music Hall in Beverly Hills could be in its last months despite being located almost right outside the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. The Laemmle Sunset 5 could also be headed for its demise, she says.

Barring a massive increase in ticket revenues this quarter, a compromise from the landlord or the sale of the building, the Music Hall — the 1938 single-screen movie palace that local, family-run Laemmle Theaters has been operating as a three-screen art house for four decades — will lose its lease in 2011, due to declining revenues. The theater is simply having too much trouble selling tickets to survive. Although the online commenters may not believe it, the news is no shock to anyone who has been to, or in business with, the theater recently.


The deathwatch on the Music Hall and endangerment of the Sunset 5 are just the latest signs that, as [Greg] Laemmle puts it, "the state of the art film in L.A. is not great and, certainly relative to New York, it's rather dire."

It means that a lot of movies never play here: "Dedicated cinephiles...feel that Los Angeles is being shafted, as many of the hip foreign films that dominate the online conversation are unseen or barely seen locally."

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