BEVERLY HILLS—This year may possibly be the last for Laemmle Music Hall 3. The theater’s 15-year lease will expire in April and, unless negotiations result in a lower property rent, the theater may close its doors.
Located on Wilshire Boulevard, Laemmle Music Hall 3 has been in operation since the mid-1970s. Greg Laemmle, president of Laemmle Theatres, LLC, informed Canyon News, “Business was very strong for quite a few years.” He continued stating that when new theater venues opened in the area it “definitely impacted profits.”
Laemmle Theaters, in business since 1938, started out primarily showing Hollywood movies while slipping in a few European films sporadically. According to Laemmle’s history, the demand for foreign films has often been either a pro or a con for the company throughout the years; low during the United State’s new infatuation with television, but rising once again with viewer’s interest in Japanese cinema. The demand appeared to dwindle again in the ’90s as “audience familiarity with foreign directors [declined] as one after another talented directors [abandoned] their native lands to make films in Hollywood.”
In an article published by the Los Angeles Times in 2007, David Colker described Laemmle’s success, writing, “Laemmle Theaters has been going uptown. The chain has been attracting a new group of fans—community planners, developers and powerful homeowner associations—that has taken art houses from dusty afterthoughts to project anchors.” Robert Laemmle had been quoted stating, “I never thought I’d see the day when they would be coming after us to put in theaters.”
However, with a rise in operation costs, rent and a growing increase in competition, Laemmle Music Hall does not appear to be receiving the same warm welcome that was evident in 2007.
Greg Laemmle, remaining optimistic, reiterated that the theater is currently in negotiations. He stated, “We’re hopeful that we can reach a satisfactory agreement and continue operations, at least for a short time.”