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Landmark Theaters to Take Over Pasadena’s Laemmle Playhouse 7

Arthouse chain has signed a long-term lease there after closing its flagship Westside location  

After announcing that its flagship West Los Angeles location is closing at the end of May, Landmark Theaters announced Thursday that it has negotiated a long-term lease agreement for the Playhouse 7 cinema in Pasadena and will take over the venue from its original operators, Laemmle Theaters.

“The Playhouse acquisition is important for Landmark, as we’re able to continue the tradition of showcasing quality film to Pasadena’s moviegoing community,” Landmark president Kevin Holloway said in a statement. “This theater has a deep history, which we look forward to honoring and building upon in the years ahead.”

Opened by Laemmle Theaters in 1999, the Playhouse 7 was sold by the family-owned specialty chain in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. When theaters reopened, Laemmle continued to operate the location over the past year through a leaseback agreement.

The sale of the Playhouse is the latest chapter in an ongoing reshuffling of Los Angeles’ arthouse movie scene, which has been critical to the box office success of independent films and the hopes of Oscar contenders but which has faced extreme challenges thanks to COVID-19.

The Landmark’s soon-to-close flagship location on Pico Boulevard stood alongside the now-defunct Arclight Hollywood as a key location for industry screenings, platform releases, and independent film premieres.

In the weeks since the closure announcement of the Landmark Pico, Laemmle has picked up multiple independent films that were set to first screen at that multiplex such as IFC Films’ Spanish comedy “Official Competition” starring Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz. The Alamo Drafthouse in downtown LA has also become a spot for limited release films such as Amazon Studios’ Sundance acquisition “Emergency.”

Landmark says it will briefly close the Playhouse 7 and reopen it later this summer with updated sound and projection systems. After its reopening, the Playhouse 7 will also receive new seating and expanded concessions and alcohol selections.

Landmark EVP Michael Fant negotiated the lease with GD Realty.

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