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Downtown Laemmle Fades to "The End"

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Monday, September 28, 2009, at 06:26PM
Grande Ed Fuentes

The last picture shows' at the Laemmle Grande 4-Plex include FAME and screenings of short films. The commercial theater screening are a necessary step for shorts to qualify for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominations.

As Downtown gets sets to welcome one theater, another is already waving the white flag of surrender. Citing impending competition, the Laemmle Grande 4-Plex will close its doors on October 25, two days before the opening of the Regal Cinemas Stadium 14.

Laemmle Director of Operations Kevin Gallagher confirmed that the staff was informed of the announcement on August 1.

While the company discussed the option of focusing on art films or commercial crossover indie films, it felt that the specialized market needed more than locals to fill the house.

"It's always been difficult to bring people downtown and even though the image of the city is changing, we felt it was best to close the doors." said Gallagher.

Hidden away, the Laemmle Grand first screened the indie films that the independent chain is known for, but changed to showing mainstream films to maintain a profit. "We've been on a month to month lease for a while now, and managed to break even. It's always sad to close a theater," said Gallagher. "I don't know what our niche would be at this point."


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