Purchase a ticket to #TogetherTogether at Laemmle starting April 23 and see an exclusive pre-recorded intro and Q&A with Ed Helms, Patti Harrison, and writer-director Nikole Beckwith on the big screen! Get your tickets today.
After more than a year of mandated closure, Laemmle Theatres is reopening on Friday. Tickets are up for sale and we have a bouquet of wonderful films to see and share as they were meant to be seen and shared …on the big screen! We can do this safely because we are following epidemiologist-approved #CinemaSafe protocols, including reserved seating to ensure physical distancing. We’ve revamped our ticketing system to allow for reserved seating, and you are now able to choose your seats on our site or, if you prefer, at our box offices beginning Friday. We have created step-by-step how-to instructions for those new to online ticketing. You can check out the guide here and we’ll have printed copies available at the theaters.
Friday also marks the opening (not reopening) of our brand-spanking-new Laemmle Newhall Theater, which was completed during the pandemic. We are thrilled to bring great movies to northern L.A. County, and happy for all the SCV residents who will no longer have to make the long drive to Encino or NoHo for non-mainstream films. For those who would like to join in the opening, we will be livestreaming the ribbon cutting ceremony which is scheduled to take place at 11:00 AM on Friday morning. You’ll also be able to see patrons coming for our first set of shows. For details, please join the theatre’s Facebook followers here (https://www.facebook.com/laemmlenewhall) for all updates on this new venue.
Among the films you’ll get to enjoy are many of the 2021 Oscar nominees, including three of the Best International Film nominees, ANOTHER ROUND with Mads Mikkelsen, QUO VADIS, AIDA? from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and THE MAN WHO SOLD HIS SKIN from Tunisian-born director Kaouther Ben Hania. COLLECTIVE, nominated for both Best International Film and Best Documentary is coming next week. We also have two of the Best Feature Documentary nominees, MY OCTOPUS TEACHER and CRIP CAMP, five of the Best Picture nominees, NOMADLAND, MANK, MINARI, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN and SOUND OF METAL, and all of the Oscar-nominated Live Action, Animated, and Documentary shorts. We are also opening the magical WOLFWALKERS, nominated for Best Animated Feature. Among the non-Oscar contenders are FRENCH EXIT, featuring a never-better Michelle Pfeiffer; the gorgeous Italian-set documentary, THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS; the intimate portrait of the gifted pop star BILLIE EILISH: THE WORLD’S A LITTLE BLURRY; the intense gay-themed South African drama MOFFIE; and the French film SLALOM, a drama set in the world of downhill racing. And if you’re in the mood for some monster movie escapism, we’ve got that for you too with the spectacular GODZILLA VS. KONG.
For those who are still unsure about returning to indoor public spaces, I want you to know that we are still offering films for streaming via the Laemmle Virtual Cinema platform. In fact, a number of the films that we have in theatre this weekend will also be available for at-home viewing. But a few titles that are only available via VOD include MALNI – TOWARDS THE OCEAN, TOWARDS THE SHORE, GRANNY NANNY, THE MALI-CUBA CONNECTION/AFRICA MIA, IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, LOOKING FOR A LADY WITH FANGS AND A MOUSTACHE, and 15 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT BIGFOOT. I hope you’ll check them out.
The pandemic has been hard. Hard for businesses that had to be closed. Hard for the essential workers who kept things going while risking their health. And hardest for those who lost loved ones, had to endure illness, and are still dealing with lingering health issues caused by the virus. If we’re sounding upbeat, please know that we don’t want to paper over any of that pain and grief. But things really do seem to be improving here in L.A. Vaccinations are up. Infections are down. And by and large, people are still following guidelines about continuing to mask up and maintain social distancing. The time is right to slowly and safely begin to return to public spaces, and we aim to be part of that long-sought “return to normalcy.”
Thank you for all the support over the months of the pandemic, and I look forward to seeing you soon at the movies.
Until then, we have Laemmle Virtual Cinema to tide us over. (And we’ll continue LVC after April 9 for those who can’t make it out to the theaters.) Leading the pack this week are the always amazing 2021 OSCAR SHORTS: DOCUMENTARY. The five nominees this year are A Love Song for Latasha: A portrait of a 15-year-old girl whose shooting death sparks the ‘92 L.A. Uprising. Do Not Split: The story of the 2019 Hong Kong protests. Filmed from inside therapeutic feeding centers in war-torn Yemen, Hunger Ward documents two health care workers fighting to thwart the spread of starvation. Colette: Resistance took courage in Nazi-occupied France. Seventy-five years later, facing one’s ghosts may take even more. A Concerto is a Conversation: A jazz pianist and composer tracks his family’s lineage through his 91-year-old grandfather from Jim Crow Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
In the winning comedy SHIVA BABY college student Danielle must cover her tracks when she unexpectedly runs into her sugar daddy at a shiva — with her parents, ex-girlfriend and family friends also in attendance. THE OUTSIDE STORY is a comedy about an introverted editor (Brian Tyree Henry) on a tight deadline who gets locked out of his apartment. In order to get back inside, he’s forced to do something he always avoids, interacting with his neighbors. NINA WU, which earned its director a nomination for the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes, follows a struggling actress who finally gets her big break with a leading role in a spy thriller set in the 1960s, until her psychological resolve begins to crack under the pressure.
When her village is threatened with forced resettlement due to reservoir construction, an 80-year-old widow at the center of THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION finds a new will to live and ignites the spirit of resilience within her community. In CENTER STAGE Maggie Cheung embodies tragic screen siren Ruan Lingyu, known as the ‘Greta Garbo of China,’ in this unconventional biopic by Hong Kong New Wave master Stanley Kwan. In SOUL ECLIPSE a gold digger is coerced into a spiritual quest for enlightenment by a shaman, a man with dark secrets of his own.
Finally, we are delighted to have French New Waver Eric Rohmer’s restored Four Seasons tetralogy, A TALE OF SPRING (1990), A TALE OF WINTER (1992), A TALE OF SUMMER (1996) and A TALE OF AUTUMN (1998). In SPRING, a burgeoning friendship between philosophy teacher Jeanne and pianist Natacha is strained by jealousy, suspicion, and intrigue. WINTER is about a woman trying to choose between two men five years after losing touch with the love of her life and the father of her young daughter. In SUMMER amateur musician Gaspard travels to a seaside resort in Dinard, on the coast of Brittany, where three women each offer the possibility of romance, if he can overcome his inability to make a decision. AUTUMN is set in the Rhone Valley, the final film of the series concerns simultaneous schemes to find a new love for reserved winegrower and widow Magali.
Now that L.A. County’s health department has announced we have left the purple tier and entered the red, we are thrilled to announce that we will reopen on April 9, 2021 at 25% capacity! If the County is in the orange tier at that time, we’ll go with 50% capacity. Our veteran general managers have returned, like cavalry coming over the hill, to ready our theaters and make sure the reopening will be safe. We’ll share the big date with you shortly. Go to www.laemmle.com/reopening for details on venues, films, advance ticketing, and more.
For those who are hesitant about returning, we understand. Consider, however, that a recent study — reported by the New York Times yesterday — showed that there has been a negative bias in national media coverage of the pandemic. International and U.S. local and regional coverage has been markedly more balanced. The virus is still an issue and we must not drop safety practices, but we want to share that there is good news, and not just regarding the resumption of commercial activity.
For now, virtual cinema is still all we are offering. And as always, we have some terrific new films available via Laemmle Virtual Cinema, starting with The Mole Agent, the warm, funny, Oscar-nominated feature documentary about an 83-year-old man who poses as a resident in a Chilean nursing home to investigate allegations of abuse. The powerful documentary Francesco portrays Pope Francis as he confronts gigantic issues such as the climate crisis, the refugee crisis, peace and religious intolerance, economic inequality, and more. Based on a real-life 1972 experiment, The Marijuana Conspiracy is a beautifully-made ensemble drama about an outlandish study on the effects of ever-increasing doses of tetrahydrocannabinol on young women. William Shatner and Jean Smart star in the Palm Springs-set Senior Moment. He plays a retired NASA test pilot fighting to regain his driver’s licence and impounded car who meets Smart’s character on a bus. Kuessipan is a Canadian film about two girls in a Quebec Innu community whose longtime friendship is shaken when one of them falls for a white boy. Her Name is Chef spotlights six bad-ass, inspiring, sheroes of the restaurant industry. We’re also screening Charles Gounod’s Faust, filmed lived at the famed Teatro Real in Madrid in 2018. Finally we’ll have two gallery experience films: Water Lilies of Monet: The Magic of Water, which recounts the story of Monsieur Claude’s groundbreaking series of paintings of Giverny, and The Prado Museum: A Collection of Wonders, which offers viewers a spell-binding experience through the works of Vélazquez, Rubens, Titian, Mantegna, Bosch, Goya, El Greco and more.
Dear Laemmle Fans,
Moviegoing in Los Angeles County has returned! We’re hard at work getting Laemmle Theatres ready to open again, and we hope to publicize an official date soon – make sure to check our website often and stay tuned for further emails, so you don’t miss the big announcement.
In the meantime, we’ve updated our Awards Season collection to reflect the recent Oscar nominations, so there’s no shortage of excellent virtual options to choose from. Of special note is a surprise Best International Feature nod for last week’s new release Quo Vadis, Aida? (from Serbia). Other nominees from the same category also available on Laemmle Virtual Cinema include the Danish entry Another Round, and the Romanian entry Collective (also nominated for Best Feature Documentary). We expect to add The Mole Agent, another Best Documentary Feature nominee, beginning next Friday, March 26.
New releases this week are no less exciting, leading off with the critically acclaimed French comedy Perfumes. Other foreign offerings include the thrilling Brazilian drama The Fever, and the finely-crafted British drama Rose Plays Julie (I said foreign, not foreign language).
From this side of the pond, there’s the genre-bending festival favorite The Five Rules of Success, as well as the thoughtfully-produced (albeit controversially-titled) documentary Wojnarowicz: F*ck You F*ggot F*cker. Lastly, four more titles from our previously advertised Culture Vulture collection are now available as well.
All the best,
Dear Laemmle Fans,
Earlier this week I recorded a State of the Arthouse Address, in which I give thanks for Laemmle Theatres having survived a difficult year, and proudly reaffirm our commitment to reopen as soon as it’s deemed safe to do so. Although I’m unable to provide an exact timeline in the video, much has changed in the few days since, and I’m now overjoyed to share that we expect to be open for business on the big screen in as little as four or five weeks!
Details are still being finalized regarding exactly which locations will open first and what percentage capacities will be allowed, so make sure to stay tuned for further updates. In the meantime, you can help by remaining diligent with your Covid safety protocols and best practices. We’ve spotted land on the horizon – now is no time to jump ship.
On the virtual side, today’s new lineup features the stirring art history documentary Still Life in Lodz, about a lost Polish painting and its connection to the local Jewish community, and Martha: A Picture Story, about prolific New York City graffiti photographer Martha Cooper. There’s also two music-themed documentaries – Women Composers and Long Live Rock… Celebrate the Chaos – as well as two short film compilations – the Women’s Adventure Film Tour and Five (presented by Mastercard). Last up for documentaries is a re-release of the chess-themed Brooklyn Castle, which we showed back when it debuted in 2012. Fans of the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit (a show that I greatly enjoyed) should appreciate the entertaining mix of personal drama and chess strategy.
Narrative releases include the Norwegian thriller The Tunnel, and the Irish drama The Last Right, with Brian Cox. There’s also the Black-socialist political comedy The Inheritance, and the well-reviewed indie horror Honeydew, starring the very talented young actors Malin Barr and Sawyer Spielberg (son of Steven, whose work you may be more familiar with).
Before signing off, I’d also like to note that Laemmle Theatres plans to continue offering films virtually as we resume our theatrical operations. Some titles may be exclusively in-person, and others may be exclusively online, but we’ll do our best to ensure side-by-side availability whenever possible. Lastly, make sure to check out our new Culture Vulture collection on Laemmle Virtual Cinema, and keep an eye out for Oscar nominations this Monday, March 15.
All the best,
Greetings Laemmle Fans,
As of March 16, it has been exactly one full year since movie theatres in Los Angeles were asked to close their doors. At the time, I remember thinking that we’d be open again within a few months. But as we all know, nothing went according to plan.
I also thought, at the time, that Laemmle Theatres would not be able to survive being closed for more than a few months. And yet, exactly one full year later, we’re still here. We’ve received support from government stimulus programs, and more importantly from you, our patrons, through your gift and Premiere Card purchases, and your rentals on Laemmle Virtual Cinema.
Even so, some difficult decisions had to be made. We sold two properties in order to raise capital, and we may have to sell more to shore up our finances. But to be clear, the plan is to reopen as a tenant and maintain operations as a movie theatre, even where we no longer own the property.
Thanks to these actions, I’m confident that Laemmle Theatres will be prepared to open again, once it is deemed safe to do so. And as of now, it seems like that day may be coming soon.
This isn’t the first time our family business has faced an existential crisis. Seventy years ago, the advent of television reduced Laemmle Theatres to a single location. But Grandpa Max didn’t give up, and three generations and several decades later, the business had grown in ways he never would have believed possible. These closures may leave a mark, but there is nothing Laemmle Theatres has lost over the past year that we cannot regain in the days ahead.
We all love sharing the joy of cinema with others. We all relish the uniquely profound experience that only moviegoing can offer. And I believe that with your support, there will always be a place at Laemmle Theatres for customers to fulfill exactly that purpose.
Please stay safe. Keep wearing a mask. Get a vaccine shot as soon as you can. And we look forward to seeing you very soon, at the movies. All the best, Greg Laemmle
All the best,
Dear Laemmle Fans,
I know that many of you have sorely missed attending our weekly Culture Vulture screenings. The series, offered on Monday evenings and Tuesday afternoons, has been a fixture of our programming for several years. Culture Vulture provides an opportunity for Laemmle Theatres to showcase the best in live concerts, stage plays, and museum visits from around the world.
Now, we’re bringing the series one step closer to you by featuring it as our newest collection on Laemmle Virtual Cinema. Although you may recognize many of the films from their prior Culture Vulture theatrical engagements, others are new releases, including the classical music documentary Women Composers (which opened on March 8 to coincide with International Women’s Day) and the art history profile Easter in Art, analyzing depictions of Christ over time. We’re also offering several virtual films that are new to Laemmle Theatres, but feature notable content you’re likely already familiar with – examples include live stage recordings of Verdi’s La Traviata as well as Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
We all look forward to the day when Laemmle Theatres can resume our Culture Vulture series on the big screen, but I hope these virtual releases suffice in the meantime. Lastly, please be aware that many of the titles included in today’s newsletter are not yet available, so make sure to note the opening date and plan your personal screening schedules accordingly. And as always, thank you for your support.
All the best,