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.