Once the city’s movie mecca, Los Angeles’ Westwood Village looks to get some of its mojo back with the May 2 opening of the iPic eat-in luxury plex on Wilshire Blvd. But the Westside movie renaissance extends beyond just Bruin territory, with new and revamped multiplexes cropping up all the way to the beach.
The iPic Westwood location, completely rebuilt at the former AMC/Avco site, is the 10th location for the Boca Raton, Fla.-based theater chain, and the first super-premium theater in West L.A. With 424 seats in six auditoriums, it features two bars, full food menus in the theaters and Tanzy, an Italian restaurant open to non-moviegoers.
“We’re set up to become the new gold standard of moviegoing,” says Jim Lee, VP of marketing for iPic Entertainment. Lee says he regards West L.A. — also home to an upscale Landmark theater — as the ideal spot for an L.A. flagship location.
“Our core group has been in the movie business for years,” he notes, “and with Westwood at the heart of the movies for so long, it was very important for us to have a location here.”
Though much of Westwood’s former moviegoing crowd now gravitates to the Landmark and AMC’s Century City 15, Regency still operates the 1930s-era Bruin and Village theaters in Westwood Village. The only other theater located in the village area is the Regent, a single-screen Landmark arthouse; at least four other cinemas have closed over the past decades.
Further west, Arclight Cinemas will open a high-end 14-screen multiplex at the Santa Monica Place mall in 2015, while Laemmle’s nearby Monica arthouse is being revamped for a December opening with a new cafe.