Laemmle builds Pasadena plex

Venue to be largest of type in California

Laemmle Theatres will formally announce construction of the Playhouse 7 Cinema in Pasadena Thursday. The multiplex — skedded to open at Thanksgiving — will house Southern California’s largest specialized venue with 1,200 seats, all with stadium seating and Dolby Digital and Dolby SR stereo sound in each auditorium.

“This is part of our natural growth process,” said VP Greg Laemmle. “We looked at our options and our two current single screens (in Pasadena) didn’t afford us the possibility of expansion. We looked at acquiring the Academy and that fell through and this property was at one time offered to us on a tenancy basis. Eventually it worked out for us to buy the land, and we’ll be able to move ahead quickly and complete construction before the end of the year.”

Oldest arthouse circuit

Laemmle, the oldest arthouse circuit in Los Angeles, operates 28 screens including the Sunset 5 and Monica fourplex. It has operated theaters in Pasadena since 1964 when it began operating the Esquire and later the Colorado.

The multiplex will be located at 667 E. Colorado, several blocks from the Pasadena Playhouse. Laemmle plans to maintain its existing sites farther east on Colorado.

Laemmle also said the circuit has several other potential new sites pending but critical evaluation of their viability is still months away.

One of the more advanced prospects is the shuttered Bijou in Hermosa Beach. Additionally, he said, the chain is looking at another location in Hollywood and several possibilities in the eastern section of the San Fernando Valley.