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Film News Roundup: CIM Sells Hollywood & Highland, Retains Dolby Theatre

In today’s film news roundup, CIM Group sells Hollywood & Highland but retains the Dolby Theatre, “The Matrix” gets re-released and the comedy “Straight Up” gets bought.

PROPERTY SALE

CIM Group has sold the Hollywood & Highland retail-entertainment center to Gaw Capital and DJM while retaining ownership of the Dolby Theatre, site of the Academy Awards.

CIM acquired the Hollywood & Highland complex in 2004, three years after it debuted. It also signed a 20-year contract in 2012 with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to maintain the annual Academy Awards at the Dolby and recently made a programming deal with the Hollywood Pantages Theatre to bring Broadway shows to the Dolby.

Gaw Captial and DJM said Monday that they plan to renovate Hollywood & Highland over the next 24 to 30 months. The deal does not include the adjacent TCL Chinese Theatre, owned by Elie Samaha and a consortium of investors.

“The retail landscape has shifted, consumer tastes have adapted, and ‘New Hollywood’ is constantly redefining itself,” said Stenn Parton, chief retail officer at DJM. “With Hollywood & Highland, we at DJM and Gaw Capital are eager to seize the opportunity to create, in the heart of Los Angeles, an environment where the iconic allure of ‘Old Hollywood’ meets the modern innovation of new media.”

RE-RELEASE

Dolby Laboratories, Warner Bros. and AMC Theatres are partnering on a one-week re-release of 1999’s “The Matrix” in 135 Dolby Cinema at AMC locations, beginning Aug. 30.

“The Matrix” was the winner of four Academy Awards including Best Sound. Tickets went on sale Monday.

“Warner Bros. is proud to re-release the groundbreaking motion picture ‘The Matrix,’ for the first time in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. “Dolby Cinema offers moviegoers an unparalleled sense of realism in how they experience this game-changing film, making it a must-see event, whether for the first time or a return to ‘The Matrix.’”

ACQUISITION

Strand Releasing has acquired all North American rights to filmmaker James Sweeney’s feature debut “Straight Up.”

Sweeney stars opposite Katie Findlay (“How to Get Away with Murder”), Dana Drori, James Scully (“Heathers”), Tracie Thoms, Betsy Brandt and Randall Park (“Fresh Off the Boat”). The film is produced by David Carrico at Valparaiso Pictures, Ross Putman, and Sweeney. Bobby Hoppey served as executive producer.

“Straight Up” is a modern screwball comedy that questions if love can last when it’s all talk and touch. Sweeney is a persnickety half-virgin diagnosed with OCD who thinks maybe he was socially conditioned to be gay.

Strand Releasing is planning for a U.S. theatrical release in the spring.  The deal was negotiated by Jon Gerrans of Strand Releasing and CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.

“We’re thrilled to have James’ singular and humorous vision, his knack for snappy dialogue and smart visuals are inspired by period screwball comedies and create such a unique hybrid for modern cinema,” said Marcus Hu, co-founder of Strand Releasing.

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