Los Angeles-based arthouse chain Laemmle Theatres has stopped seeking a buyer, four months after putting itself on the sales block amid slow sales.
Greg Laemmle, president of the 81-year-old exhibitor, announced the development Thursday. He told Variety that discussions with an unidentified buyer had reached an advanced stage but fell apart and that there has been an uptick in business recently, thanks partly to Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” which will start streaming on Nov. 27.
“Our numbers have been improving lately,” he added. “We’ve done well with ‘The Irishman.’ There’s no question that people want to see good movies as they were intended on a big screen rather than waiting for it be available on streaming through Netflix.”
The privately held Laemmle circuit was launched in 1938 by Greg Laemmle’s grandfather Max Laemmle, and has been operated by the family since then. The chain’s sites are the Claremont 5 in Claremont, the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills, the Glendale, the Monica Film Center in Santa Monica, the Noho 7 in North Hollywood, the Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, the Royal in West Los Angeles and the Town Center 5 in Encino.
Additionally, Laemmle plans to open a site next year in Newhall and is developing locations in Azusa and Bellflower.
“While there are risks to continue owning and operating the business, the reward of continuing was greater than the reward of selling,” Laemmle said. “Part of that reward is doing what we do.”
The chain closed its Music Hall theater in Beverly Hills on Thursday after 46 years as a Laemmle location. The three-screen location dated back to the late 1930s.
The world of arthouse theaters has been in flux. Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner sold the Landmark circuit a year ago to Cohen Media Group, an indie film company owned by real estate developer and cinephile Charles S. Cohen.