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Landmark Theatres will have a new location on Sunset Boulevard, following the sudden closure of the AMC Sunset 5 last month. A movie theater has operated at 8000 W. Sunset Blvd. since the complex was built in 1992. For nearly 20 years, Laemmle Theatres operated the 5-screen facility, which is part of a retail center that also includes a CVS, a Trader Joe’s and a gym. In 2012, Sundance took over operations. Then in 2015, Carmike Cinemas took it over. That chain was bought out by AMC in 2017, who ran the theater until April.
Now, Landmark Theatres has taken over the lease, with moving screenings to begin this summer. It is one of several Los Angeles-area theaters the company has taken over in recent months.
“We’re working to expand the business and add locations as we see fit,” Landmark Theatres president Kevin Holloway said. “It’s very core-L.A.-centric, and [in] the movie making capital’s backyard. We felt like this was a great venue for us to come in and expand the brand.”
The theater has long been seen as a destination for art house and independent cinema, which was the focus of chains Laemmle and Sundance. Holloway insists that the spirit of the theater’s history will remain intact.
“We’ll be doing a phased renovation of the venue, including some upgraded food and beverage offerings, and just advancing the space to really give it a facelift and have it be a fresher offering for the area that we feel is commensurate with what the audience needs right now,” Holloway said. “And what Landmark wants to give in terms of being a key venue for art and independent cinema, but also dabbling where we feel is appropriate with blockbuster cinema as well. So, we’re really open to all programming and intend to be very curatorial as we are with most of our theaters.”
Under AMC’s operation, bigger studio blockbusters were more frequently shown at the theater.
“It feels like more of an intimate, neighborhood theater because of its smaller size and convenient location, and I would always bump into friends whenever I go,” nearby resident David Poli said. “I don’t think those things are going to change with the new owner, and I’m looking forward to the theater showing a wider range of films beyond just the major Hollywood releases.”
While the 8000 Sunset complex is not technically in West Hollywood, it is surrounded by the city on all sides, and so many West Hollywood residents consider the venue to be their neighborhood theater.
“I’m just really excited because to me that theater is a special part of West Hollywood, and they have really high-quality films,” resident Mark Anderson said.
An exact opening date has not yet been determined, although Holloway says that the goal is to reopen the venue as quickly as possible.
“We’re circling dates right now and trying to figure out the best timing for us,” Holloway said. “We’re planning to open with some exciting events and ways to get the audience engaged … We’re just very much in the early stage. But plan to get going relatively soon here.”
He added that the theater will be undergoing continual renovations even after its opening to improve the experience for its patrons. Landmark has leased the space for 10 years, and Holloway said this is a long-term investment for the company.
“We’re excited to see how we can grow with this center,” he said.
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