The Laemmle Theatres chain, a hub for independent film and arthouse fare, is up for sale.
The nine-location theater chain has stayed within the Laemmle family since its founding in 1938. But theater attendance has hit low and after low in recent years. Though this year’s record-setting box-office behemoths like “The Lion King” and “Avengers: Endgame” might make 2019 a net positive year in ticket sales, even those blockbuster can’t course-correct the downward trend.
This news comes on the heels of the iPic’s Chapter 11 filing. Recent years have seen a rise in experimentation at the theaters, like dynamic pricing and subscription services for movie tickets, as the film industry tries to battle the rising popularity of streaming services.
Ironically, reports say that streaming services like Amazon and Netflix may be among the interested buyers, but Laemmle’s president, Greg Laemmle, said only that the company is “exploring a number of different options.”
Larry and the FilmWeek critics are joined by reporter Bob Strauss and media analyst Paul Dergarabedian to discuss the impact of Laemmle’s potential sale on Los Angeles and the changing landscape of movie theaters.
Bob Strauss, entertainment news reporter at LA Daily News, where his recent piece is “Laemmle Theatres is reportedly up for sale after 81 years as an iconic independent arthouse chain”; he tweets @bscritic