It looks like Beverly Hills' Laemmle Music Hall 3 will be the next of the great old movie theaters to fall in Los Angeles.
The Beverly Hills Courier reports this week that the Laemmle folks will likely pull out in April as a result of a rent increase they can't absorb; it's possible the circa-1938 building will be put up for lease for non-theater uses such as office space.
Laemmle president Greg Laemmle told the paper this:
"Revenue is down at the theater, there's increased competition from some new locations, plus a decrease in supply of the ethnic films which had previously supported our location."
The Wilshire Boulevard theater's 15-year lease is up in spring and while Laemmle said the indie chain would likely not renew he didn't rule out a piecemeal deal to reopen the screens if the theater owners' plan to lease to someone else doesn't work out.
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We don't get this: The owners think they'll find a better, higher-paying tenant on a stretch of Wilshire that's dotted with empty buildings as Hollywood agencies have moved out?
(Beverly Hills BMW is planning to move to Miracle Mile this year and will turn a swath of Wilshire in Beverly Hills into a ghost town unless a new renter steps up there).
Who's going to pay top dollar to rent an old theater as office space? Will any other theater chain make a better business of using the building as it's intended?
Good luck with that.