The renowned Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills is set to close the doors of its 9036 Wilshire Blvd. location. Greg Laemmle told the Courier that the last day of operation will be Nov. 21.
When asked the reason for the closure. Laemmle stated, “It’s not about tickets sales being up or down and not specifically about rent increases. The theater just didn’t quite fit for us anymore given the direction of wanting to be our own landlord.” He added, “It’s just time.”
Laemmle theaters have a rich history rooted in the golden age of Hollywood cinema.
Kurt and Max Laemmle, nephews of legendary Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle, originally established the company in 1938. Laemmle Music Hall has remained a family establishment and is currently run by Robert Laemmle and his son, Greg.
For over 70 years, Laemmle theatres have been an artistic resource and gathering place for the Los Angeles film community, providing unique cinematic experiences. In addition to featuring independent, foreign, and art house cinema films, Laemmle venues have hosted one-night screenings, special events, premieres, and Academy qualifications for Oscar film contenders. In addition to the Music Hall location, Laemmle theatres in the greater Los Angeles region include Hollywood, Santa Monica, Pasadena, and Claremont.
Laemmle told the Courier that the Music Hall space may be leased to a new theatre tenant. The Courier has confirmed that a potential tenant has expressed interest in taking the space over as a theatre. However, no lease has been signed as of press time.
Regardless of whether the venue lives on as a theatre, one fact is certain. Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon have shaken up the role of the traditional, big-screen movie house. Whether online streaming will have the same impact on theatres as online shopping currently has on brick and mortar retail establishments remains to be seen. But for a community such as Beverly Hills, the closing of the Laemmle Music Hall marks the end of an era.