header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 22
1875 - Construction begins on San Fernando Railroad Tunnel [story]
San Fernando Railroad Tunnel

| Wednesday, Jan 15, 2020
The Laemmle Theaters complex in Newhall is pictured under construction on January 15, 2020. | Photo: Leon Worden / SCVTV.
The Laemmle Theaters complex in Newhall is pictured under construction on January 15, 2020. | Photo: Leon Worden / SCVTV.


Laemmle Theaters, the Los Angeles-based family-owned chain of arthouse theaters that was put up for sale in summer 2019, is no longer for sale, company President Greg Laemmle told SCVTV Wednesday.

Instead, the 81-year-old chain will remain all in the family and continue to expand with new theaters, because business turned around since last summer, and a viable buyer did not emerge, Laemmle said.

The specialty exhibitor’s expansion includes the new two-story, seven-screen, 500-seat theater in Newhall, now under construction at the northeast corner of Lyons and Railroad Avenues in Old Town Newhall, just north of the new parking structure owned by the city of Santa Clarita.

The Newhall complex was originally slated to open by the end of 2019 but due to rain delays, it’s now projected to open in spring 2020, Laemmle said.

Additionally, he confirmed the family is on track to open a new four-plex theater in Azusa in 2021, and a new multi-screen theater in Bellflower to be completed in a couple years.

“The (Azusa) project is just breaking ground now — they’re basically starting to move earth,” Laemmle said. “It’s part of a mixed-use development.” The complex in Bellfower, he said, “is moving through the process but hasn’t broken ground yet. And then (we’ll) hopefully open some other theaters beyond that.”

Greg Laemmle, president, Laemmle Theaters

Greg Laemmle, president, Laemmle Theaters

At this writing, Laemmle Theaters is now a 41-screen chain operating in seven locations: the Claremont 5 in Claremont; The Glendale; The Santa Monica Film Center; the Noho 7 in North Hollywood; The Playhouse 7 in Pasadena; the Royal on Santa Monica Boulevard; and the Town Center 5 in Encino.

Renowned for showcasing independent, foreign and art-house films, the chain was established in 1938 by Max Laemmle. Three generations of Laemmles have helmed it, including Max’s son Robert and Robert’s son Greg.

Carl Laemmle, a cousin of Robert’s father Max and uncle Kurt, was a founder of Universal Pictures on April 30, 1912. Many film historians consider Carl the father of the Hollywood movie star system.

Related: SCV Newsmaker of the Week – Laemmle Theatres Co-owner Greg Laemmle

Deadline Hollywood broke the news of the family putting the theaters on the block in early August 2019.

“I can’t comment on any of this at this time,” Greg Laemmle told SCVTV then, not wanting to disrupt pending negotiations, but he did confirm the family was still moving ahead with construction in Newhall and “working hard to get the theater open as quickly as we can.”

laemmle theaters newhall map

The Laemmles decided to sell the chain after the bottom fell out of box office ticket sales revenue industrywide in late 2018, and the company’s business remained weak, off by 30%, in the first half of 2019, Laemmle told Los Angeles Magazine‘s Alex Ben Block in late 2019.

After putting the business up for sale, the family also looked at cutting operating costs, and ended lease agreements for two venues in Beverly Hills — the Ahrya Fine Arts center and the Beverly Hills Music Hall. Unlike many other specialty exhibitors, the Laemmle family owns deeds to the land under its other theaters.

In Newhall, Laemmle owns its complex through the single-purpose entity Laemmle Newhall LLC, which entered into a purchase and sale agreement for the land with the city of Santa Clarita on Feb. 9, 2016.

As Laemmle’s cost-cutting measures were showing positive results and the chain’s business picked up in the third and fourth quarters of 2019, the family received an offer from — and met with — an unnamed potential buyer in the third week of November 2019, but there was no sale, Laemmle said Wednesday.

That sealed the family’s decision to take the chain off the market.

“There was a compelling offer, one we thought was reasonably good for the family and the community, from a (theater) operator that would be a good steward of our name and legacy,” Laemmle said. “It could have been a great partnership, certainly with the new project and new hall they were thinking of doing there.

“But at the end of the day, it’s business, and we just felt (the offer) wasn’t quite good enough,” he said. “There were some potential pitfalls and under the circumstances, we felt, let’s keep it, let’s try and make this work. We like what we do, and I think when you come right down to it, that’s what it’s all about.

laemmle seating

“None of us have a crystal ball and certainly the past year has taught us that,” he said. “Things can turn around on a dime. But our intention now is to find a way to make this work, especially as we count down to (opening) the new theater in Newhall,” which he added would hopefully contribute to the chain’s improving financial health.

“We’re still not set on a date — obviously, construction is what it is,” Laemmle said. “But we will definitely want to be open in advance of that great summer play time.

“Once we have a more firm date we look forward to announcing it,” he said. “We are starting to gather names and Facebook friends and all those kinds of things so we’re ready. We’re now on a glide path toward opening. I know it’s been a long time coming, but these things do take time.

“Meanwhile, we’re excited to see that the Newhall Crossings retail-residential complex is getting ready to start bringing in residential and retail tenants, that the Courtyard really has taken shape,” Laemmle said of the other developments on the block. “We think everyone in the Santa Clara Valley will be able to go there and see and enjoy the fruits of their labor, and what the city (of Santa Clarita) has done to really reinvigorate that part of the valley.”

laemmle theaters newhall rendering

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


  1. Andrea Hess-Finger says:

    Yay..thrilled the laemmles are expanding and not selling. The best theaters ever…and the popcorn is the best in the city. Selection of movies always interesting and fantastic. also enjoy the rotating art displays !!!!

  2. Bret Hampton says:

    Glad to see this still moving along. We need a theater to show films other than superhero fare.

    Saves a trip to the Valley for foreign films and more adult dramas and comedies.

  3. Evelyn Stambler says:

    Very happy you didn’t sell Enjoy the variety of movies that Laemmle offers have lived in Encino over 40 years and love this theater

Leave a Comment

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1875 - Construction begins on San Fernando Railroad Tunnel [story]
San Fernando Railroad Tunnel
On March 21, 2023, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion adopting a plan for the County Probation Department’s halls and camps, specifically as it relates to establishing Secure Youth Treatment Facilities following the transfer of juvenile serious offenders from state to county custody.
Supes Approve Plan to Not House Serious Juvenile Offenders at Camp Scott
Already a two-time All-State selection, College of the Canyons sophomore LuLu Salloom has been named a 2023 Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Two-Year College Coaches' All-American Honorable Mention honoree, just the second player in program history to receive such an honor.
COC’s LuLu Salloom Named All-American Honorable Mention
On Monday afternoon, the California State University, Northridge women's tennis team extended its longest winning streak since 2015 when the Matadors defeated St. Thomas (Minn.) 7-0.
Lady Matadors Tennis Extend Longest Winning Streak Since 2015
Registration is now open for Michael Hoefflin Foundation’s Annual Walk for Kids with Cancer.
Registration Now Open for MHF’s Walk for Kids with Cancer
College of the Canyons, ranked  No. 13, split a non-conference doubleheader vs. No. 10 Fullerton College on Saturday, taking the opener at Whitten Field in shutout fashion behind pitcher Allyson Melgar's big game before seeing the Hornets come away ahead in the late afternoon affair.
Lady Cougars Split Doubleheader With Fullerton
College of the Canyons student-athletes Alyssa Hamilton (women's swim) and Alexander Moores (men's golf) have been named the COC Athletic Department's Women's & Men's Student-Athletes of the Week for the period running March 13-18.
COC Names Alyssa Hamilton, Alexander Moores Athletes of the Week
More than 1 billion Muslims around the world are preparing for Ramadan, and fasting which takes during the holiday is recognized as one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
CSUN Community Readies for Ramadan 2023
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday no new deaths and 22 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, with 12 additional deaths and 644 new cases countywide.
Tuesday COVID Roundup: 22 New SCV Cases
1927 - Baker Ranch Rodeo owners announce they'll award $4,000 in cash prizes at first major event (2nd annual rodeo at future Saugus Speedway) [story]
The Master's University baseball team won both games of Saturday's doubleheader against the No. 7 Hope International Royals to win the three-game series.
Mustangs Sweep Doubleheader Against Royals
The Master's men's and women's track and field teams set three school records and had 51 personal bests at the Ross and Sharon Irwin Collegiate Meet hosted by Point Loma Nazarene University.
Mustangs Set Three School Records at Point Loma Meet
The Sierra Hillbillies Square Dance Club will hold an Alumni Dance Sunday, April 2, hosting former members and class graduates with former club instructor and caller Rod Shuping at the mic.
April 2: Sierra Hillbillies Hosting Alumni Dance
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will meet in open session for a joint business meeting with the Associated Student Government Wednesday, March 22, at 3:30 p.m., in the University Center, Room 301 on the Valencia campus of College of the Canyons.
March 22: COC Board of Trustees Joint Business Meeting with ASG
The 27th Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival will return after a three-year hiatus and take over Main Street in Old Town Newhall on April 22 and 23.
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Tickets Now On Sale
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office released the seven productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, March 20 – Sunday, March 26.
Filming in Santa Clarita Includes ‘S.W.A.T.,’ ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide investigators are continuing their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of two males Saturday in the city of Santa Clarita.
Two Dead in Apparent Gang-Related Shooting
Unionized employees at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital began an Unfair Labor Practice strike at 6 a.m. Monday.
Henry Mayo Union Workers Begin One-Day Strike
The recent rainfall has prompted Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, to caution residents that bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers after the rainfall.
Ocean Water Quality Advisory Extended for All L.A. County Beaches
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Monday no new deaths and 40 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley over the weekend, with 35 additional deaths and 1,238 new cases countywide.
Monday COVID Roundup: 40 New SCV Cases
2012 - County supervisors approve 50-year operating agreement for Placerita Canyon State Park [read]
Placerita Canyon
1875, 1:35PM - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez hanged in San Jose [story]
Tiburcio Vasquez
1919 - Fire destroys abandoned second Southern Hotel, built 1878 in Newhall (corner Main & Market) [story]
Second Southern Hotel
Join the Child & Family Center on Sunday, May 7 for the tastiest event of the year. The 34th Taste of the Town is back at Blomgren Ranch, 15142 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, CA 91390.
May 7: Taste of the Town Tickets Now on Sale
%d bloggers like this: