Sadness. I’ve just learned from Ed Fuentes at Blogdowntown that the Laemmle’s Grande 4-Plex theater on Figueroa beneath the Marriott Hotel (where Christopher Walken danced in a certain Fatboy Slim video) is slated to shut down October 25, coincidentally just two days before the opening of the Regal Cinemas LA Live Stadium 14.
Fuentes quotes Laemmle Director of Operations Kevin Gallagher: “It’s always been difficult to bring people downtown and even though the image of the city changing, we felt it was best to close the doors.”
The comments to the post echo my dissapointment. But I take some consolation that at least they didn’t close because of me. Laemmles had no difficulty bringing me and my wife Susan downtown from Silver Lake. Long unenamored with the Arclight $tyle of movie-going (and the gridlock getting there), Laemmle’s Grande was a cherished alternative. A bit seedy and frayed and firmly lacking in the latest cinema technology, sure. But none of that mattered.
It has been our theater of choice for going on three years. We could get there in 10 minutes, conveniently park across the street for $2 and relish the $6 matinee ticket prices, which made bad movies suck a little less… like “Public Enemies,” the last movie we saw there.
With the exception of one or two trips to the Vista every movie we’ve been coaxed into seeing since we first found the place in 2006 has been viewed there in the Marriot’s basement — with good popcorn, no screaming kids, no crowds, and by and large among people who know good movie theater etiquette. It was like a best-kept secret — too best kept, I guess (but not for lack of me crowing about it here back in November 2006).
I’m going to miss this place tremendously. In fact, since you won’t catch me navigating the chaos of Regal’s new LA Live pleximania, I’d hazard to say with its closing we’ll be going out for movies less and waiting to stay in and see them on Blu-Ray more.