iPic Westwood

10840 Wilshire Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90024

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Showing 101 - 125 of 280 comments

BRADE48 on November 29, 2011 at 11:00 am

I really do not think a new theatre will be erected in its place. Westwood is dead, and unless there is a big effort to provide more parking and a major overhaul we will not see anything new. Whoever takes over the theatre will work with what is already there. I’m curious to see what is done with it but I doubt I will be blown away.

Cliffs on November 29, 2011 at 10:44 am

Well, Cinépolis doesn’t really strike me as “A really high-end movie theater” and “a really great movie theater and a reason to come back.” And while I won’t hold my breath for a restoration of the big screen, there wouldn’t be a better time than now and there wouldn’t be a better way to make an impression for a new theater occupying the space.

BRADE48 on November 29, 2011 at 9:34 am

Doubt the Avco will ever see the big screen again. There was talk about Cinépolis entering Westwood. I’d guess they will take over the space and refurbish it. Not really sure anyone is going to do anything major to it though.

KingBiscuits on November 29, 2011 at 1:19 am

The theatre’s final engagements: Hugo (in 3-D), Puss in Boots (in 3-D), The Muppets and Breaking Dawn Part 1.

Cliffs on November 29, 2011 at 12:22 am


This stood out… Property manager Hope Hunter said the owners plan to bring in a new theater chain next year. ”A really high-end movie theater will be taking its place,” Hunter said. “We’re going to provide Westwood with a really great movie theater and a reason to come back.”

How awesome would it be if the new chain decided to restore the Avco’s original big screen? Has to be easier than splitting it was.

PhilMarlowe89 on November 27, 2011 at 11:47 am

Yep, on 12/11. Went there yesterday for Martha Marcy May Marlene. Interesting theater….

markinthedark on November 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Is the Culver Plaza closing?

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on November 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Culver Plaza, too. It’s a bad week for older multiplexes in Los Angeles.

Richie_T on November 24, 2011 at 8:52 pm

They should have never split the large theater. Saw many classics there… Back to the Future… Die Hard in 70mm… stand out the most. Sad to see it go. Will visit this week and post interior photos soon.

ChasSmith on November 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Haven’t been to the Avco since the late 1980s when I moved from L.A., but frankly, I’m glad I wasn’t there to see the splitting of the large theater. Nevertheless, very sad to hear of another landmark L.A. film venue closing.

BRADE48 on November 24, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Wow…the Avco and the Sunset 5 closing on the same week. Sad to see both go. The Sunset 5 will have a new life next year, doubtful the Avco will. I have not been to the Avco in about 5 years. Like everyone else I did not see the reason when there are better venues. The Avco lost its lustre when they split the large theatre.

HornerJack on November 24, 2011 at 3:57 am

I saw many movies at the (then) Avco Embassy back when it was new. It was an OK place, but reminded one that movie palaces were a thing of the past. It was a lot more enjoyable going to the Westwood or the Bruin. I remember thinking that movie theaters were not headed in a good direction.

PhilMarlowe89 on November 24, 2011 at 2:22 am

It’s official: Avco will close on 12/4/11. AMC refuses to renew the lease. Despite its imperfections, I love this place. As a fan of the nostalgia that smaller/older multiplexes offer, and a fan of the late GCC chain, I come here all the time. It’s a perfectly preserved example of a classic GCC theater, and I’ll miss it a lot (there aren’t many around anymore). I took a bunch of pics tonight when I saw The Muppets, and will post them here soon.

Damon Packard
Damon Packard on October 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm

it AMAZES me the Avco has lasted as long as it has, nobody goes there anymore do they? Do the local elderly patrons are keeping it going for the matinee’s? Seems like the place has been dead for over 10 or 15 years, or longer. That place went straight to the pits when they split their main auditorium, last couple of times i saw something there I regretted it, screen & sound was horrible. It’s not even a faint shadow of what it used to be. It’s just amazing it’s STILL OPEN as of late Oct 2011

BRADE48 on October 26, 2011 at 9:03 am

Yes, the Festival would be most logical choice for dinner theatre because of the Resturant spaces it sits between. But I cannot imagine a single screen with that format really working. I’d love to see the Festival open again. It is a nice theatre, nice sizs screen with great sight lines and comfy balcony.

The AVCO’s real estate property is pretty valuable and I think in its current condition is expendable. My opinion is we are seeing the last days of the theatre.

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on October 25, 2011 at 10:40 pm

The AVCO won’t work for this concept, but taking the Festival and the spaces next door would make more sense. Not that a single screen dinner theatre is all that smart either.

BRADE48 on October 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Probably the AVCO, the only other theatres could be the Crest or the Festival (which has been stripped). The whole dinner theatre is obnoxious. Can’t people just nibble on some popcorn? Why does there need to be dinner service? I’m getting to the point where I hate going to the movies. Film exhibition is going to the toilet. If it weren’t for Archlight Hollywood, the Village and Bruin I would never go.

markinthedark on October 25, 2011 at 11:44 am

I would think the Avco would be their only option is Westwood if they are not building from the ground up. I wonder if they are negotiating to take over the Mann in Westlake Village.

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on October 25, 2011 at 11:12 am

LA Times article talks about Cinépolis in talks to run a Westwood location. Wonder if that means they’ll renovate (and further split) AVCO, which seems the likeliest. I found their Del Mar location to be disastrous (http://bit.ly/p2oST0), but I guess it’s better than the theater turning into condos.

Here’s the full LA Times piece: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-cinepolis-20111025,0,6531690.story

William on September 29, 2011 at 5:28 am

Thanks Neal for the real info. It was Great working for your District back then!

alaskan55 on September 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

It’s been interesting reading everyone’s comments. I worked for GCC from 1980 till 2002 when AMC took over the chain.

I can’t possible explain all of the complex issues that faced the Avco and the rest of the movie exhibition industry. But I’ll throw out some random thoughts…

You have to remember that when a theatre like the Avco was in it’s prime there was no such thing as video or even cable tv. Westwood, Hollywood, and New York, were where major films were platformed prior to release. Movies played for 6 months or more in those days. Now they are on DVD in 6 or 8 weeks. Many people didn’t even have color TVs when Star Wars was released in 1977.

The Avco was the first THX Theatre in the world.

What ultimately made us, GCC, decide to split the big auditorium was money. AMC opened the Century City with free parking. Santa Monica wasn’t even a film zone and then grew 3 different exhibitors. Out Regional Vice President at the time recommended against building in Santa Monica because he didn’t believe the theatre would pull in patrons because it was alongside the ocean with zero population…

If the Avco was making money we never would have decided to split the big auditorium. Plus we were being pressured by a couple of film distributors to give them another outlet for their movies beside our competitors in Westwood.

Leasing vs purchasing was always a business decision. It about “Return on Investment”. If you put 20 milllion dollars in to a theatre project that makes only $300,000 you aren’t even making 2% on your money.

The Avco did a little over 600,000 patrons in it’s heyday. And I can assure you it was profitable as a fourplex.

I haven’t been in the theatre business since 2002 but I can tell you that the Avco initially had a 20 year lease with two 20 year optional extensions. I don’t recall the lease rate but it never was a cheap location to operate. But ultimately it was a combination of surrounding locations being built, the Distribvutors changing the way they released film, and the high cost of parking in Westwood, that compromised the location and turned it in to just another theatre. ADA was another factor that was a major cost challenge.

The building never lent itself to stadium seating upgrade.

In the early 90s GC Theatres spun off from GCC. GCC had grown to be a corporate giant with many divisions beside theatres. When it came time for money for upgrades the theatre division never got cash because there was a better return in the other businesses such as making and selling school books or bottling soft drinks.

When the theatre division went out on it’s own we had to sign a deal to keep our leases. Basically we guaranteed we would pay them no matter what. Many theatre companies walked away from leases but we couldn’t. And I recall succinctly that the GCC Hollywood Galaxy and the GCC Beverly Connection had annual leases in excess of 2 million dollars a year…

I’m gonna run… I’ll organize my thoughts and write more in the future.

It’s nice to see people that still take an interest in the great days of movies and theatres.

Neal Stolberg

William on August 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I would say office space. The projectionists use to park in the Westwood Memorial Park behind the theatre. Since they would not give us a discount on parking there.

BRADE48 on August 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm

The AVCO really lost any lustre it had when they split the large theatre. The 80’s are when all the Westwood theatres thrived. Once Century City and Santa Monica took off the theatres in WW had drops, but with the Landmark 12, the newer Century City AMC and the Grove all doing well WW really took a severe nosedive. A resurgence for WW seems unlikely in the near future. Unless the owner give some kind of break, the AVCO seems nearing its end. That property is not great for retail. My guess either an office building or Apartments will be built there in the future.

kjb2012 on August 28, 2011 at 11:52 am

It will no doubt join the National. Too bad, but it is an outdated house for today.

William on August 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

I always had a nice time in that house.