Regency Village Theatre

961 Broxton Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Unfavorite 85 people favorited this theater

Showing 176 - 200 of 483 comments

William on March 28, 2010 at 7:15 am

When THX was the big thing in theatres the annual THX certification fee was $10,000. If you look back at some of those Edwards plexes they built, before they were sold. They would build the plex with 2-4 THX houses and about a year late the THX logos came off the screens and walls ads in the theatres. The reason for two theatres is the main house runs the “A List” guests and the second screen is the over flow house. The old Plitt/Cineplex Century Plaza was a big favorite with the studios on premieres. Since they had a built in drive for limos in front and they had the big screen and the second large house and later the twins in the rear of the large house. As segask said it was a major problem with area businesses on premiere nights. And for anyone who has ever been in or seen the Westwood traffic at that time of the day, It sucks. For premieres the studio would do a sound tech with Dolby techs and studio projection staff
and then do a run though of the picture and after that goes well. Wait till the evening show time. In the old days the union projectionist would be the operator for the show. On problem with having no other theatre near by to move-over the film playing there is the studio has to buy out the whole day for the film playing there.

segask on March 26, 2010 at 10:19 pm

I wonder how much the annual THX certification fee is? Is it worth it? I remember reading several years ago over at they were saying that most customers only cared about seeing a movie in a THX auditorium if it was a star wars movie.

I mean since the studios are always using these two theaters for premiers, there are always tech people from the studios keeping the presentation quality here in first class shape anyway.

segask on March 26, 2010 at 10:11 pm

I’ve heard that the businesses in westwood don’t like all the premieres. They usually lose money on premiere nights because they don’t get much business from the fans lining the streets, and their regular customers stay away on premiere nights, because of traffic and parking hassles during premieres.

BradE41 on March 26, 2010 at 3:04 pm

I’m not sure how much they get for premieres. It must be good enough money to help them with the operation costs of the theatre. When I worked at the Village in 1980-1982, they did not book premieres. They had an American Film Market screening of S.O.B., but that was about the only thing close to a premiere I remember. The premieres seem to become more frequent as the attendence began to slide in the 1990’s.

These leases are around $1 million each a year. I’m kind of wondering if Mann is now getting a break on this month to month. I’d be interested in knowing if there was some kind of incentive to keep them running longer.

xaverian on March 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Thanks William and Brad. That is so true about the diminishing returns to the theater, even starting as early as after opening weekend.

One final point….Do the Village and Bruin make enough from holding the premieres to cover the nut? Any idea what a studio has to pay to rent the theater for a premiere? And someone mentioned that the lease was about $1 million a year for the Village and Bruin.

BradE41 on March 26, 2010 at 9:10 am

Even though the Village is able to get most of the Blockbuster Product, the films do not make a killing like they used to. Back in the day blockbuster films would approach 100 grand on a opening weekend. Now films like the Harry Potters, Spiderman, etc. probably make 10% of that on a opening weekend. Pretty much Mann has to count on premieres to help break even. Now with really no move over houses they are truly stuck with a film until the next booking. The Festival allowed them to have additional film product on hand just in case.

William on March 26, 2010 at 7:16 am

By staying a single screen theatre you are limited in product. If you play first run because of contracts with the studios as to how long the engagements are. Studios like to lock up first run screens for 4 to 8 weeks on Big pictures. Thats if you don’t have one of those high end directors that demands more & more. As with everything like home and work these theatres run on budgets that the home office sets for each manager and the type of business. For payroll you are budgeted for how many people you sell tickets too. So for the first week or 2, the theatre is doing great. But in your third week it drops 60% from the last and your stuck with the film for a 6 week run. Everything is downhill from that point. You have to drop people from the payroll of the week. Now rent and power , water and all the other bills like candy and popcorn and soda all need to be paid. I remember this theatre that was on a COD plan with the candy people, and they could not pay a few times. (No Candy delivery) Over on the Fox Atlanta theatre tread a fromer manager wrote near the end of the theatre’s operating life it took about $1000 a day to just open and operate for the day with payroll and all the other things I wrote about in this post. Ok that was 1975 and maybe the bookings were ok to fair. But the same thing goes for how a theatre runs in todays market. You have to have a good location and good bookings and being able to move-over the films for a good turn over. Look at the final months of the National Theatre. They got fair bookings but they had to holdover on some weeks and died because of the contracts and the landowner could make more on something else on the site. Ok today he owns a Christmas tree lot in Westwood. For the most part the Village Theatre is safer, because of the entire theatre is close to original look than the Bruin. The Bruin Theatre only has the marquee facade working for it to be saved. The auditorium is no longer in an original state with the side wall lighting. As a vanity project someone with deep pockets would work. But even those people want a return on their investment. I guess the area residents got a toned down version of Westwood more to their liking from the 1980’s version of the mad house.

xaverian on March 26, 2010 at 3:47 am

Westwood is an absolute nightmare when it comes to any sort of building or redevelopment project. As a former resident, I can truthfully state that it may well be the the most difficult part of the city to try to build anything. I agree that the best scenario for keeping the Village/Bruin alive would be some sort of multiplex or ArcLight

Short of that, do you think any national change would consider the Village/Bruin as vanity projects, that just break even showing premiers and remaining as single screen theaters?

BradE41 on March 24, 2010 at 9:32 am

Premieres for Furry Vengeance Apr 18 @ Bruin and Back Up Plan Apr 21 @ Village have been added. Looks like business as usual for these theatres.

Clash of the Titans @ Bruin in 3D April 1st, day before opens officially.

William on March 24, 2010 at 6:45 am

Yes, Santa Monica took business away from Westwood and so did Century City and all the newer plex built close by. Westwood could no longer hold those great opening weekend gross. The pie was cut into to many pieces.

I am a former insider on this location and Mann Theatres. I have given alot of clues as to what happened and things.

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on March 23, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Chris, bet every dollar you have that if there was ever a chance in the last ten years anyone could have built a Bruin adjunct cinema, it would have happened ten years ago. There are very specific reasons why it hasn’t happened yet, and why it’s not going to happen for many years. Parking is just one issue. Traffic is just one issue. Residents are just one issue. Film clearances are just one issue. And there are many others that I just cannot discuss here… not that I am some insider. I just happen to know certain things from being near the process.

Westwood could easily be resurrected. But it’s going to take a lot of concessions from many different people with dissimilar interests to make it happen.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Santa Monica is the only place you can go west of here, otherwise you’re in the Pacific Ocean.

William on March 23, 2010 at 5:32 pm

That’s what happened to all the First Run movie district in Los Angeles.
Downtown Los Angeles
Beverly Hills

Everything moved West.

BradE41 on March 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm

I truly think in the long run only one of the two could survive. That is “If” someone stepped in and did a multiplex adjacent to it. At this point I do not think it will happen anytime soon. They may lay vacant (like everything else in Westwood) for a long while. Somewhere down the line someone may get the idea to jump start Westwood; but I really do not think it is on any agenda, it would have been initiated by now.

One has to feel the Avco will not last once the lease lapses. The Wilshire Blvd. property seems like it would be a valuable snatch for offices, condos, or an expansion of the cementary. Doubtful Landmark will renew the Regent with the lease comes up for renewal. Westwood seems headed towards the same fate as Beverly Hills for movie exhibition.

William on March 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Of the two houses, I think the Bruin will be the first to close. The marquee facade is the only real semi-original parts left. While the Village is closer to original with the 1940’s remodel. It’s a sad state of affairs when you can maybe only keep one open.

BradE41 on March 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm

We have to all give in and admit that Westwood is dying out. No exhibitors have shown interest in the area, yet there has been (for a long time) ample opportunity to move in. Currently with the loss of the National, Festival, Plaza, United Artists and Mann’s Westwood there is the allotted number of empty seats to actually break ground on a new complex. This is without closing existing theatres the in the area. It has been no secret that Mann wants out, but exhibitors do not see Westwood as a major market any longer. Mann will probably operate the Village and Bruin on a month to month through the end of the year, but I think it will end with them finally pulling life support sometime next year.

William on March 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm

That’s the big problem now trying to reinvent Westwood again. Back in the day, Mann Theatres was able to have a 5 mile clearance on bookings for his Westwood houses. So Westwood and Hollywood had a Lock on the films playing Mann houses. Once that clearance was dropped Century City, Santa Monica just to name afew could play date and date with Westwood. And add the problems with zoning, parking and the people problems. It was easier to go to Century City, Santa Monica and other newer complexes. Westwood died a slow death. Look at the guy over at The Crest Theatre. He wants to sell the theatre and lease it back to run. Eric Chavez has been trying to find a buyer for a long while. AMC is still running the Avco Complex, but who knows how long that old GCC lease runs for. UA dropped out of the market. At one time they wanted to reinvent their Hollywood Flagship house the Egyptian by doing a Arclight setup around the large house there. The city zoning stopped that project. At least the theatre still stands in a somewhat restored way.

BradE41 on March 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I’ve never been to the Arclight cafe. Generally I just go see a film when I go there.

I do not think there is any chance Arclight Westwood will ever happen. The problem is that nobody had interest in film exhibition in Westwood these days.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on March 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm

But part of Arclight’s “thing” is their Cafe. Heck…the Cafe is as much a part of their brand as their name. Should this MIRACLE come to pass, I’m 99.9% certain that the Cafe will be there too. Maybe not inside the Village…but it’ll be there in some way, shape or form.

DISCLAIMER: I – OR NO ONE ELSE – IS SAYING THAT ARCLIGHT IS TAKING OVER THE VILLAGE/BRUIN. We’re just doing a little friendly armchair quarterbacking.

BradE41 on March 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Westwood does not need more restuarant space. The seat number of the Village is not the issue. Whoever leases the theatre will still be paying for the space. It would probably cost more to make it a restuarant than it would to account for empty seats.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on March 23, 2010 at 2:01 pm

But, as someone stated earlier, it’s gonna be hard as heck filling 1300 seats on a 3rd week run of a whatever P.O.S. film is showing in January/February/March. Paring down the seats may help them to maximize numbers.

Although…they could use that extra space to make the Westwood Arclight Cafe a full-fledged restaurant.

William on March 23, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Chris they have the extra space with those retail stores to the left and right of the front of the theatre, without screwing up the lobby.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on March 23, 2010 at 10:52 am

I said it before and I’ll say it again…

Arclight takes over the lease, builds the 10 plex behind the Bruin & keeps it and the Village & calls the whole darn thing ARCLIGHT WESTWOOD. Arclight’s name ALONE would drive folks back to Westwood Village in DROVES!

They could even reduce the seating in the Village to 600 seats or so by extending the lobby and making that extra space their Gift Shop/Guest Services area.

BradE41 on March 23, 2010 at 9:42 am

If the owners leased the theatres separately, the Bruin would probably be attractive enough for a theatre chain to invest in. A Bruin 9 or 10 plex in a marketplace setting would work. The Village is less practical in the long run…unfortunately. I worry about the Village as a movie theatre in the future. If they broke down the bacl wall extended the backstage, it could be utilized as a performing arts center of some sort. Otherwise, who knows what it will turn into. Hopefully not a church! I’d rather it become a gym.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on March 23, 2010 at 9:07 am

The pre-WW2 Alameda Theatre in Alameda, Ca., was finally saved after operating as a gym and is now the main entrance to a plex of cinemas smaller auditoriums.
If this simple plan were to be implemented with more historic theaters going dark then that would save many more of our nations treasures.