A cinematic beacon on Lankershim Boulevard, the Laemmle NoHo 7 seven-screen art house movie theater is a welcome addition to the heart of the NoHo Arts district. There was a grand-opening ceremony and a screening of The Iron Lady (courtesy of The Weinstein Company) plus reception to benefit the L.A. Family Housing organization. Greg Laemmle said he was happy to host the event, as everyone was congratulating him for bringing such a great new facility to the area.
Getting a sneak peak at the official opening, Greg Laemmle, president of the Laemmle Theatres said, “It is the only major movie house on Lankershim in North Hollywood. Our company discovered that the property was going to be available, so we got it. We built the theater in seven months and we invested more than $7 and a half million in it.”
Greg is the latest in the Laemmle family that has been the discriminating movie maven’s best friend. They have made their mark by specializing in the pre-eminent theater chain started by his grandfather, Max, and then continued by his father, Bob. I knew them both many years ago, when every independent filmmaker sought to have movies showcased at those theaters. And now the legacy is in Greg’s good hands. It is important to note that the family is a cousin to “Uncle” Carl Laemmle, who founded Universal Studios, just down the street from the NoHo 7. All have contributed to entertainment history.
It is a new high-tech age for theaters, and the NoHo 7 has sharp digital projection in all the auditoriums. There is full stadium seating in the two largest auditoriums, and modified stadium seating with extra wide row spacing in the smaller halls. Everything is designed for the comfort of the moviegoer. All seating is in high-backed leatherette rocker seats, while on the screen, audiences will see the best of Hollywood specialty films, along with Laemmle’s signature foreign language and American independent movies.
“We proudly say that we are ‘not afraid of subtitles’ at our theaters,” Greg noted, offering the best in foreign films. Those will be coming, but the NoHo 7 was launched with the acclaimed new silent film The Artist, as well as War Horse, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, We Bought a Zoo, Young Adult, and The Descendants.
There are plans to open a similar theater in Glendale, with no definite date set as yet. The Laemmle NoHo 7 is conveniently located next to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, surrounded by numerous restaurants and across from the historic El Portal Theatre.
The Laemmle theater was built in conjunction with the Community Redevelopment Agency of the city of Los Angeles’ NoHo Commons project.
“Laemmle’s NoHo 7 is a perfect fit for the NoHo Arts District, complementing the cultural offerings already there and making it even more attractive to visitors,” said Commissioner Greg Lippe of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the city of Los Angeles, which has been building up the Arts District for a decade. “We are delighted to have such a prominent addition to the Arts District on its 10th anniversary. The CRA/LA expects it will be a big success, and will greatly benefit surrounding shops, arts venues, and restaurants.”
NoHo Commons is a three-phase, mixed-use development that has fueled the growth and success of the North Hollywood Arts and Entertainment District, which now has more than 30 live theaters, art galleries, and sound studios. NoHo Commons transformed previously blighted commercial buildings.
“We’re very excited to welcome Laemmle to the neighborhood,” said Bob Akhavan, president of the North Hollywood Business Improvement District. “The theaters are a terrific addition to the area, and will attract arts-minded visitors who will also patronize our many other restaurants, shops, galleries, coffeehouses, and more.”
Community activists strongly supported bringing the Laemmle chain to the Arts District, which has one of the city’s densest concentrations of arts-related organizations and venues. The agency worked with NoHo Commons developer J.H. Snyder & Co. to bring Laemmle to the development.