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Laemmle-FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Laemmle?

Laemmle is synonymous with great independent, foreign, and art house cinema.  In over 70 years of operation, we have been guided by our commitment to exhibit "quality film without regard to genre or provenance". Our theaters serve over a million film patrons each year from eight locations in the greater Los Angeles region including Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Pasadena, and Claremont. Click here for a full listing.

In addition to standard movie-going, Laemmle provides unique cinematic experiences such as one-night screenings, special events, premieres, and Academy qualifications. These events reflect Laemmle's commitment to being an artistic resource and gathering place for the entire Los Angeles community. In addition, our popular Sneaks Club gives 20,000 cinephiles access to movies prior to their release, helping to create a buzz for an eclectic range of films that may rate high on artistry yet lack the marketing reach of big Hollywood releases.

Laemmle is a scion of cinema's golden age. The company was established in 1938 by Kurt and Max Laemmle, nephews of legendary Universal Pictures founder, Carl Laemmle. The company is currently run by Robert Laemmle and his son, Greg Laemmle.  (Tell us what you think of this answer)

Why do some films only run weekend mornings?

Each week we will have an average of 2 or 3 new films opening under a full schedule at each of our theaters. When the new films come in, generally the films with the lowest grosses are the ones that drop off. Sometimes films that we drop are still bringing in decent size audiences. But, because of prior booking commitments made to the distributors of the new films, we can no longer show the film on a daily schedule. In this case we will move the film to the Sat/Sun 11am slot.  Look, we often wish the Playhouse "7" was the Playhouse "10." But since we can't wave the magic wand and create more screen, sometimes showing the films on weekend mornings becomes the best (and only) option.  (Tell us what you think of this answer)

Why do some films not open when you say they will?

The announced open date for a film represent the "planned" roll out we've discussed with that film's distributor. However, since we need to take an existing film off screen in order to open a new one, these plans can be thrown into disarray when existing films are simply doing too much business to come off. We realize this can be frustrating for regular patrons who have already seen all the films at a given theatre and are eager for new ones. However, if the interest level in a films we’re playing is inordinately high we are obligated to the general public, the films’ distributors and our bottom line to extend runs on the popular films beyond what we may have expected.  We try to do a good job of getting the correct opening date information on the flyers but sometimes, especially around Oscar season, advance announced dates can be fluid.

TIP: Regularly check Laemmle.com for the most current info.
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When do showtimes get posted?

Our schedules are done on a weekly basis.  Each Laemmle theater will post showtimes on Tuesdays by 4pm for the upcoming week.  (Tell us what you think of this answer)

Why do some films only last a week?

We book a wide variety of films at all of our theatres. When we open a new movie, we look at the grosses for the previous weekend and generally replace the film(s) that attract the smallest audiences.  Since we have a limited number of screens and the volume of new movies is large, it's inevitable that some films will have a shorter run. There are many cases when we would like to keep films longer, but that would mean that we wouldn't have room for other new films.

TIP: To help you avoid missing out on a specific film, we'll tag it with "LAST WEEK" or "LAST CHANCE" disclaimers on our website, e-newsletter, and other materials.  Watch for these tags and take swift action (i.e., make your movie plans!  (Tell us what you think of this answer)

How long will "(insert title)" play?

Good question. The fact is we don't even know!  Our schedules are done on a weekly basis every Tuesday for the upcoming week. If a film doesn't do well on opening weekend, it probably won't last past one week. We do our best to promote all of the films way ahead of opening dates through the website, sneak previews, enewsletter, flyers, trailers, posters, newspapers and other media.

TIP: If you plan to see an upcoming film, your best strategy is always to come opening weekend.  Also, make sure to visit Laemmle.com often as dates do change. Note that our website has the most up-to-date information about the films we show.  Also, it helps to subscribe to our weekly E-newsletter.  (Tell us what you think of this answer)

Are some "films" shown via video projection?

Not often, but yes.  If a print is not available we are equipped to show films via DVD or Blu-Ray.  This typically happens for one-night only screenings, morning/weekend shows, festivals, sneaks, rentals and other special events.  The main reason for this is that distributors are sometimes not inclined to produce and ship out a print for limited run films.  Note that this isn't always the case - most special engagements are still exhibited on film.  (Tell us what you think of this answer)

Why are films shown in some theaters and not others?

We endeavor to match films with the communities where our theaters are located.  We factor in prevailing tastes (based on years of feedback at that location) as well as what other films are playing at nearby theaters.   Distributor/studio preference also comes into play.  For instance, a distributor may only have the budget to provide just one print for a Los Angeles engagement.  Wanting the largest possible audience, they'll likely desire to open at a theater in the city rather than the suburbs.  This often explains why a film may run at the Sunset 5 for instance, yet not find its way out to Claremont.

In other cases, films will open in a handful of theaters in the West LA / Hollywood area, then branch out to other cities in stages. Films will commonly be available to Fallbrook, Town Center and Playhouse in the 2nd or 3rd week of a film's release. In the Valley we have 12 screens available for programming, but in Pasadena we have only 7 screens. The summer time is a particularly busy time for our theaters, meaning we do not have room to show every film that we'd like on a full schedule. In some cases films are moved to weekend mornings in order to keep them running as long as possible.  (Tell us what you think of this answer)

What's with the lamb?

"Laemmle" is derived from the Germanic word "läemmlein" meaning "little lamb".  So we thought it the time was right to bring our lamb out of the pasture and into the theater. We're not too sure he's so happy about it though … that wooly fella has quite the attitude!  (Tell us what you think of this answer)

How do you pronounce Laemmle?

It's pronounced LEM-LEE.  Trust us .. it took us much longer to remember how to spell it!
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Why is your popcorn so affordable compared to others?

Because we care, of course.  But then you might think that even our prices are too high.  If so, you might be interested in reading this article (http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/research/hartmann.popcorn.html) from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  It appears there's a method to the concession pricing madness!  (Tell us what you think of this answer)