Greg Laemmle has big plans to turn the Laemmle Royal Theatre in West Los Angeles into a haven for indie films, but it will involve some remodeling and a temporary closure.
If his plans are approved, the Laemmle Royal Theatre will be converted into a tri-plex, but there will be no expansion beyond the theater's existing walls at 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., the Laemmle president said in an interview with Westwood-Century City Patch.
"Single screen theaters have a very hard time surviving and this will be a way to keep fighting the good fight and having that experience for our patrons," he said. "It's a lot to do in a small place."
A smaller screening room with seating for less than 50, a theater with 50-100 seats, and a larger theater with stadium seating for 175-200 will replace the existing 600-seat single screen-theater.
"Our patrons will be happy to know that the familiar procenium arch in the theater will be maintained as part of the large auditorium," Laemmle said.
The Laemmle Theatres offices and the tenants on Santa Monica Boulevard will also remain after construction.
Plans for the reconstruction are awaiting approval from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, but the project is "somewhat imminent," Laemmle said. He plans to begin construction and close the theater as soon as plans are approved, and reopen the theater by the end of 2012.
Having more than one screen will broaden the possibilities for the theater—more films will be booked and staff will have more control over the schedule.
"Ultimately, we run into a situation where the films move off screen too quickly or not quickly enough," Laemmle said.
Though Laemmle said ticket prices at the Royal may increase slightly, he is "philosophically opposed" to much higher prices. A new Laemmle theater . Laemmle said he is keeping the audience's experience in mind with his plans for the Royal Theatre.
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