Laemmle Theater May See Its Downfall in Coming Months, City Official Says

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With the fresh smell of popcorn wafting through the air, the neon lights of the billboard displaying the movie titles aglow, and the lines long enough to reach the kids splashing in the plaza fountains, one knows they are at the Claremont Laemmle. Most Claremont kids grew up attending the Laemmle. Whether catching a movie on a Friday after school with friends or nervously awaiting a first date, most people in Claremont know the Laemmle like the back of their hand. However, reports have shown the Laemmle independent arthouse movie theater chain has been put up for sale as of early August of this year.

The Laemmle, a small independent cinema company that has nine branches spread across the West Los Angeles area, was first established in 1938 by Kurt and Max Laemmle, nephews of Carl Laemmle— founder of Universal Studios and American filmmaker. Now, the company is run by father-son duo Robert and Greg Laemmle.

“The Laemmle brought in a type of theater that previously you would’ve had to travel to LA or Pasadena for,” Randy Lopez, the Executive Director of the Claremont Chamber of Commerce, said.

Ever since the Laemmle appeared in Claremont in 2007, it has been an integral aspect of Claremont culture and the atmposhere Claremont embodies.

“It’s a tradition between me and my dad to go to the Lammle and see Marvel movies the weekend they come out,” Claremont High School sophomore Ryley Swift said. “It was a time for me and my dad to be together and it is honestly some of my best memories with him. The Laemmle holds a special place in my heart.”

While many reports remain vague, it appears as though all nine branches of the Laemmle have been put up for sale after 81 years of business.

However, not all hope for the Laemmle is lost; according to Lopez, there have reportedly been no signs of interest from potential buyers specifically towards the Claremont Laemmle and it remains fairly unthreatened. However, this does not mean the Laemmle status could not change at any moment within the upcoming months.

“The city and the chamber are doing anything we can to support our local businesses, but on the other hand, it really is up to the business,” Lopez said.

While there is not much citizens can do besides wait for further news, Claremont residents are able to take action by spreading awareness towards the issue.

“Currently, the most we can do is support and promote the Laemmle — just be there,” Lopez said.

The City encourages citizens to celebrate and enjoy the Laemmle while it is here, even though they do not know how long that will be. However, Lopez believes Claremont would be able to move past it.

“I think Claremont will be fine. The Claremont community is bigger than any one person or business,” Lopez said.

The fate of the Claremont Laemmle remains unclear. While the thought of the theater being sold is heart-breaking for many, the show must go on. Claremont encourages residents to go out and catch a movie sometime soon; it may be one of their last chances!

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