TCL Chinese Theatre Reopening In Time For ‘Godzilla Vs. Kong’ – Updated L.A. Exhibition Rundown

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UPDATE, Friday AM: This list will be updated on a regular basis: As we first told you (scroll down) Hollywood’s 94-year-old TCL Chinese Theatre is reopening today, however for tours only. This will be followed by Imax showtimes of Tenet on Monday with a full official ribbon-cutting/reopening ceremony on Monday March 29 with all four directors of current and previous Godzilla and King Kong movies in honor of Legendary/Warner Bros’ Godzilla vs Kong‘s opening on Wednesday.

Film Directors Adam Wingard (Godzilla vs. Kong), Michael Dougherty (Godzilla: King of the Monsters), Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island), and Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) as well as Josh Grode, CEO of Legendary Entertainment will be present. Starting Wednesday when Godzilla vs. Kong opens, Imax tickets for select seats at the Chinese Theatre will be $5 for two weeks. In conjunction with promo partner, The HollyGold Foundation, 1K movie tickets will be donated to low-income families and individuals in the city. The ever Hollywood traditional celebrity handprint ceremonies are being booked for all year round going forward. There’s also a 85th Marilyn Monroe Birthday festival being planned for June as well as the 130th Anniversary of basketball with a basketball film festival scheduled for late summer.

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The Chinese Theatre was originally named Grauman’s Chinese Theatre before being renamed Mann’s Chinese Theatre in 1973 which lasted until 2001. In 2013, Chinese electronics manufacturer TCL bought the venue.

4TH EXCLUSIVE UPDATE, March 22, 4:03 PM: A big deal for all indie distributors and those with Oscar-contending films: Los Angeles’ awards-season multiplex, the Landmark on Pico, is opening on Friday, Deadline can report. While the art house chain opened its Nuart this past weekend with Sony Pictures Classics’ six-time Oscar nominee The Father and A24’s six-time Oscar nominee Minari, it took awhile, per sources, to get the Landmark on Pico cleared by the city as the venue has a bar which also serves food.

As we previously reported the L.A. theatrical marketplace skyrocketed to the top spot over the weekend, grossing $1.55 million which repped 8.8% of the weekend’s $17.6M domestic box office, per Comscore.

As we first told you back in December 2018, Cohen Media Group acquired the Landmark chain from Wagner/Cuban companies, a circuit which then spanned 252 screens in 27 markets. That’s been whittled down with some closures during the pandemic, including the chain’s posh Upper West Side NYC 57th Street eight-plex, which shuttered three years after opening. Landmark could not come to terms with the landlord on that property, the Durst Corporation. Landmark still has the Quad Cinemas in Manhattan.

3RD UPDATE March 13: Cinemark Turning On Long Beach Projectors Today; AMC Monday; Cinepolis & More Lux food and cushy chair chain Cinépolis will reopen the following locations next Friday, March 19: Laguna 7, Rancho Santa Margarita, in Orange County; Westlake Village 8 in Ventura County; Pico Rivera 14 in LA; Del Mar 11, La Costa Town Square and Vista Village 15 in San Diego county.

Studio Movie Grill is still working through its reopenings in the surrounding LA area, but I hear they won’t be reopening what was their new Glendale location.

Harkins is reopening Cerritos 16 in LA County, Moreno Valley 16 in Riverside County, Mountain Grove 16 and Chino Hills 18 in San Bernardino.

2ND EXCLUSIVE UPDATE, March 12, 3:40 PM: Cinemark confirmed last night what we heard from sources: The No. 3 chain is re-opening its Long Beach location as early as tomorrow. Cinemark will have its San Bernardino County locations open by Sunday, with the rest of the LA County balance in the very near future. That includes the Cinemark Playa Vista and XD on Jefferson Blvd in Los Angeles as well as its 18 XD Howard Hughes Center location, which was originally National Amusements’ The Bridge.

Cinemark is thrilled to once again offer Los Angeles movie lovers the chance to see a movie on our big screens with sight and sound technology that truly cannot be replicated at home,” said Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi in a statement. “Los Angeles is one of the most meaningful moviegoing markets in the world, and we look forward to providing moviegoers the entertainment experience they have been craving with the health and safety protocols they can trust. With an extensive list of blockbusters set to release in the coming months and nearly 90 percent of our U.S. circuit open, there is no better time to get back to the theatre.”

EXCLUSIVE UPDATE:, March 12, 3:22 PM: AMC has confirmed what we heard from sources earlier and the No. 1 chain in the nation is reopening its Burbank 16 and Century City 15 multiplexes this Monday in the Los Angeles market. The news comes as Los Angeles moves into the red tier.

AMC will have its remaining 23 locations open by Friday, March 19, and nearly all of its 56 California multiplexes opened by that date as well. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until March 26 for the next big wide release which is Universal’s Bob Odenkirk Action film Nobody.

“The reopening of movie theatres in Los Angeles County and throughout California is a momentous occasion for AMC Theatres, for our guests, for our associates, for our studio partners, and for the entire theatrical exhibition industry. To put the magnitude of Los Angeles reopening in perspective, as a movie market, the L.A. DMA is about double the size of the New York City market, which just finished last weekend as the No. 1 DMA in our circuit for box office,” beamed AMC CEO Adam Aron.

He continued, “As we have done at more than 525 locations around the country, AMC will reopen with the highest devotion to the health and safety of our guests and associates through our AMC Safe & Clean policies and protocols, which were developed in consultation with Clorox and with current and former faculty at the prestigious Harvard University School of Public Health. AMC Safe & Clean includes social distancing & automatic seat blocking in each auditorium, mandatory mask wearing, and upgraded air filtration with MERV-13 air filters, as well as many other important health, sanitization and cleanliness efforts.”

Separately, source are also telling us that the TCL Chinese Theatre Imax is planning to reopen on March 26. Note that Warner Bros/Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong, which will be an Imax destination, opens on Wednesday, March 31. The official word from the TCL rep is that the chain is still working out its L.A. reopening with no definite date yet.

In regard to the downtown Alamo Drafthouse, a spokesperson for the chain told us this AM, “We’re so excited that we have the opportunity to bring what we’ve learned about creating the safest and most relaxing cinematic experience possible to our Downtown LA location. We won’t be open by next week – there’s a lot to do – but we will reopen as soon as possible, and we’ll make plenty of noise when we do.”

PREVIOUSLY, March 11, 4:16 PM: Finally, the movie capital of the world can show movies in theaters again after a year’s shutdown of all exhibition due to the pandemic.

Los Angeles County this afternoon lined up with California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order on Wednesday to move movie theaters into the red tier, allowing them to reopen at 25% capacity between Monday and Wednesday next week.

But of course, not every chain will be open for business by Friday, March 19.

Here’s what we know so far:

You can count on AMC. The chain’s CEO Adam Aron said today on Fox Business Network, “It’ll take a few days to assemble staff but all protocols are set and we will open L.A. theaters one week from tomorrow, no matter what.”

AMC has major multiplexes at the Century City Mall, three locations in Burbank, the Sunset Boulevard location that was the old Sundance theater and the 3rd Street Promenade location in Santa Monica.

Cinemark has shown to be ready whenever cities have lifted their Covid restrictions. We’re still waiting to get official details on which of its venues will be turning their lights on, but don’t be surprised if the Promenade 18 and XD venue at the Howard Hughes Center comes back online by March 19.

In a statement, a Cinemark spokesperson said: “Cinemark is excited by the prospect of once again welcoming Los Angeles moviegoers to the immersive, cinematic experience of seeing a movie on the big screen at our theatres. We are optimistically following local mandates and look forward to sharing a reopening update once government restrictions are announced. All Cinemark theatres reopen with The Cinemark Standard, enhanced cleaning and safety protocols at every step of the moviegoing experience. Since beginning our phased reopening in June, we have consistently received 96% guest satisfaction ratings with Cinemark protecting their health and safety.”

TCL has the Chinese 6 and the Imax Chinese Theatre here in town. I hear that the chain’s owners were on a conference call at the time of this report to deliberate whether or not to reopen next weekend. Stay tuned.

Who are the holdouts?

Regal, which has the L.A. Live & 4DX location in downtown Los Angeles, probably won’t be back until May. In the short term, the chain remains closed. It’s two multiplexes in Santa Clarita, north of L.A., remained closed.

Deadline has learned from art house chain Laemmle — which has a brand-spanking-ew 6-plex in Newhall, CA, that’s ready to have its ribbon cut — won’t reopen for another four to five weeks from this weekend. The chain has to retrain its staff, as well as make hires. Laemmle has assessed that it’s better to reopen the chain all at once, rather than sporadically.

Also, Arclight cinemas, which has the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, will take some time to come back online. In addition to its Sunset Boulevard location, it has multiplexes in El Segundo, Pasadena, Santa Monica and Culver City. The chain is waiting for more tentpole feature product to be released by the studios. While logic would dictate that would be when Disney’s Black Widow rolls around on May 7, Arclight would prefer to wait until there are enough movies in theaters so that it can turn a profit. Perhaps that will be when capacity restrictions jump to a greater percentage.

Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas in Pacific Palisades also will wait a bit before turning the projectors back on. Landmark would like to reopen its cinemas here in Westwood and on Pico Boulevard by next weekend, but it’s currently a work in progress.

We’ll update you on more theater reopenings in L.A. as we learn about them.

L.A. County came close to reopening theaters over the summer before Newsom shut down the county prior to the Fourth of July holiday. While other nearby counties including Ventura and Orange reopened soon after Labor Day for Warner Bros.’ Tenet, Los Angeles never did. However, drive-ins were allowed to operate off-and-on since the pandemic took hold in mid-March last year.

Meanwhile, here’s how the wide release calendar is looking for March, April and May (updated as of March 26):

March 26
Nobody (Uni)

March 31
Godzilla v. Kong (WB/Legendary/HBO Max)

April 2
The Unholy (Sony)

April 9
Voyagers (Lionsgate)

April 16
Mortal Kombat (New Line/HBO Max)

April 30
Separation (Open Road)

May 7
Wrath of Man (UAR)

May 14

Spiral (Lionsgate)

Those Who Wish Me Dead (WB/HBO Max)

May 21

May 28
Cruella (Disney)
A Quiet Place II (Paramount)

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