Film-Tech Cinema Systems


Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Industry News   » Grauman's Chinese Theatre to Be Sold to Producers Elie Samaha, Don Kushner (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
Author Topic: Grauman's Chinese Theatre to Be Sold to Producers Elie Samaha, Don Kushner
System Notices
Forum Watchdog / Soup Nazi

Posts: 215

Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 05-10-2011 04:19 PM      Profile for System Notices         Edit/Delete Post 
Grauman's Chinese Theatre to Be Sold to Producers Elie Samaha, Don Kushner

Source: hollywoodreporter.com

quote:
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, a Hollywood landmark and perhaps the most famous movie theater in the world, is being sold.

Controversial nightclub operator-turned-film producer Elie Samaha and producer Don Kushner are buying the theater from a joint venture of Warner Bros. and Viacom Inc. for an undisclosed price. The transaction is expected to close May 20. As part of the deal, the buyers will take over the long-term lease of the adjacent Mann Chinese 6 Theatre, which is housed in the Hollywood & Highland Center.

The famed theater, which is on local and national historic registries -- protecting it from demolition or significant alteration -- has long been home to some of Hollywood's biggest movie premieres. Mann Theatres, which is co-owned by Warner and Viacom, operates the theater and the Mann 6 multiplex.

Changes could be in store for the Chinese Theatre. The new owners are exploring ways to maximize "the real estate opportunity," said commercial real estate broker John Tronson, who has been informally consulting on the project for Samaha and Kushner, whose credits include Tron: Legacy and Monster.

Tronson, a Hollywood expert and principal at Ramsey-Shilling Commercial Real Estate Services, said that the new owners are considering advertising opportunities, special events and product promotions as ways to wring more revenue out of the property.

"They do movie premieres there, but that's all they really do in the way of events," said Tronson, who is consulting on the project along with Ramsey-Shilling CEO Chris Bonbright. "They could do a lot of other things there that would drive people who come and visit and see it."

Page 2 of 2
Several Hollywood sources said they had heard that the new owners are considering turning the theater, which has 1,152 seats, into a nightclub. It's worth noting that Samaha has interests in two historic Hollywood Boulevard movie theaters that have recently been transformed into nightlife venues: the Fox Theatre and Vogue Theatre.

Leron Gubler, CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and Nicole Mihalka, a commercial real estate broker at Cushman & Wakefield, both said they had heard talk about the Chinese Theatre being converted to a nightclub. However, Tronson said he doesn't expect that to occur, adding that the new owners had not mentioned such a potential change to him.

"That would kill all the interest from people who are interested in coming there," Tronson said.

Samaha has a checkered history in the entertainment business. Before segueing into the movie business, he owned a dry cleaners operation -- called Celebrity Cleaners -- and several nightclubs, including a stake in the original Roxbury in Hollywood. Though he has produced films such as Heist, The Whole Nine Yards and The In-Laws, Samaha is best known for his high-profile legal battle with Intertainment Licensing over allegations that he committed fraud by distorting the budgets of films made by his Franchise Pictures.

Intertainment, a German company, accused Samaha of defrauding it out of $75 million, arguing that he kept multiple sets of books for his films. The years-long case was settled in 2006, with Samaha paying $3 million to Intertainment.

Samaha did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

Preservationists will be watching the new owners closely. Though the Chinese Theatre's placement on historic registries offers some protection, it is possible that the new owners could attempt to make changes to the property.

"Any renovation would need to comply with nationally recognized preservation standards. That's our primary concern -- the proper treatment of the historic building -- though it's always ideal to maintain a landmark's intended use," said Adrian Scott Fine, director of advocacy for the Los Angeles Conservancy, a nonprofit preservation watchdog organization.

The Chinese Theatre has been on the market since August 2009. Located at 6925 Hollywood Blvd., the theater, which opened in 1927, includes a concrete forecourt in which the hand and footprints of dozens of movie stars are preserved. The property is next door to the Hollywood & Highland Center -- where the Mann 6 is housed -- and is a key stop for tourists who frequent the boulevard. It will host the TCM Classic Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday night.

The sale does not include the land on which the Chinese Theatre is situated; real estate developer and investment firm CIM Group, owner of Hollywood & Highland, owns the land, having purchased it in 2008.

Warner and Viacom had been leasing the space that houses the Mann 6 theaters from CIM; Samaha and Kushner will assume that lease.

Warner and CIM declined to comment. Viacom and Mann did not immediately return calls seeking comment.


 |  IP: Logged

Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 4855
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 05-10-2011 09:06 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, a Hollywood landmark and perhaps the most famous movie theater in the world, is being sold.
Debatable; can he say, Radio City Music Hall?

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 10741
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-11-2011 12:35 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think I'd have to go with Grauman's on that one. It IS in Hollywood, after all.

And, there is not a replica of Radio City Music Hall in Disney World either, so there! [Big Grin]

 |  IP: Logged

Bill Gabel
Film God

Posts: 3851
From: Technicolor NYC, NY, USA
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 05-11-2011 01:42 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel   Email Bill Gabel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'd go with the Grauman's Chinese Theatre too. Bigger is not always better.

 |  IP: Logged

Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12655
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 05-11-2011 04:14 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is Radio City Music Hall even a movie theater? Or is it just a place that can show movies from time to time while mostly focusing on crap that people in the east seem to like, like plays?

 |  IP: Logged

Bill Gabel
Film God

Posts: 3851
From: Technicolor NYC, NY, USA
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 05-11-2011 05:09 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel   Email Bill Gabel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They do concerts for most of the year and that Christmas show with the Rockettes. A few times a year a big premiere.

 |  IP: Logged

Manny Knowles
"What are these things and WHY are they BLUE???"

Posts: 4077
From: Bloomington, IN, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 05-11-2011 06:46 PM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Worldwide I'd have to go with the Chinese Theatre.

Personally, as a tourist to NYC -- and I've been a few times -- I've had no interest in seeing Radio City Music Hall. Whereas, the Chinese Theatre was at the top of my to-do list when I visited Hollywood for the first time.

 |  IP: Logged

Aaron Garman
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1386
From: South Bend, IN, USA
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted 05-11-2011 11:08 PM      Profile for Aaron Garman   Email Aaron Garman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As a pure movie house, the Chinese wins hands down over Radio City.

I sure hope that it continues to show movies: I'd hate to say the last movie I ever saw there was MacGruber.

AJG

 |  IP: Logged

Tom Petrov
Five Guys Lover

Posts: 1121
From: El Paso, TX
Registered: Jan 2003


 - posted 05-11-2011 11:36 PM      Profile for Tom Petrov     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wonder what would happen if AMC gets their hands on it?

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 10741
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-12-2011 12:38 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Most likely, not much. There would be such an outcry from virtually everybody in the movie production business that they won't dare fiddle with it too much -- plus, it's on the National Register of Historic Places, which doesn't stop them from altering it but gives it even more "attention" from the public than it would otherwise get. It remains a showplace to have your big premiere. It's not going anywhere.

 |  IP: Logged

Tom Petrov
Five Guys Lover

Posts: 1121
From: El Paso, TX
Registered: Jan 2003


 - posted 05-12-2011 01:06 AM      Profile for Tom Petrov     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Blakesley
National Register of Historic Places
There are always ways around this, at least up here in Canada I mean. Just gut the inside.

I have no use for giant mega sizes auditoriums. I prefer smaller and more intimate ones.

But for premieres, I can understand why people would want it to stick around.

 |  IP: Logged

Manny Knowles
"What are these things and WHY are they BLUE???"

Posts: 4077
From: Bloomington, IN, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 05-12-2011 07:46 AM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Tom Petrov
I have no use for giant mega sizes auditoriums.
I guess that settles it then. [Roll Eyes]

 |  IP: Logged

Sam D. Chavez
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1629
From: Martinez, CA USA
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted 05-12-2011 09:25 AM      Profile for Sam D. Chavez   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Quote Sam Chavez

I have no use for giant mega size egos. [Mad]

 |  IP: Logged

Tony Bandiera Jr
Film God

Posts: 2781
From: Moreland Idaho
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 05-12-2011 01:18 PM      Profile for Tony Bandiera Jr   Email Tony Bandiera Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sam, you the man!!! [beer] [Big Grin] [thumbsup]

I don't know about how I feel about this upcoming sale...my last film experience at the Chinese ("The Right Stuff" in 70mm) was not a good one at all...I still haven't found a reason to go back and give them a shot at redemption.

 |  IP: Logged

Chris Slycord
Film God

Posts: 2978
From: Redmond, WA, USA
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted 05-12-2011 03:29 PM      Profile for Chris Slycord   Email Chris Slycord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Per the earlier question, if AMC were to "get their hands on it" in the same way they did with the Seattle Cinerama (where another owned the place and they're merely the people in charge of managing the place), nothing much would happen to it. And it's ironic that they were made digital when AMC was gone from the picture, which from what I see the owner more wanted to hire a group that was more focused on single-screen theaters and making it a sort-of community theater again (since I assume they saw the writing on the wall that otherwise they'd go under due to competition and such).

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2014 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.