18443 Sherman Way (@ Reseda Blvd.) | map |
Reseda (Los Angeles), CA 91335
The News: "After 22 years of deterioration..." In June 2016 city
councilman Bob Blumenfield said the city is proceeding with negotiations for a developer to build a new building on the site incorporating housing and a multi-screen Laemmle Reseda theatre. The
blog of the Reseda Neighborhood Council had the story. In his press release Blumenfield noted that the signage would be restored in the new project.
The new theatre is expected to have six screens with a total seating capacity around 500.
The Los Angeles Daily News had a July 1 story on the project by Gregory J. Wilcox titled "Shuttered Reseda Theater gets green light to become Laemmle multiplex." The article noted that "In a 13-0 vote, the Los Angeles
City Council on Friday approved an exclusive negotiating agreement with
developer Thomas Safran & Associates for a mixed-use project on the
site near the corner of Reseda Boulevard and Sherman Way. Area Councilman Bob Blumenfield said the agreement would 'bring commerce, art and culture back to the community.' 'Reseda is rising,' he told his colleagues. Safran was one of several developers competing for the negotiating agreement. The
plan calls for a new Reseda Laemmle Theater at 18443 Sherman Way with
34 senior citizen units on top of and behind the theater building."
The San Fernando Valley Historical Society had a post about the project on their Facebook page that elicited many comments.
Architect: S. Charles Lee. See our Blogspot posts for more by L.A.'s most prolific theatre architect. The Google Maps view here is from 2012. Click on it for a larger view or head to the interactive version.
History: The Reseda had been operated by both Pacific Theatres and Metropolitan Theatres. In its final years as a Spanish language house it was advertised as the Cine Reseda. It closed in 1988 and has been sitting vacant ever since. It got some new plywood and paint on the facade in 2010.
Several restoration schemes have come and gone. Preserve LA had a 2005 story boasting that the Los Angeles CRA was then the "proud and official owner" of the Reseda. It was a request for proposals that went nowhere despite the CRA's statement that rehabilitation of the building was an important goal for the area.
In 2008 the L.A. Times was overly optimistic about an $8 million project with the CIM group, whose spokesman was already discussing bookings. Curbed L.A. had a 2010 story about that deal falling apart -- and the CRA was going to give them half the cost! Now it's in a different kind of limbo with the 2012 dissolution of the CRA. In early 2014 a petition to restore the theatre appeared on MoveOn.org.
The Reseda in the Movies:
The biggest break the Reseda had in years was the inclusion
in the title sequence of Paul Thomas Anderson's "Boogie Nights"
(New Line, 1997). The San Fernando Valley Blog page on the
locations for the film includes this screenshot.
See our Theatres in Movies post about "Boogie Nights"
for another Reseda signage view as well as a shot from a
visit to the Santa Monica Pussycat Theatre.
More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Reseda for many stories. The Cinema Tour page has three exterior photos. The Los Angeles Daily News had a good 2012 story about the 100th anniversary of the town and the current problems with economic development. There had been a 2006 article about officials trying to reinvent the community.
Ken McIntyre has 2010 facade and 2009 entrance and vertical sign shots on Photobucket. Wikipedia has an article on Reseda which also includes a 2010 look at the theatre.
Another Dean Musgrove shot with the
story -- of the rear of the building.
Mark's Vintage Theatres and Drive-Ins set includesfull size view
this 2010 look at the long dormant theatre.
The long dormant Reseda Theatre, an
S. Charles Lee design from 1948.
photo: Google Maps - 2012
[ click on the image for a full size view ]
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A 1983 look at the Reseda when it was
a Spanish language film house.
A 1954 postcard from the Billy Holcomb
collection appears in Don Lewis's amazing
Vanishing Movie Theatres album on Flickr.
full size view | on FB/LATheatres
We're looking east on Sherman Way from Reseda Blvd.
with the Reseda Theatre on the left in this 1954 Calabasas
Historical Society photo from the Oviatt Library collection.
full size view | on the Cal State website
The photo above also appears on Photos of Los Angeles.
A c.1963 postcard in the CSUN Oviatt collection.
The facade had been remodeled since the 1954 shot.
appears on Photos of Los Angeles.
A 2005 sidewall detail. Scarlett Lark got in on
a CRA tour. The interior was later stripped out.
full size view
Another view from the 2005 tour taken by
Scarlett Lark. Here we're looking toward the
screen. Both these were on Buzznet but have
now vanished from that site.