By Zena Taher and Samantha Bailey
After being delayed for months, the Laemmle Theatre on Main Street in Newhall is planning to open its doors to welcome movie lovers on April 9.
“So many people were asking us to come out there, on some level that indicated to us that there was interest,” said Greg Laemmle, who runs Laemmle Theatres along with his father, Robert. “As people are moving further and further out into the suburbs, they want the same kinds of cultural activities that are more present in the urban core.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set to take place at 11 a.m. on April 9, according to Cassie Gratton, the manager of the Newhall location.
“For people that have never been to Laemmle Theatres, I feel that we are a little more personable,” said Gratton. “We recognize people that come in consistently. We’ll recognize our regulars.”
Laemmle Theatres, which was established in 1938 and currently has nine locations in Southern California, is a theater that is known for showing arthouse, independent and foreign films.
The company’s slogan, “Not Afraid of Subtitles,” is a reference to its frequent screening of foreign-language films.
“When exhibiting foreign-language films, you always hear people saying ‘Oh, I don’t like subtitles,’” explained Laemmle. “Our attitude is that subtitles aren’t a big deal. It’s still a movie. Get in there and enjoy it!”
According to Laemmle, the Newhall theater has been in the works for nearly five years. The establishment consists of seven theaters of varying sizes spread out over two floors and was completed in May 2020 but, due to the coronavirus pandemic, its grand opening had to wait.
“We hope to create an arts and entertainment district in Old Town Newhall,” said Laemmle. “This is one of the more authentic urban experiences in the Santa Clarita Valley.”
Some theaters have enough space to hold over 100 movie watchers at full capacity. Others are more intimate, holding under 50 people at full capacity.
The concession stand is set to be open so guests can enjoy drinks and snacks while watching movies at Laemmle.
Now that Los Angeles County has entered the red tier, Laemmle Newhall is scheduled to open at 25% capacity to allow for proper distancing between moviegoers.
If Los Angeles County enters the orange tier by April 9, theater capacity is slated to increase to 50 percent.
Representatives said Laemmle Theatres is following CinemaSafe guidelines and will require guests to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines in the lobby and other public areas.
Guests can learn more about the additional protocols and guidelines here.
“I’m excited to get to know Newhall and the city,” said Gratton. “I’m happy to be working again.”
For more information and updates on the opening of Laemmle Theatre Newhall, visit its website.