So long, Landmark La Jolla Village
  • So long, Landmark La Jolla Village
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Landmark La Jolla Village

8879 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla

(No longer in business.)

Another temple of cinema bites the dust. It’s with a great deal of both frustration and consternation that I bring news of the pending demolition of the Landmark La Jolla Village to make way for another high-profile discount schmate outlet.

This makes a total of five Landmark screens to go under in the 15 years I’ve been calling San Diego my home. Remember La Jolla’s single-screen Cove Theatre? It became, in 2002, a furniture store. Subtract four more auditoriums, with 1149 seats, when the La Jolla Village shutters its doors. Still standing: the five screens at Landmark’s Hillcrest location and Kensington’s venerable single-screen, the Ken Cinema.

ArcLight La Jolla

4425 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite H60, University City

A change took place not long after Arclight — with its fashionable stadium seating, “black box” technology, and top ticket price of $18.50 [and real butter on the popcorn! — Ed.] — moved to UTC in 2012. Defying whatever logic that is known to exist in contemporary booking patterns, it was a Landmark art house, not the AMC multiplex across the way, that, along with Arclight, opened the decidedly mainstream The Hobbit.

I’m guessing the chain was banking on students (and seniors) who had no interest in paying upwards of $20 to watch a film in 3D. (None of the screens at La Jolla Village were outfitted for 3D.) The experiment eventually died off, and of late, the theater was back showing art-house fare.

According to the Union-Tribune, the quad is poised to fade to black in August. Coming soon: a Nordstrom Rack. Thanks for all the great years of service.

One door closes, another opens. Hopefully you LJ Village stalwarts (and more) will find a new home when the Reading Cinema Carmel Mountain becomes the Angelika Film Center later this year.

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Comments

monaghan June 3, 2015 @ 8:45 p.m.

I'd heard the rumors but discounted their possibility. These theaters do a lot of business and for $10 a pop max, less for oldsters. Plenty of parking. Near UCSD. Adjacent to north La Jolla residential. Why doesn't Mark Cuban or whoever it is who owns Landmark Theaters open another venue in the area? Carmel Valley is way too far away from this populous, movie-going, foreign-movie-loving neighborhood. Maybe Irwin Jacobs would open a movie theater for the community. He lives nearby. I'd gladly trade the Cabrillo Bridge in Balboa Park for another La Jolla four-plex.

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Scott Marks June 4, 2015 @ 9:40 a.m.

Mr. Jacobs has already given our town a beautiful cinema that no one takes advantage of.

Arclight might pick up some of the art house slack, but it's doubtful that AMC will. Are Hillcrest, the Ken, or the Gaslamp that much further away than Carmel Valley? Looks like you're going to drive for your art no matter what direction you head in.

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monaghan June 4, 2015 @ 10:59 p.m.

Scott, Arclight costs a fortune, although it's a nice place. The parking is a bear, however. Fortunately they gave up that cutsey hipster thing of having people with i-pads wander around the lobby selling tickets: no lines, no order, no fairness about first-come first-served, me no like.

Your're right about the MOPA theater with the twinkling lights on the ceiling: it is beautiful. We can thank the late wonderful David Singer, architect, for designing that space. If no one takes advantage of it, fault lies with MOPA management, if you ask me.

Hillcrest is fine, close second to LJ four-plex. Ken is far-but-good, Gaslamp has no parking and is sort of creepy-tall. Reading Clairemont 14 will have to up their game, but it's fine. They recently raised their prices too. We could always go back to the Digital Gym. (Not really. Not if I can help it.)

Losing LJ Landmark is sad.

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Scott Marks June 5, 2015 @ 10:24 a.m.

You're better off parking at home and walking to Arclight.

I had not heard about the passing of David Singer. We butted heads several times over the theatre's design, but he was always a kind and reasonable gentleman. Alav ha'shalom.

Broken record department: Park free at Horton Plaza for 3 hours and walk two blocks to the theatre. It's a lot closer than the hike you'll take at Arclight.

I love the Gaslamp's "creepy-tall" lobby. Looks like something Cedric Gibbons might have designed for M-G-M.

Clairemont is indeed upping their game. Hope you caught "Black Souls" there.

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monaghan June 5, 2015 @ 2:29 p.m.

You are nice to say that about David Singer who died a year ago. He is gone but not forgotten.

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dwbat June 4, 2015 @ 10:23 a.m.

Yes, Landmark is owned by Mark Cuban Companies. But he has too many companies to worry about what Landmark does in SD.

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Scott Marks June 5, 2015 @ 11:18 a.m.

And a note to my esteemed editor: The Ken, Hillcrest, and Arclight all use the same butterfat topping on their corn. It's not "real" butter. It's hydrogenated butterfat aka butter with the water drained out. Ever make buttered popcorn at home? The second the butter hits, the corn begins to shrivel. Not so at a multiplex. It's the water in the butter that causes this to happen.

Real butter at a movie theatre is an oxymoron. One of the few times I can remember getting real butter was at Chicago's Playboy Theatre. (The wall-to-wall bunny broadloom was to die for.) Hef saw to it that there was always a uniformed bunny behind the concession stand to personally drizzle the butter.

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