Landmark Theatres has decided to close their Embarcadero Center Cinema in San Francisco with the lease ending, and the chain citing “landlord-created conditions” which “challenged profitability” at the location.
Landmark counts another cinema in the Bay area, the Opera Plaza, which was remodeled last year, as well as locations in San Francisco East Bay and Palo Alto among its theaters in 20 markets.
“With the recent opening of our Scottsdale location, the forthcoming opening in the Chicago market and others to be announced, Landmark continues to explore economically viable locations that we feel are a proper fit for our brand,” said Landmark’s EVP of Real Estate Development, Michael Fant in statement to Deadline.
“Since the current lease at Embarcadero was coming to an end and landlord-created conditions challenged profitability at this location, Landmark made a prudent economic decision to close and vacate the Embarcadero Theatre at this time,” he added, “we remain optimistic about the recovery of theatrical exhibition and look forward to exploring other possible locations.”
We heard from distribution sources that the landlord at the Embarcadero literally pulled the escalators out of the building, making access to the theater impossible for moviegoers. Furthermore, it was a pricey lease. The Embarcadero, which we heard years ago use to rep close to a third of the circuit’s revenues, was recently repping a single digit percentile of the exhibitor’s annual revenues.
Deadline hasn’t heard if another chain is taking over the Embarcadero. Sources tell us that the venue is likely worth more as a residential property. The San Francisco market is overabundant already with arthouses which can handle the specialty fare coming down the line.
Landmark closed roughly 11 sites because of the pandemic including New York’s 57 West, Washington, D.C.’s West End, Houston’s River Oaks, Minneapolis’ Uptown Edina, St. Louis’ Tivoli, Detroit’s Main Art, San Diego’s Ken, San Francisco’s the Clay and Berkeley’s California.