Regency Village Theatre

961 Broxton Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90024

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stumbley on July 14, 2022 at 2:12 am

I stumbled on this website not long ago, and was intrigued by all the comments on the Village.

I was Assistant Manager for about 3 ½ years in the early 70’s, when Westwood was considered the “hot” film place. We had a number of premiere events, and the theater was very busy.

I was among the first in Los Angeles (outside of the studio) to see “The Godfather” prior to its debut at the Village. Al Ruddy (one of the producers) brought the film to the theater one afternoon before the premiere to check out how the film would play at the Village. Ruddy, the projectionist, and I were the only people in the theater at the time. After seeing the movie, I knew we’d be VERY busy for a long time.

At the premiere, about halfway through the presentation, Mario Puzo emerged from the theater into the lobby with about a foot-long, inch diameter cigar, and lit up. We had an interesting conversation about the film, the book, and how he was doing since the book’s popularity. He shook his head sadly, and admitted that he “had gambled away everything I made on the book and the film” and that he was compelled to “write the crap screenplay for ‘Earthquake’” in order to pay off his debts. I asked whether he had been worried about offending organized crime with his depiction of “the Mob,” and he replied that “no, I had a lot of help from that corner.”

Some other tidbits:

Walter Matthau and his son PAID to see Matthau in “Plaza Suite” when it played at the Village.

We often had lines round the block for popular movies. At one point, Groucho Marx came by with his companion, Erin Fleming, and requested to be let in before the line. He said “You wouldn’t deny admission to a living legend, would you?”

We had the premiere of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” at the Village, for which Neil Diamond wrote the soundtrack. The film was so poorly received that one night, for the prime-time showing, no one had purchased a ticket by the time the show was supposed to start. The projectionist ran the film through the projector without firing up the carbon arc, to save carbon (the rods would actually burn up and had to be periodically replaced). Neil Diamond arrived at the theater about 15 minutes into the show, and we quickly informed the projectionist to start the arc, just in time for Diamond to enter the theater. He came out about 5 minutes later and asked “Am I the only person in the show?” When I answered “Yes” he shook his head and started to walk away. I told him that I thought the music was really good, but the film was crap, and he agreed. He said “I wish I’d never been involved in this junk.”

Finally, one of the commenters down thread had asked “What became of the former manager Jim Peters?” I can answer that question. He was let go after it was revealed that he had been faking refunds and pocketing the money. One of the cashiers and I had informed the District Manager that he was raking in about $20-$30 per night doing this. Small potatoes per day, but it added up. Peters claimed that he was using the money to renovate the Manager’s office, but the District Manager didn’t necessarily believe that story. However, Peters wasn’t actually fired, just moved to a smaller, less important theater. The cashier and I had to work with Peters for about 2 weeks after informing on him (before he was transferred) and I can tell you, it was NOT FUN. But since he had basically forced the cashier to participate (she had to sign the refund forms) she would have been complicit in the crime, and I didn’t want her to be implicated.

Many more stories about Westwood and the theaters there at that time; it was a “happening place”. I often contemplated writing a book!

vindanpar on April 3, 2022 at 8:01 pm

WSS had its world premiere in NY’s Rivoli theater then had its Hollywood premiere at Grauman’s. When did it get to this theater? Even in LA I would think Grauman’s would have it exclusively first run.

BRADE48 on November 14, 2021 at 11:14 am

Regency Village and Bruin Theatres - Westwood, CA is feeling excited. November 12 at 12:00 AM · Our 90th anniversary continues November 26th at the Village with the EXCLUSIVE Engagement of the new Paul Thomas Anderson film, Licorice Pizza featured in 70mm Film! Being a master filmmaker, his films are inherently amazing so put on your best threads and boogie over now…and don’t stop and smell the magnolias. There will be Red Vines!

BRADE48 on November 7, 2021 at 4:03 pm

On Regency’s Facebook Page

70mm is coming back to Westwood! We can’t say more right now but exciting things are coming together!

70mm #film

fred1 on September 13, 2019 at 7:36 am

The exterior was used in Once upon a Time in Hollywood.

rivest266 on September 12, 2019 at 7:00 pm

August 11th, 1931 grand opening ad in the photo section.

RobertAlex on May 13, 2019 at 2:10 pm

Came her Sunday 5.12 for the 11.30am showing of Endgame. The theater now boasts it as a THX Ultimate Theater. The changes are not that noticeable, but welcomed.

Sound: The sound is much more discreet, and not so much in your face. I always thought this theater had the best sound in LA (I know I am in the minority on that opinion=), and whatever they did for this upgrade improved an already impressive system. Real nice THX Ultimate trailer showed before the film.

They still use Dolby Atmos and show the trailer before the movie.

Picture: The picture is light years better then what it was. First off, the screen is bigger. Its maybe just a few feet wider, but there is no more room for the screen to get any larger. It appears they pulled it as wide as they could. The manager confirmed with me that the screen was replaced with a slightly larger screen.

The new laser projection was amazing.I previously saw this movie at a Dolby Cinema, and this was just as good if not better.

For $10.50 for a matinee, this theater is the best deal in town.

moviebuff82 on April 9, 2019 at 3:05 pm this is great news!!!

RobertAlex on July 14, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Regency just announced that Dunkirk will play here in 70mm! I cannot remember the last time they played that format here, perhaps it was Titanic.

Coate on June 19, 2017 at 4:35 pm

The Village was among just eleven theaters in the United States that installed the then-new Dolby Digital sound system for their engagement of “Batman Returns” which opened twenty-five years ago today. And here’s the link to a retrospective article that commemorates the occasion.

Logan5 on June 8, 2016 at 1:50 pm

According to George Perry’s 2005 book “James Dean”, Dean and actress Ursula Andress attended a sneak preview screening of the final cut of “Rebel Without A Cause” at the Village Theatre in Westwood on Saturday September 17, 1955, less than two weeks before he was killed in an auto accident.

RJwestla on February 14, 2016 at 7:31 pm

Saw the 115pm show of “Deadpool” here today. Regency sunk some money here again. The THX and Atmos rocked as usual. Hands down the best cinema around.

RJwestla on December 20, 2015 at 5:50 pm

Just came from the 1250pm showing of Star Wars here. @giles, this is THE Dolby Atmos cinema in Los Angeles. Light years ahead of the El Capitan.

markinthedark on December 15, 2014 at 11:10 am

Regency website shows the Hobbit opening Tuesday evening and Bruin has Exodus though Tuesday. Since Hobbit is a Wednesday release it probably means the theaters are still sorting out their schedules and have not gotten the showtimes out there yet.

RJwestla on December 15, 2014 at 11:02 am

Looks like this cinema and the Bruin are closing. No show times for both either on Flixter or Regency’s app after today

Cliffs on July 14, 2014 at 3:27 am

I have to say I was initially worried about the Atmos retrofit for the theater and how it would affect the Village aesthetically. Having gone to see Apes at the Village this week, those concerns were unfounded. Unlike the El Capitan, where it looks like they just hung scaffolding to attach the new speakers (Which might be all they could do and protect the architecture… so not to bash the El Cap) the Village Atmos is very well installed. Oh, and it sounds great too. So yeah… Dolby Atmos and THX together at last!

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on June 29, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Dolby Atmos is now running in this theatre – alongside THX. And BOY OH BOY does it rumble in there. FANTASTIC sound!

Cliffs on May 5, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Or The National… :‘(

But I’m glad to see this arrangement. The Village and Bruin have been on a positive trajectory since the closing of the Avco and it looks like the iPic might have been the best thing for them (sort of how splitting the booking for the Chinese and the Arclight Hollywood has really improved the viability of the Chinese the past 9 months). Great to see so many of the previously endangered treasures getting some extra life.

BRADE48 on May 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm

It looks like it could work out better for Regency after all. They are not stuck with long engagements and will keep the bookings fresh as you said. Even though Westwood is working on an upswing I doubt there will be any other new theatres built there. I think the idea is to keep it a village and not the monster it was in the 70’s and 80’s. Along with the Regent and Crest there are enough screens in Westwood. Too bad the Festival could not be utilized again.

Cliffs on May 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm

The fact that both are booking day and date is fantastic news for both. I couldn’t imagine how iPic was going to book in their low seating count auditoriums while the Village had 1200 seats up the street. Conversely, it looks like the Village and Bruin will now be able to continue shorter 2 week bookings and keep those films fresh. This is a happy, happy day.

BRADE48 on April 25, 2014 at 5:19 pm

iPIC (formerly AMC AVCO) has opened. They are booking day/date with Regency. Both are showing Trancendence, both are getting Spiderman 2 and Godzilla (day/date) in May.

RobertAlex on April 18, 2014 at 11:02 am

This is great news! The Village installed Dolby Atmos. From their Facebook page. Now we dont have to spend $19 dollars to hear Atmos at the other theaters in LA.

Regency Village and Bruin Theatres – Westwood, CA April 11 · Edited We are happy to announce that Dolby Atmos sound system has been installed at the Regency Village Theatre!

Beginning with Transcendence on April 17th @ 8pm, our theatre will feature the new system for select films. The most significant development in audio since the arrival of surround sound is here. Dolby Atmos delivers audiences a more natural and realistic soundfield, transporting them into the story with a lifelike sensory experience. Developed with input from professionals throughout the movie industry, Dolby Atmos represents a dynamic shift in audio, reinventing the traditional surround sound methodology and offering a complete platform for sound now and well into the future.

Cliffs on June 6, 2013 at 9:13 pm

The Village is actually bucking the trend and showing Man of Steel in 2D for their first midnight show (Thursday night, June 13). Support some 2D and let’s fill the Village like the good old days.

sciachetra on March 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm

There is a music video on youtube which shows a good bit of footage of the Village Theater, including footage from back in the ‘70’s! The link is: