Landmark Theatres is the United States' largest theatre chain dedicated to exhibiting and marketing independent and foreign films. Landmark showcases a variety of programming ranging from independent and foreign films to 3-D movies and mainstream films.
Since its founding in 1974, Landmark has grown to 56 theatres, 268 screens in 27 markets. Landmark Theatres is known for both its historic theatres, such as the Tivoli in St. Louis, the Inwood in Dallas and the Oriental in Milwaukee, and its newer theatres, including The Landmark in Los Angeles, the Sunshine Cinema in New York City, E Street Cinema in Washington, D.C., and The Landmark Theatre Greenwood Village in Denver.
Helmed by CEO Ted Mundorff, Landmark Theatres is part of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban that also includes theatrical and home entertainment distribution company Magnolia Pictures, production company 2929 Productions, and high definition networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies.
1970s: Landmark Theatre Corporation began as Parallax Theatres which was founded in 1974 by Kim Jorgensen with the opening of the Nuart in Los Angeles, Sherman in Sherman Oaks, The Rialto in South Pasadena, and Ken in San Diego. Steve Gilula and Gary Meyer became partners in 1976 as the chain expanded as Landmark.
In 1976, the River Oaks Theatre in Houston (which originally opened in 1939) and the single screen Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee were acquired. The Oriental originally opened in July 1927 and was the only standard movie palace ever built to incorporate East Indian decor. The Harvard Exit Theatre in Seattle was acquired in 1979. The film programming in Landmark Theatres was a mix of repertory/revival double-features that changed daily. This mix also included smaller independent and foreign films and allowed Landmark to grow into the largest repertory/revival movie-theatre circuit in the nation by the end of that decade.
1980s: In the early 1980s, Landmark reoriented most of their theatres to exhibit first-run specialized, foreign, and re-released classics on longer, open-ended runs. Larger single screens were converted into two or three screen theatres while preserving the external architecture.
In 1981, Landmark acquired the Neptune in Seattle. A year later, Landmark merged with Movie, Inc., from Santa Fe. Movie, Inc., another small company capitalizing on the excellence of foreign, alternative, and classic films. In 1988, The Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee was converted to a triplex by adding 2 theatres underneath the balcony. The original artwork of the main auditorium was left untouched. Additionally, Canal Place Cinema (4 screens) opened on the edge of New Orleans' French Quarter making it Landmark's first new build. 1989 brought a merger between Landmark and the Seven Gables theatre circuit from Seattle and Portland. Landmark was purchased by Heritage Entertainment.
1990s: In the early 1990¹s, Landmark began renovations of its historic buildings, and began developing new multiplex theatres of its own. Landmark was acquired by the Samuel Goldwyn Company in 1990. The new locations included: the Westside Pavilion in Los Angeles, the Embarcadero in San Francisco¹s Financial District, the Embassy in Waltham, MA outside of Boston, the Plaza Frontenac in St. Louis, the Century Center in Chicago and the Renaissance outside of Chicago in Highland Park, IL. In 1998, Landmark was acquired by Silver Cinemas and began operating a small group of discount theatres including: the Bell Road, the Superstition, The Yukon, the Golden Triangle, the Macomb, the Joliet, the Budget South, the East Town Green Bay, the Market Square and the Poughkeepsie theaters.
2000s: Landmark was brought out of Silver Cinemas' bankruptcy by Oaktree Capital, allowing the construction and opening of the Sunshine, Bethesda Row and E Street Cinemas. On September 24, 2003, Landmark was acquired by 2929 Entertainment, the Magnolia Pictures¹ exhibition wing folded into Landmark Theatres. Digital Cinema was introduced.
In 2005, Landmark was the first exhibition circuit to deploy Sony 4K cinema; in-theater digital signage was introduced. In Indianapolis, Landmark opened the Keystone Art Cinema & Indie Lounge. The cinema had 7 auditoriums; the lounge featured plasma televisions and allowed all moviegoers to bring their drinks into the auditoriums. And, the Inwood Theater and Nuart Theater were renovated.
2006 brought the introduction of Vertical integration with the release of BUBBLE by Steven Soderbergh. The film played day-and-date, as it was simultaneously released in Landmark Theatres, broadcast on HDNet Movies and sold on DVD.
In 2007, Landmark Theatres acquired the Ritz Theatre Group in Philadelphia which consisted of the Ritz East, Ritz at the Bourse and Ritz V. Landmark opened their flagship theatre in Los Angeles, The Landmark. Later that year, Landmark also opened Harbor East in Baltimore and The Landmark Theatre, Greenwood Village in Denver.
In 2008, Landmark held its first live 3D/HD NBA game televised live via satellite to the Magnolia Theatre in Dallas. On March 1, Landmark assumed operation of the 7 screen Gateway Theatre, located in Columbus, Ohio. The theatre featured a café, bar, and event space.
The Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley received a comprehensive remodel in 2009 including new theatre seating, lighting and carpets. Lot 68, a bar and café adjacent to the lobby, also opened its doors inside the Shattuck. Landmark entered the 3D arena with 3 locations operating 3D Projection: the Harbor East in Baltimore, the Tivoli in St. Louis and The Landmark in Los Angeles.
2010s: Landmark assumed operation of the Glendale 12 in Indianapolis in 2010 as well as the Olde Town Stadium theatre in Arvada, Colorado. In addition, the Piedmont Theatre in Oakland, California was restored, receiving new screens and new auditorium seating in addition to carpets and lighting.
In Spring 2011, Landmark Theatres was put up for sale, and after receiving multiple bids, was taken off the market.
Beginning in 2012, Landmark continued renovating its theaters. The Uptown, Minneapolis, reopened in its new incarnation on September 14, 2012 which included reserved ticketing and full bar service while still preserving a balcony and a 50-foot tower, originally placed to mark the Uptown area. In October 2012, the Chez Theatre, Denver, and the Magnolia, Dallas, were extensively renovated. Upgrades to the theaters included Barco Digital Projection, upgraded digital sound and leather-style seats as well as The Magnolia Bar, a cocktail suite attached to the Theatre.
Renovations and upgrades continued at many of Landmark’s theatres in 2013. The E Street Cinema in Washington, D.C. opened a bar. The Bethesda Row Cinema, MD, located outside of Washington D.C., was completely renovated in May 2013 with new, reserved seating in all eight auditoriums and a full-service bar featuring local brews and film-themed cocktails. Located in downtown Highland Park, Chicago, Landmark¹s Renaissance Place Cinema was renovated in July 2013 with the addition of a full-service bar and lounge, an expanded concession menu and leather seating as well as two screening lounges. The Embarcadero Center Cinema, located in San Francisco¹s financial district, reopened in October 2013 after an extensive remodel which included reconfiguring the theatre space to allow for two more theatres, bringing the total screen count to seven; a lounge featuring a wide variety of wine and beer was added as well as stadium seating and four Screening Lounges with electric recliners. Additionally, the Embarcadero was the first movie theatre in San Francisco to feature a new assistive listening system for the hearing impaired. Coils were installed in each auditorium that wirelessly send pure sound to hearing aids that have the 'telecoil,' eliminating background noise and the need for a headset.
On November 7, 2013, Landmark Theatres announced that they will open an eight-screen complex in Capitol Point, an emerging mixed-use development along New York Avenue in Washington, D.C.
On January 8, 2014, Landmark announced a six-screen cinema at Atlantic Plumbing, a new mixed-use community at 8th and V Street, also in Washington, D.C. Atlantic Plumbing Cinema, a bar and movie theatre, opened October 15, 2015.
On November 20, 2015, Landmark Theatres acquires Albany, New York independent movie house Spectrum 8 Theatres.
On December 15, 2015, Landmark acquired the Nickelodeon Theatres, including the Nickelodeon and Del Mar in Santa Cruz, California, and the Aptos Cinema in Aptos, California.
Landmark Theatres also owns the theater chain, Silver Cinemas, which primarily shows second-run movies. As of 2016, there are five Silver Cinemas in the United States.