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Movie theater in North Hollywood to start construction

Laemmle Theatres will build a seven-screen cineplex. It's the capstone to the final phase of the 10-year North Hollywood redevelopment project to improve the blocks around the subway terminus.

May 10, 2011|By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times

Construction is set to begin this week on a long-expected movie theater complex in North Hollywood, the final piece of a $250-million development near the Metro Red Line station.

Laemmle Theatres will build a seven-screen cineplex that will include second-floor office space and a restaurant at street level. The 34,000-square-foot building at 5240 Lankershim Blvd. is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

The developer of the North Hollywood Redevelopment Program, J.H. Snyder Co., contributed land and parking for the theater as well as nearly $500,000 in development funding. Snyder also secured city entitlements for the project and provided Laemmle Theatres with a $2.6-million construction loan.

The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency gave Snyder three acres of land in 2008 that included the theater site.

"This is long, long, long overdue," said Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, who supported the project and whose district includes North Hollywood. "I'm excited for me and you."

The theater is the capstone to the third and final phase of the 10-year North Hollywood project intended to improve the blocks around the northern terminus of the subway. Snyder built nearly 700 residential units, a 180,000-square-foot office building and 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, including a Hows supermarket.

Local landmark Phil's Diner reopened last month after being moved to a new location next to the Laemmle site. First opened on Chandler Boulevard in the 1920s, the railcar-style diner renovated by Snyder Co. now operates as an organic fast-food restaurant.

Last month, Snyder Co. gave another North Hollywood project, Valley Plaza, back to New York lender IStar Financial Inc. Snyder bought the 1950s-era neighborhood shopping center at Victory and Laurel Canyon boulevards in the mid-2000s and still owed $30 million on the loan, the company said.

Founder Jerome Snyder hopes to eventually repurchase the property and redevelop it as previously planned, a spokesman said. IStar did not respond to a request for comment.

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