Filmmaker Jason Reitman is working on a deal to take over Westwood’s historic Fox Village Theater in the next few weeks, Variety has confirmed. The approximately 1,375-seat theater has been listed for sale for the past year. Reitman is leading a group of other entertainment industry figures in the purchase, which was first reported by The Ankler’s Transom column.
It’s not known whether Reitman and his associates have plans to keep the venue as a first-run theater or to add additional screens.
Reitman, the director of “Juno” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” is currently at work on “SNL 1975,” a fictionalization of the iconic sketch show’s first broadcast. He’s also a producer on the upcoming “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.”
The Fox Village, built in 1930, has hosted hundreds of premieres over the past 90 years, including Reitman’s own “Juno” (pictured above), “Licorice Pizza” and many others. Recently streaming services including Apple, Disney+ and Netflix have also hosted events for series and films there.
The location also includes a row of retail shops, including a Starbucks, and a parking lot. The distinctive Spanish mission revival -tyle building is topped by a 170-foot neon-lit tower, making it a beacon for filmgoers on the Westside of Los Angeles.
Though the large venue was massively popular with audiences for its first six decades, competition from modern multiplexes with adjacent parking and the downturn in Westwood Village’s foot traffic make it a somewhat challenging location, despite the large number of UCLA students in the area.
The Fox Village stands across from the much smaller 1937 Bruin Theatre, also run by Regency, which was immortalized in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
The Fox Village’s real estate listing, which did not list a price, called it a “Rare opportunity to acquire one of the most iconic assets in Westwood Village,” continuing, “This is a multi-generational asset which has not been previously made available for sale by the ownership adding to the uniqueness and rarity of the offering.”
Regency has run the Fox Village since 2010. It was designated as a historic-cultural monument in 1988.
The movie theater business apparently runs in the family, as Jason Reitman’s late father Ivan Reitman contributed the land and helped develop the building where TIFF’s Bell Lightbox Theater now stands.
The Los Angeles exhibition scene has seen numerous changes since the city was impacted by the COVID pandemic beginning in early 2020, including the closure of the Landmark Pico and the Cinerama Dome and Arclight Hollywood, which is reportedly set for a 2025 reopening.
Thanks to streamers and filmmakers, other historic venues have been revitalized recently. Netflix has taken over the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, while Amazon runs the Culver Theater in Culver City. Quentin Tarantino, who already owned the New Beverly, purchased the Vista Theatre in Los Feliz, which re-opened in November.