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Opened: 1972 as a triplex by General Cinema as the GCC Avco Center Cinemas. The building is on the south side of the street a block west of Westwood Blvd. The large theatre was twinned in the 90's. The big 70mm-equipped theatre had been a favorite of many moviegoers. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007
Robert Simonton comments: "I was a projectionist there in 1989-90--a unique experience! No platters, 2 Cinemeccanica V-8 projectors in each booth, using big reels and automated changeovers. I ran around 9 70mm releases in that year and a half."
After General Cinema headed into bankruptcy, the theatre was operated by AMC as the AMC Avco Cinemas. AMC closed the house in December 2011 after they were unable to come to an agreement with the landlord, Avco Corp., about the terms of a new lease.
Phone: 310-475-0711 Website: www.ipictheaters.com
Seating: 1,100, 700 and 400 when it opened as a triplex. The big one was later split in half. It's now down to 480 seats total in 6 theatres.
Status: The building was renovated by Florida-based iPic Theaters to become a luxury 6 screen cinema with food service in the auditoriums as well as a full service restaurant, Tanzy. It's called the iPic Westwood. The reopening was May 2, 2014.
A photo of the upper lobby area in the theatre's 4 plex days. Thanks to Scott Neff on Cinema Tour for the 2008 photo.
A post-renovation boxoffice area photo from the iPic website.
Half of what had once been the big auditorium. It's a 2008 photo from Scott Neff on Cinema Tour.
A post-renovation auditorium photo from the iPic website.
More exterior views:
An Associated Press "Star Wars" photo published in June 1977. Alison Martino had it as a post on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles. The film opened May 25, 1977, also playing at the Chinese.
A cropped version of the photo appears with a Tested.com article about "Remembering the Opening Day...." See Michael Coate's "A Force To Be Reckoned With," his extensive 2015 article about the film's initial engagements. It's on the site The Digital Bits.
A 1977 Fitzgerald Whitney photo on Calisphere from the UCLA Los Angeles Times Photographic Archives. People are reading "Fun in Space," a review of "Star Wars" posted in the theatre window.
A 1978 view. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the photo, a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.
Thanks to Don Solosan of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation for this 2008 photo. www.lahtf.org | LAHTF on Facebook
Thanks to Marc Wanamaker for this 2009 photo from his Arcadia Publishing book "Westwood." There's a preview of the book to browse on Google Books.
A 2015 view of the revamped building as the iPic. Thanks to Alison Martino for the photo on Vintage Los Angeles. She added it as a comment to her post of a "Star Wars" opening day photo.
A night view from the iPic website.
More information: See the iPic Westwood page on Cinema Treasures. The Cinema Tour page has some nice photos by Scott Neff and Bob Meza.
Westwood-Century City Patch had a story about the coming of iPic in August 2012. iPic also runs the iPic Theaters Pasadena complex at the One Colorado development in Old Town Pasadena. LA Observed had a May 2013 story about construction delays. It had been scheduled for an early 2013 opening.
There's a small 1998 shot of the Avco on the page about Westwood Theatres on the site Roadside Peek. There's also a small photo of similar vintage on the site Silver Screens in their two page 1999 survey of Los Angeles Theatres by Don Ceppi.
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