Industry sources confirm that the seven-screen the Landmark Theatre Embarcadero Center Cinema in San Francisco will shut down Friday. The theater’s website has no bookings beyond today, and distributors were informed earlier this week.
Although no reason for the departure has been announced, sources suggest it was the landlord’s decision to not extend the lease after non-payment of rent. Landmark did not responded to press inquiries.
Built in 1995 and completely remodeled in 2013, the theater has been a major Bay Area player in first-run specialized exhibition and one of the most critical national locations. It is currently showing “Parallel Mothers” and “Jockey” (Sony Pictures Classics), “Flee” (Neon), “A Hero” (Amazon), “Belfast” (Focus), “Gamestop: Rise of the Players” (Neon), “Red Rocket” (A24), and “The French Dispatch” (Searchlight).
It’s not the sole A-list specialized location in the city; these include AMC at the Metreon and Kabuki, Cinemark’s Century San Francisco Centre, which played exclusive runs of platform titles, as well as Alamo Drafthouse’s New Mission. Neon confirmed that “The Worst Person In the World” will now open at the Kabuki.
As recently as 2019, the Landmark theaters enjoyed a $67,000 opening weekend on “The Farewell.” It also played initial city runs of “Parasite,” “The Favourite,” and “Belfast.”
Eight markets host Landmark Theatres; this is at least the 11th Landmark theater to be vacated in just over two years. Among these are New York’s 57 West, Washington, D.C.’s West End, Houston’s River Oaks, Minneapolis’ Uptown Edina, St. Louis’ Tivoli, Detroit’s Main Art, San Diego’s Ken, and well as the Clay also in San Francisco and the California in nearby Berkeley. In 2018, prior to current owner Charles Cohen’s acquisition of the chain, Landmark closed the Sunshine in Manhattan as well.
The company recently opened the Scottsdale (AZ) Quarter Theatre, and has signed an agreement to take over the suburban Chicago Glenview Quarter location previously operated by Arclight Cinemas.
Landmark retains the four-screen Opera Plaza in San Francisco. The theater had a major remodeling in 2021, but has been secondary to the Embarcadero for top specialized films. It currently is playing “Drive My Car,” “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom,” “House of Gucci,” “Rifkin’s Festival,” and “Simple Passion.” They also have four locations in the East Bay and Peninsula.