A&E

Landmark Theaters bought by Cohen Media Group

Local Landmark theaters include Aquarius, Guild

Landmark Theaters, a national independent-theater chain that includes the Aquarius Theatre in downtown Palo Alto and the Guild in downtown Menlo Park, has been bought by the Cohen Media Group, the company announced this week.

Cohen Media Group (CMG), owned by real estate billionaire and cinephile Charles S. Cohen, is an Academy Award-winning distribution and production company that releases both contemporary and restored classic films.

The Aquarius Theatre was built in 1969 and operated by Landmark Theatres in 1985. The Emerson Street building was remodeled in 2015.

The Guild, built in 1926, became part of Landmark Theatres in 1989. In May, the Menlo Park City Council unanimously approved a proposal to rebuild the vintage movie theater, which will be turned into a live music and community events venue.

Landmark was previously owned by investors Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner. CMG will retain Landmark's senior management team, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

Kate Bradshaw, staff writer for The Almanac, contributed to this report.

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Comments

Like this comment
Posted by jUlie armitano
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 6, 2018 at 11:19 am

I love both movie theatres.
What are they going to do with the Gulid


3 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 9, 2018 at 12:48 am

>> The Aquarius Theatre was built in 1969 and operated by Landmark Theatres in 1985. The Emerson Street building was remodeled in 2015.

Does anyone remember when the Aquarius was originally remodeled to be two theaters? It's been so long now. And I doubt that very many people even remember that Gordon Biersch, or whatever it is called now used to be the Bijou theater, first one big theater and then subdivided like the Aquarious.


23 people like this
Posted by MovieGoer
a resident of University South
on Dec 9, 2018 at 8:24 am

The Landmark Theater group always presented intelligent movies at their venues...not like the stuff you see at the larger mega-theaters.

Hopefully Cohen Media will continue this format.


12 people like this
Posted by Things Go Better With a Coke
a resident of University South
on Dec 9, 2018 at 1:54 pm

Curious. How many folks here remember the Paris Theater on the University Avenue circle? It was a bistro and theater...I saw Deep Throat there in 1973 and the PAPD busted the place a couple of times for showing an X-rated movie.

Downtown PA used to have a number of movie theaters...Varsity, Stanford, Bijou, Aquarius and the Paris.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 9, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Name all our nearby drive-in theaters of yore. Or bowling alleys.
At one point it looked like our elementary schools faced extinction.
Mine is gone, now housing.
Did we ever really have street cars on University Avenue?


8 people like this
Posted by Vague Recollection
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Dec 9, 2018 at 4:44 pm

> Name all our nearby drive-in theaters of yore.

Monta Vista Drive-In and Moffett Drive-In (Mountain View)

And the drive-in theater where Greer Park is now (Palo Alto)

Did not venture past these two although I do recall the Moonlight in Santa Clara and one in Redwood City. Menlo Park and Los Altos didn't have them (unless I'm mistaken).


12 people like this
Posted by I Remember the Paris Theater
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 9, 2018 at 8:21 pm

"I saw Deep Throat there in 1973 and the PAPD busted the place a couple of times for showing an X-rated movie."

@Things Go Better With a Coke
That plus the theater was unknowingly letting in some minors sneak in at times to watch the skin flick. I was one of them except that I had a fake ID...a sophomore at Paly but also a full-fledged member of the USMC.

You could also sneak-in your own refreshments as well. Just buy an extra-large Coke and then pour a couple of airline minis into it. Great way to watch the movie.


8 people like this
Posted by The Devil In Miss Jones
a resident of another community
on Dec 10, 2018 at 1:22 pm

The Paris Theater was a great PA downtown venue to catch a porno-chic movie.

I took a date there one evening to go see 'The Devil In Miss Jones'.

A very inspiring film.

Does anyone still remember those 'massage parlors' that used to operate near the Evergreen neighborhood on ECR during the 1970s? There must have been at least a dozen of them. The PAPD was always busting them after a thorough investigation of the premises.


15 people like this
Posted by The Bottle Was Dusty But the Liquor Was Clean
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 10, 2018 at 6:14 pm

The Paris Theater was known for showing some avant-garde movies with eroticism.

I think I saw 'I Am Curious, Yellow' there. As I vaguely recall, it was some Swedish flick about a young woman who is trying to understand social justice but goes around having a lot of sex in the process. Very late 1960s kind of stuff.

Downtown Palo Alto was a lot hipper back then. Now it's kind of a drag...nothing but overpriced restaurants catering to the nouveau riche/wannabes.


8 people like this
Posted by Things Go Better With a Coke
a resident of University South
on Dec 11, 2018 at 1:58 pm

> The Paris Theater was a great PA downtown venue to catch a porno-chic movie.
> The Paris Theater was known for showing some avant-garde movies with eroticism.
> I saw Deep Throat there in 1973
> I took a date there one evening to go see 'The Devil In Miss Jones'.
> I think I saw 'I Am Curious, Yellow' there.

Palo Alto needs a small section on a side street of downtown similar to the red light districts in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Perhaps not as explicit but one offering blue movies, adult bookstores and maybe a licensed 'surrogate' business for off-hours relaxation.

With the focus now on hotels and dining in the downtown area, a recreational district would probably be a very successful business venture for those bold enough to invest in such an undertaking.


1 person likes this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 12, 2018 at 11:09 am

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Landmark was founded by UC Berkeley student Gary Meyer so Cohen might be the fourth owner.
Meyer wanted to split the Varsity into 2 screens but was rejected by Council and now, years later (and several owners there) it is a co-working space.
The ICON at San Antonio Shopping Center in Mountain View is a great, upscale movie-going experience.
And Stanford Theatre, underwritten by Packard Foundation, is a treasure.


2 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Revised
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 12, 2018 at 2:39 pm

> Palo Alto needs a small section on a side street of downtown similar to the red light districts in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Perhaps not as explicit but one offering blue movies, adult bookstores and maybe a licensed 'surrogate' business for off-hours relaxation.

Add some coffee shops selling small amounts of pot (1 gram maximum/per person) as well. Just a little bit to enjoy an evening out.

No full-scale pot dispensaries should be allowed in PA as they tend to attract additional traffic and congestion from the neighboring areas.

Besides, no one in their right mind would come to PA just to score an overpriced gram of pot at a coffee shop.


Like this comment
Posted by Wu Shen
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Dec 13, 2018 at 3:25 pm

Palo Alto should have Chinese movie theater as well with sub-titles for those who do not understand story. More Chinese living in Palo Alto now and elder ones enjoy watching Chinese movies but nowhere to see one.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Posted by Wu Shen, a resident of Charleston Gardens

>> Palo Alto should have Chinese movie theater as well with sub-titles for those who do not understand story. More Chinese living in Palo Alto now and elder ones enjoy watching Chinese movies but nowhere to see one.

Works for me, but, good luck getting one-- you are swimming against the tide. The trend is to convert all movie theaters in Palo Alto to other commercial uses. Movie theaters don't generate enough revenue per square foot to make the MBAs who control everything happy.


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