Only in Theaters

  • A man (Greg Laemmle) seated in the front row of an empty cinema looking up at the screen as the projector is running behind him
  • A pensive man (Greg Laemmle) looking down in profile
  • Classic film lobby cards for BREATHLESS, THE SEVEN SAMURAI, DEVO and others

The story of a family business… and the future of cinema

“Essential viewing for every filmgoer.” – Film Threat

Greg Laemmle, & director Raphael Sbarge IN PERSON, in  conversation with
Strand Releasing‘s Marcus Hu, Friday, 2/24!

Co-Presented by the
Jewish Film Institute!

In 1938, two European Jewish immigrant brothers (who happened to be the cousins of famed movie mogul Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal Pictures) escaped fascist Germany right before World War II. They came to America and opened a movie theater. By the 1960’s, the dynamic Laemmle family owned and operated 6 theaters in the Los Angeles developing an outsized influence on cinema.

Over four generations, the Laemmles—a close-knit Jewish family—have dedicated themselves to supporting, innovating, and elevating the art of filmmaking. Responsible for bringing foreign film to Los Angeles, popularizing independent films, documentary films, and their makers, the Laemmle Theatres’ impact on Hollywood and world cinema cannot be overstated.

Today, in a world of conglomeration and streaming, as well as a pandemic, the Laemmle circuit of beloved theaters has faced unprecedented challenges.

Both a state-of-industry film for insiders, a love letter to cinema for a general audience, as well as an irresistible story of a multi-generational American family, this beloved 84-year-old arthouse cinema chain in Los Angeles is facing seismic change and downward pressure. Yet the family behind this multigenerational business—whose sole mission has been to support the art of film—is determined to see it survive.

Featuring Greg Laemmle, Ava DuVernay, Cameron Crowe, Nicole Holofcener, James Ivory, Leonard Maltin, Allison Anders, Kenneth Turan, and four generations of the Laemmle family.

“2022’s most emotional theatrical experience…” -Bob Strauss

“Only in Theaters takes a look inside the beloved chain known for championing independent cinema — and the Laemmle family, who have been pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into making sure it has stayed in business all these years.” – Moviemaker Magazine.

Presenting WinterFest 2023, Feb 25 & 26

1h 34m
Raphael Sbarge
First Showing
February 24, 2023
  • Closed Caption