Claremont home to new Laemmle
Posted Sept. 14, 2007

Susan Acker
Staff Writer

July 26 marked the grand opening of the Laemmle 5 Theater in Claremont.

Cassie Gratton, theater general manager, said the grand opening included a screening of “Moliere” to benefit the Claremont Museum of Art.

The Laemmle 5 Theater is a new addition to the chain of independent theaters started by Max and Kurt Laemmle in 1938.

The theater is located in a new development on Indian Hill in Claremont, north of the 10 freeway and west of the downtown area near the Claremont colleges.

Gratton said that the developers and the community asked specifically for the theater, which joins new restaurants, stores, residences and a museum in the new development.

The theater was one of the first businesses to open in the new area.
There is still a temporary sign at the entrance to the development with directions to the theater's location.

The theater is a change from mainstream theaters in the area and is more accessible to local students.

Local students and community members are excited that a theater that shows independent films has made its way to Claremont.

“I think people need to get more diversity; we need more foreign films,” Michelle Alfaro, a senior psychology and religion major said.

Alfaro said that it is good because the only other theater nearest to ULV is limited in what is shown.

Claire O'Hanlon and Lauryn Baranowski, both junior engineering majors from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, were sitting outside the theater waiting to see a documentary about people who play the video game “Donkey Kong.”

“Before I had to go to Pasadena to see anything remotely interesting to me,” O'Hanlon said.

“It's great. I'm really excited that it's so close,” Baranowski said.

The theater offers discounted rates for students and is within walking distance of the Claremont colleges nestled in the heart of Claremont.

It is also less than four miles from the ULV campus.

Students are not the only group attracted to the Laemmle 5.
Gratton said that a majority of their business has come from middle-aged customers.

She thinks that will soon be changing because of the start of the school year.

Gratton said that business has been slow but will pick up once the rest of the construction is finished.

Deanna Bivins is a local business owner of Red Dragon Karate in Claremont and said it is “good for business.”

“It is adding to the city and keeping it intimate,” Bivins said. “And that is priceless.”

The Laemmle 5 has five screens and is now showing seven films.

The theater can show more than five films when the number of films shown on each screen is doubled.

Gratton said that the type of movies shown depends on what is out and available.

The theater typically shows half mainstream and half independent films.

The pricing for the Laemmle 5 is $8.50 for students and $10 for general admission.

Matinee pricing is $7 and is offered before 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and before 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Susan Acker can be reached at

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