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January 18, 2022
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L.A. Developer Buys Pasadena Laemmle Theatre in Sale/Leaseback Deal


Los Angeles-based art-house cinema chain Laemmle Theatres has completed the sale-leaseback of its Pasadena location. Laemmle’s 22.9k sf Laemmle Playhouse 7, located at 673 E. Colorado Blvd in Old Pasadena’s Playhouse District, was purchased by Arash Danialifar, CEO of GD Realty Group of Los Angeles.

Laemmle, pronounced "LEM-lee,” is synonymous with great independent, foreign and art-house cinema. Established in 1938 by Kurt and Max Laemmle, nephews of legendary Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle, the company is currently run by Robert Laemmle and his son, Greg Laemmle. The theatre chain has served over a million film patrons each year from seven locations in the greater Los Angeles region including Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Encino, Pasadena, Claremont and a new construction cinema in Newhall.

Danialifar’s GD Realty Group broke ground in July on a mixed-use residential development nearby at the northwest corner of Union St and El Molino Ave (one block north of Colorado Blvd), at 635 E. Union St in the Playhouse District. The building will have 40 units comprising of mostly two-bedroom and townhouse units with 3k sf of ground-floor retail and underground parking. The development is scheduled to be completed in fall 2021.

Also, situated in the Playhouse District is GD Realty Group’s recently renovated retail building at 614-618 E. Colorado Blvd.

Matthew M. May of May Realty Advisors represented Laemmle Theatres. Carlos Lopez with Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors repped Danialifar in the deal.

May Realty Advisors also reports that the firm has completed a sale-leaseback of Laemmle Theatres’ West Los Angeles theater location and is currently working on the sale-leaseback of two other Laemmle Theatre locations.

“The theater chain, like many businesses during the pandemic-induced shutdown, has suffered financially and has been looking to increase its liquidity in order to remain in business,” May said. “Laemmle is very fortunate that the company owns its real estate and has the opportunity to work with buyers that want to see Laemmle continue operating like Arash Danialifar of GD Realty Group.”

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