Screens Go Dark at Glendale’s Movie Theaters

Photo courtesy Scott Lowe
In March, a year after the dawn of the coronavirus pandemic, the Pacific Theatres marquee in the Americana at Brand still advertised the new releases of early 2020. They’re now the Pacific’s last showings — the company folded this week, the latest economic casualty of the pandemic.

Glendale will be without its two big-name movie theaters as Los Angeles County continues to pull back on its pandemic restrictions, after Pacific Theatres pulled the plug on its namesake brand and its premium ArcLight Cinemas brand this week.
The Los Angeles-based theater chain became the latest economic casualty of the coronavirus pandemic and made real the fears that the movie theater industry would contract as a result of the emergency restrictions. Those restrictions often ceded little, if any, ground to theaters, even while other parts of society slowly reopened.
Studio Movie Grill also filed for bankruptcy protection this year, and although the chain has not yet folded, it did close some of its Southern California locations — including the Glendale location that launched in 2019, months before the pandemic locked its doors. Outside of the Laemmle, which typically presents indie or arthouse films, downtown Glendale will have a void in terms of mainstream anchor movie theaters. (Representatives with Laemmle could not be reached for comment; the chain began gradually reopening its theaters this month.)

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As Businesses Suffer, City to Offer New Aid

Local businesses ravaged by the pandemic will — with some restrictions — be able to apply to the city for grant funding to help their bottom line once the new fiscal year revs up on July 1.
Glendale plans to make available an additional $1.6 million of its own dollars to help out businesses that missed the boat on the first round of municipal grants and federal stimulus money. Additionally, the city expects to implement a $500,000 grant program aimed at assisting local art and nonprofit enterprises and is well on its way to establishing an outdoor dining program, paid for by $150,000 in local money, to nourish the town’s eateries.
The City Council discussed and committed to a direction on these economic recovery strategies at a special meeting this week, as a follow-up to a budget approval process that included the financial commitment to the measures. The first infusion, funded by a $572,500 Community Development Block Grant, will make $5,000 grants available for 114 qualifying businesses.
“We have to do something quick,” Mayor Vrej Agajanian said Tuesday. “Businesses are suffering so much. To wait, more of them are going to go and will have to close. I know $5,000 is not major or big money, but at least it may help them a little bit.” Continue reading “As Businesses Suffer, City to Offer New Aid”

City Plots Course to Help Residents, Businesses Recover

When the Glendale City Council starts to truly grind out its 2020-21 budget next month, it will draw out what could be a wide-reaching recovery program for residents and businesses whose livelihoods have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The body decided at its final budget study session on Tuesday morning to use $6.25 million as a starting point for renter and homeowner assistance and $3.65 million for commercial recovery when it meets on June 2 for formal budget talks. From there, the council will determine how much will be allocated where, and how the funds will be administered.
“That’ll be a longer discussion,” Councilman Ara Najarian said at the study session. “’Do we combine it all [into one program]? Do we split it all into categories?’ As long as we’ve got the chunk of money reserved for budget purposes this coming month, we can work on the details later.”
Philip Lanzafame, director of community development, outlined the proposed programs as part of the discussion of the upcoming fiscal year’s Measure S projects, so named for the voter-approved tax to fund essential services and quality of life improvements for residents. It is projected to generate around $20 million for the year.
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