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It’s Official: Ken To Remain A Landmark Theatre

Ken Cinema Update

Above: The San Diego cast of Elective Surgery performing at the Ken Cinema.

It is now official. Landmark Theatres and the Berkun Family Trust have both confirmed that they have reached a new agreement and the venerable Ken Cinema will remain under Landmark Theatres' operation.

Here is the statement issued by Landmark Theatres:

Landmark Theatres, Property Owners, Barry Green and Randi Hock along with Torrey Pines Property Management President, Chip Crandall are happy to announce today that they have come to terms ensuring that the Ken Cinema will remain open for many years to come.

According to Ted Mundorff, President and CEO, Landmark Theatres, “the community spoke and we listened. Because of the outrage to the closing of this beloved theatre, it caused Landmark and the Berkun family to sit down and get it done.”

In addition, Landmark is looking to implement several upgrades to the theatre including a new digital system and luxurious seating.

This weekend, the theatre has scheduled a special ‘thank you’ celebration of their patrons favorite films including screenings of Seven Samurai, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Lawrence of Arabia, The Big Lebowski and Singin’ in the Rain. “Now instead of a sad celebration, this weekend will be filled with smiles and gratitude”, added Mundorff.

The film program for the weekend that had looked like a wake will now be a full blown celebration. But if you stop by the theater on Monday and find its doors shut, don't panic.

"We will be down after the celebration, Monday through Thursday," Mundorff noted in an email. "Not sure we will get the projection done [the digital projection upgrade], but hoping. The other upgrades will be coming throughout the year. Hopefully not losing more than a night."

The news comes after Mundorff and Green, a member of the Berkun Trust that owns The Ken Cinema building, met Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the theater.

Hours later, Green told KPBS in an email that Landmark would be controlling the message but that they had "made some progress."

The weekend of films that had been planned as Ken's swan song include "The Seven Samurai" and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Credit: Landmark Theatres

This weekend's films at the Ken Cinema, which may be getting a new lease on life.

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Avatar for user 'jv333'

jv333 | April 23, 2014 at 7:57 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

Outstanding .... we are ready for some good news!!

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Avatar for user 'hopeheadsd'

hopeheadsd | April 24, 2014 at 8:55 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

Great! I dont think there were any doubts it wouldnt continue to be a cinema. Just a difference in who might be managing it.

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Avatar for user 'vpolichar'

vpolichar | April 24, 2014 at 9:07 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

I know you had an influence here, Beth. THANKS for all you did and for keeping us informed!!

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | April 24, 2014 at 9:17 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

It's great to finally have some good news for a change :-)

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | April 24, 2014 at 9:42 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

Great, but I also hope this doesn't mean these five movies will be the LAST we see of revival showings! and then just back to business as usual.

Thank you, Scott Marks for your efforts too!

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Avatar for user 'Beth Accomando'

Beth Accomando, KPBS Staff | April 24, 2014 at 10:03 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

Yes, this is great news and hope public outcry works the same magic for San Diego Opera. I also hope that the outpouring of support and full houses at the Ken will not fade not that the threat of it closing is passed.

And yes hopeheadedsd, the Ken was in danger of losing its current tenant Landmark. The Berkun Family Trust members always insisted that it would remain a theater no matter what but that the tenant/operator might change as it has in the past.

Thanks to everyone for following the story and having a passion for our last single screen cinema in San Diego.

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Avatar for user 'GreenTechGeek'

GreenTechGeek | April 24, 2014 at 2:37 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

ya yay yay YAY YIPEE YAh HOO!

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Avatar for user 'Beth Accomando'

Beth Accomando, KPBS Staff | April 26, 2014 at 1:33 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

Just went to the midnight show of Holy Grail with Buffy the original SPAM Queen tossing the SPAM. hat a fabulous night. Great crowd, wonderful staff, and oh the coconuts!

So glad the community rallying made it clear how much the Ken needed to continue running uninterrupted with Landmark.

Thanks to everyone who remained concerned. Just make sure to continue to actually go to the Ken to see movies.

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