“Juno” director Jason Reitman buys Fox Village Theater in Westwood

Hollywood director Jason Reitman leads an investor group poised to buy the Fox Village Theater in Westwood, listed a year ago for a reported $12 million.

The Oscar-nominated director behind such movies as “Juno” and “Up in the Air” leads an unidentified group “weeks away” from taking over the Art Deco landmark at 945 Broxton Avenue, The Ankler reported, citing confirmation from an unidentified real estate broker.

The seller is a trust run by Dr. Jeffrey Seltzer, based in La Jolla, according to a San Francisco Chronicle property data site. Newmark Group held the listing.

CoStar reports that the theater is now in escrow after being on the market for a year.  

An unidentified commercial broker told Ankler the theater and some adjacent shops were listed for around $12 million, but that it needed a $6 million makeover. A theater manager told the publication that Reitman was poised to become its new owner.

It’s unclear what the bearded director, who grew up on L.A.’s Westside, and his investor group plan to do with the centerpiece of Westwood Village.

Built in 1929 by Fox Film founder William Fox, the Fox lit its marquee in 1931, its 170-foot tower a beacon next to UCLA. The theater, popular with generations of filmgoers, was in 1988 designated a Los Angeles historic-cultural monument.

The 24,099-square-foot theater property includes the 1,375-seat theater run by Regency, which takes up 17,000 square feet. The remaining 6,944 square feet includes shops along Weyburn Avenue now leased by three businesses, including a Starbucks. 

One source told Ankler that a development plan to add more movie screens was on the table,  although that would likely mean having to acquire at least one or several adjacent properties.

Reitman, born in Montreal, has also directed such films as “Thank you for Smoking,” “Labor Day” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.” He’s the son of “Ghostbusters” director Ivan Reitman and actress Geneviève Robert.

Historically, Westwood Village was among the top moviegoing draws in the nation and a bastion of L.A.’s youth culture.  

In 1988, a gang shooting that killed a teenage bystander helped kill the youth scene. And over the past two decades, numerous theaters closed their doors, with moviegoers drifting to nearby multi-screens at the Beverly Center and Westfield Century City mall.

At the same time, Westwood Village was hampered by scant parking and homeowner’s associations blocking all but the most conservative development projects, according to Ankler.

— Dana Bartholomew

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