Nation's Largest Independent Theater Chain Sold to Indie Film Distributor and One of the Country's Most Influential Patrons of Culture and the Arts
Los Angeles (December 4, 2018) – Landmark Theatres, the nation’s largest specialized theater chain dedicated to independent cinema with 252 screens in 27 markets, has been purchased by Cohen Media Group, an Academy Award-winning independent theatrical distribution and production company. The announcement was made jointly today by Landmark Theatres President/CEO Ted Mundorff, Cohen Media Group Chairman Charles S. Cohen, Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Cohen will retain the senior management team of Landmark Theatres.
Landmark established itself at the forefront of luxury cinema and was the first chain to introduce non-conventional seating with the installation of couches and love seats in its theatres. Landmark was also first to employ DCP digital projectors. And on the programming side, the company has become a recognized industry leader in the sector, providing customers with a wide variety of films including commercial, independent, foreign language and documentaries.
Landmark was acquired by 2929 Entertainment from Oaktree Capital in 2003. Under Wagner/Cuban’s ownership, Landmark, has grown to become the pre-eminent flagship brand in the sophisticated arthouse exhibition business known for its destination locations, The Landmark in Los Angeles and The Landmark at 57 West in New York City, favored by filmmakers and studios to host Award season events and screenings, as well as other iconic locations including the E Street Cinema and The Landmark Atlantic Plumbing Cinema in Washington DC, The Landmark at Merrick Park in Coral Gables, Florida, and The Landmark at Greenwood Village in Denver’s flourishing Tech Center.
“Anyone who knows Charles, knows he is an avid lover of art and cinema, and this deal to purchase Landmark serves so many of his true passions and interests,” said Mundorff. “By acquiring our chain, he has supercharged and scaled his distribution footprint in the arthouse sector, where he has been a savvy distributor and producer for many, many years. He has also acquired the crown jewel in the arthouse exhibition arena with prime A-list locations and an established loyal base of customers who love our theaters, brand and diverse range of extraordinary, high-quality programming choices throughout the year.”
“I have been in the arthouse business for a long time as both a distributor and a producer, and I know better than most, that these films need a special home and require the utmost care. Landmark is that home. I have long admired and respected the way Landmark has built and grown its business from the ground up and I love this area of the business,” said Cohen. “As the independent market has changed over the years, Ted and the entire Landmark team have done an outstanding job adjusting with the times, anticipating trends and opportunities and new areas for growth and exploration. I couldn’t be more excited to add Landmark to Cohen Media Group’s portfolio of companies. This is a phenomenal fit with our other businesses, and this deal will be welcome news to the filmmakers we do business with or plan to work with in the arthouse arena in the years ahead.”
“We are thrilled that we are passing the baton to Charles, a buyer who is passionate about independent cinema and who truly understands this market. As we complete our sale, we expect the transition between owners to be smooth and seamless with little to no impact on our staff or customers,” said Wagner and Cuban.
Landmark is at the forefront of independent exhibition. The company provides filmgoers with numerous amenities, including the best in digital projection, seating, gourmet concession items, as well as Landmark’s signature brand of customer service. Screening Lounges can be found in many locations featuring a comfortable, unique seating experience.
Cohen Media Group was formed in 2008 by Charles S. Cohen, an executive producer of “Frozen River,” which garnered two Academy Award nominations. The Cohen Media Group (CMG) is an Academy Award-winning independent theatrical distribution and production company, releasing the world’s best in contemporary and classic cinema.
Cohen Media Group distributes select films throughout North America, allowing the CMG team to devote their best efforts towards each film’s fullest potential. CMG has released multiple Academy Award-nominated films, including “Timbuktu,” “Mustang,” and 2017’s Academy Award-winner, “The Salesman.”
In addition to a dedication to high-quality new releases, Cohen Media Group also restores classic films under the label, Cohen Film Collection. The restorations, which include the Merchant Ivory collection and the Buster Keaton catalogue, are re-released theatrically in pristine transfers and presentations.
Landmark Theatres is part of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban that also includes theatrical and home entertainment distribution company Magnolia Pictures, production company 2929 Productions, and high definition networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies.
Stephens Inc. served as exclusive financial advisor to Landmark in the transaction.