For the next two years, the indie distributors at the L.A. Screenings will return to the InterContinental Hotel, which is adjacent to the Century Plaza. The latter has been the L.A. Screenings’ indies headquarters for many years, but will close for renovations on March 1, 2016 and will reopen in 2018.

The InterContinental began housing some indie exhibiting companies at the L.A. Screenings in 2000. At that time, the hotel was called Park Hyatt. Previously, the hotel was just a dormitory for L.A. Screenings participants who exhibited at the Century Plaza (CP).

The following year, all L.A. Screenings indie exhibitors moved to the Park Hyatt. But in 2004, distributors were again split between the Park Hyatt and Century Plaza hotels, which lasted up until 2009, when the indies returned en bloc to the Century Plaza. Over the past decade, the Intercontinental has been VideoAge’s headquarters, which included the main information desk.

The former Park Hyatt, now named InterContinental, has more than 360 guest rooms and nearly150 of which are suites capable of accommodating the 80 exhibitors (seven of whom take multiple suites) and 260 buyers. This compares to 726 rooms of the CP.

This change, which was anticipated by VideoAge a few years ago, is the result of a $2.5 billion project that will turn the CP into a 394-room, 63-residences five-star hotel, with two 46-story towers for 290 luxury residences by early 2018. As previously mentioned, construction will get underway in March of this year.

The hotel’s crescent shape, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, will be kept and restored as it was in 1966 when CP first opened. But Hyatt, which took over the CP in 2006 (while Park Hyatt became InterContinental), will no longer manage the hotel after it closes in March.

Last month immediately after CP notified her of the hotel’s closing, Isabella Marquez, who coordinated the exhibition suites at CP for many years, traveled to Los Angeles to reserve a block of rooms at the Intercontinental.

As with her past arrangements with CP (which were contracted up until 2018), she was able to secure most of the sleeping rooms, suites and conference rooms at the newly renovated InterContinental for the indie exhibitors. According to VideoAge’s June 2015 Issue, the indies will be open for business on May 16, 17 and 18, 2016, after which the U.S. studios will take over with screenings of the new series on their lots. The overflow of guests will be going to the nearby Beverly Hilton, in which Marquez secured several rooms for her clients.

Marquez will be sending out information to over 70 exhibiting clients after NATPE Miami. International distributors can reach her via e-mail at: imarquez@eventstm.com. For updated information, visit: www.videoageinternational.net/l-a-screenings-2016/.

A note of advice: the drive-in area of the InterContinental is very small and can accommodate a limited number of cars, consequently the valet service is slow. We recommend visitors leave their cars at the public parking between The Century tower and the CP, and walk south 500 meters on Avenue of the Stars to the InterContinental.

In addition, the L.A. Screenings will start earlier this year for the indies. Last May, Twentieth Century Fox announced that their LATAM 2016 L.A. Screenings will start one day earlier than usual, on Thursday, May 19. For this reason, the indies have moved their start date one day earlier as well, now starting on Monday, May 16.

Last year, the indies opened their suites at the Century Plaza Hotel on a Tuesday, which fell on May 12. And even then, most LATAM buyers did not show up until the next day, on May 13.

These earlier dates are caused by the fact that, this year, the Upfronts in New York City (which in recent years started the second week of May), will begin on Monday, May 16 and end on Thursday, May 19.

As for the general studio screenings, they will start on Thursday, May 19 for LATAM buyers and Monday, May 23 for others, and ending on Friday, May 27, before the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Considering the increasing number of buyers who arrive earlier and earlier (and the Canadians who are the first in town), it is possible that the general screenings will also start before that Monday.

To summarize this year’s L.A. Screenings dates, they are: Indies — May 16-18; LATAM Studio Screenings — May 19-25: General Screenings — May 22-27.

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