Sundance Cinemas is for sale.
The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the five-theater Los Angeles-based chain has hired the investment bank Salem Partners to find a buyer for the company, partly owned by Robert Redford. Executives declined to give a reason, but a source close to the company told the Los Angeles Times the firm’s private equity investors were looking to cash out.
Sundance owns theaters in Madison, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Seattle. Madison’s theater opened in 2007 at Hilldale Mall, the second in the chain and the first to be built from scratch. All five theaters specialize in a mix of independent and mainstream films, emphasizing high-end accommodations and concessions.
The Madison theater originally had a second-floor restaurant and rooftop bar when it opened. But the second-floor space has only been used for special events in the last few years, and this summer Sundance announced that it would not be opening the rooftop in 2015.
What the sale means for Sundance Cinemas Madison’s future is unclear. Movie theaters around the company have been grappling with declining ticket sales and rising competition from Netflix and other streaming services. In April, Marcus Theatres opened its new Palace Cinema in Sun Prairie that emphasized other amenities surrounding the moviegoing experience, including an outdoor bar and full restaurant service in four of the 12 theaters.
For its part, Sundance says that it has enjoyed revenue and cash flow growth for each of the last five years.
“From the very beginning, Sundance Cinemas has been about raising the bar in the exhibition business,” Chief Executive Paul Richardson said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Salem Partners to identify the right owner or owners of the business who can continue to capitalize on our prominent positions in each market.”