Santa Monica News
Plans For A New Movie Theater In Santa Monica
By Sami Mello
Mar 21, 2013 - 9:47:44 AM
SANTA MONICA—The city is working with contractors to bring a modern movie theater to the downtown area.
After a deal with AMC theaters expired four months ago, city officials have decided to look for a new contractor to build a theatre at Fourth Street and Arizona Avenue in downtown Santa Monica. Entertainment-giant, AMC, previously owned exclusive negotiating rights to the location but their plans were faulty from the start.
In order to erect their 70,000 square foot theater that houses 2,100 seats, AMC would have to tear down Parking Structure 3. However, residents complained that this would only create more traffic in an area where there is hardly any parking available.
Eventually, AMC concluded they wouldn't be able to profit from a theater of that size and plans for construction fell through.
Now, negotiations for a new theater are in place, after a study by the Promenade Uses Task Force concluded that the movie venues near the Third Street Promenade are outdated. This prompted members of Santa Monica's city council to consider cinema redevelopment a top priority.
Worried the old cinemas would lose their competitive edge in a new market, city council members agreed new amenities are needed, such as, stadium seating and state-of-the-art technology.
The cinema renovation project began in 2008 when City Hall began working with IJM Enterprises, a private consulting firm, to find a theater operator to invest in a new venue by the Promenade.
According to IJM, the contract is valued at $180,000 and several developers, including ArcLight Cinemas, are interested in making proposals. City Council expects to start evaluating those proposals this Spring and hopes to choose a cinema operator best suited for constructing a theater complex downtown.
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