The stage is set for a movie theater war in downtown Santa Monica.
After more than two decades without a new theater (while state-of-the-art multiplexes popped up all over Los Angeles), Santa Monica, the seaside city many Hollywood figures call home, is embracing a mass overhaul of its moviegoing landscape. The crown jewel is expected to be a new 14-screen ArcLight theater at the Third Street Promenade's Santa Monica Place that is scheduled to open in November. And all existing theaters in the vicinity are seeing major renovations, the most dramatic being the complete redo of the 44-year-old Laemmle Monica 4-Plex as it transforms into the Monica Film Center with six auditoriums, a restaurant, a lounge and a rooftop deck with an ocean view. It's set to open in May. Not to be outdone, the AMC 7 on the Promenade is in the midst of renovations to install plush power recliners in all of its auditoriums. The nearby Loews Broadway 4 will receive a similar upgrade.
That's not all. Plans also are in place to add a second ArcLight location on Fourth Street, replacing an existing parking ramp near the corner of Arizona Avenue. The second location has yet to receive final approval from the Santa Monica City Council, but officials say they are optimistic it will receive the green light.
All this activity should finally bring top-tier moviegoing experiences to those who actually make the movies shown. Curiously, Santa Monica has for years lacked a state-of-the-art theater. Studio sources say the new ArcLight venues could pose serious competition for The Landmark at the Westside Pavilion and for Century City's AMC 15, the dominant players on the Westside. "My wife and I go to The Landmark — that's just what you do, " notes David Martin, director of planning and community development for the city of Santa Monica. "What we'd like to provide is the modern type of theaters so people stay here in town."
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Book (Santa Monica Press)
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POSTCARD 152 - SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA .. from Hibiscus Express
Office Product (POSTCARD 152 - SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - The Third Street Promenade is an area where one can find everything, great shopping, dining or take in a movie at one of the many theaters. It's an area that you don't want to miss.)