Developers vie to build mutiplexes in Atascadero

posted by CSWalczak on September 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm

ATASCADERO, CA — Currently a town with no movie theaters at all, Atasadero, CA might soon have 20 screens as developers are proposing to build two ten-screen multiplexes nearly across the street from each other.

John Roush, owner of Park Cinemas in Paso Robles, unveiled plans Tuesday for a mixed-use project of Italian Renaissance design — mimicking the architecture of the historic Rotunda building — across from the city’s Sunken Gardens on El Camino Real. The proposed project includes 40,000 square feet of shopping or restaurants and a 33,000-square-foot, 10-screen movie theater.

The project, called La Plaza Cinemas, is within walking distance of the long-touted Colony Square project and includes a three-block span from Hoover’s 101 restaurant to Traffic Way. The stretch houses a string of dated smaller buildings and includes a 1.6-acre parcel owned by the Hoff Family that housed the North County Christian Thrift Store before it was destroyed by a fire in March.

The whole story can be read in the Tribune.

Comments (1)

danpetitpas
danpetitpas on September 30, 2009 at 10:13 pm

I liked the comment from a downtown business owner. He said “he worried the competition could result in neither theater being built.”

This is like a game of chicken — see who blinks first. In Massachusetts, we had a similar situation ten years ago when Hoyts and Showcase wanted to built competing multiplexes within 200 yards of each other. Hoyts backed down and Showcase won.

Another point is that one of the 10-screen theaters would only have 1400 seats, which is an average of only 140 seats per screen.

I hate this new trend of going back and building “viewing rooms” like in the 1980s. Showcase just built a 15-screen theater in Dedham, MA with an average of 200 seats per auditorium. Half of the screens are viewing rooms of between 98-180 seats.

Most of the readers here would rather have a cinematic experience instead of watching movies in basically a home theater. Why go out to the movies when you can watch them at home on a 52" screen?

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