San Bernardino looking for operator for 20 screen multiplex

posted by CSWalczak on May 5, 2010 at 4:50 am

SAN BERNARDINO, CA — When it opened in 1999, the tax-payer built CinemaStar 20 appeared to be a successful venture, especially in a town with relatively few screens. Located adjacent to the historic California Theater, which is now a performing arts center, it seemed ideally located. But by 2008, the city’s redevelopment agency had taken over the multiplex, CinemaStar was bankrupt, and the theater closed. A recent proposal to renovate and reopen the theater by Maya Cinemas now appears dead, though some other chains may be interested.

The $12 million, 20-screen movie theater — built with taxpayer dollars — today sits empty, surrounded by chain-link fence, its interior gutted on Maya’s promise to rebuild the stadium seating and install new carpeting and a 3-D IMAX screen.

The default is just the latest in a series of unfulfilled promises that began in 1996, when the city signed the original developer, Metropolitan Development, to build the multiplex and restaurants and shops near it.

The full story can be read here in thePress-Enterprise.

Comments (3)

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on May 5, 2010 at 8:00 am

Oops – The city should, of course, be San Bernardino.

Dramatrauma
Dramatrauma on May 5, 2010 at 10:52 am

I wish Maya had been able to come thru on this. I like the theater they built near me, tho they seem to be having trouble with front signage (digital marquee has died and teh poster case lights dont seem to all be working properly for teh last several months).

I have mixed feelings about a City completely funding a venture like this(a 20 plex? Even 10 years ago that would seem excessive and risky to me) but hopefully the project will bounce back.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on May 5, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Why did Maya gut the theatre? It already had stadium seating, just need new seats and a thorough cleaning. Unless all those rumors I heard about structural instablity were true…?

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