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The theatre originally opened as an 8-plex and was later expanded to 12 and then finally to 16. I don’t know the timeline on the expansions. I went there to see “21” during it’s first week. I found it amusing that the location still uses the old Theatron ticketing system but enjoyed my show quite well.
To the best of my knowledge, Rancho Santa Fe 16 still stands empty across the street.
So you’re telling me that somewhere inside the building pictured below is an old Martin quad?
Level 4 booth certified? Is that some sort of scientology rating?
Under Century, all the CineArts were @ somewhere. The original CineArts were:
CineArts @ Evanston (Evanston, IL)
CineArts @ Sequoia (Mill Valley, CA)
CineArts @ Palo Alto Square (Palo Alto, CA)
CineArts @ Empire (San Francisco, CA)
CineArts @ Pleasant Hill (Pleasant Hill, CA)
CineArts @ Santana Row (San Jose, CA)
CineArts @ Marin (Sausalito, CA)
Eventually they started calling whatever art film was playing at any theatre the “CineArts @ [Theatre Name]” much like AMC has AMC Select and Regal has Regal Arts.
I think them seats may still have ashtrays in them, not sure. :p
Did the modern Showcase Orange start as an 8-plex? What was the evolution of the modern build?
What a jerk journalist. Probably hasn’t seen a movie there since AMC had the place. Phoenix made some great improvements.
The problems described in that article are not unique to that theatre as the article would suggest. Other than the Grand Lake and Orinda theatres I don’t know of many other locations in the bay area that have a union projectionist anymore.
I don’t know what good it does to picket the theatre, if push comes to shove and the owners wanted to make their union problems go away don’t they just need to install DLP? Are there union operators in DLP multiplexes?
Actually, send them to me and I’ll make sure they get posted on Cinematour with proper credit to your name.
The registration process at Cinematour is fairly automated. As long as you register with your real name and not a handle it should let you register. And you can e-mail photos to
The different brands/designs all just depend on when the company built the theatre.
“Movies #” was probably their earlier design, likely developed when they first started building theatres from the ground up. They have the dizzying checkerboard floors and tile backsplashes, green, orange and purple walls and the purple seats. Usually each location had a dual panel marquee in the front separated by the Cinemark medallion with the tower proudly declaring “Movies 8”.
I’d be interested in learning how many of each era of theatre are still in operation for that company. How many UA the Movies 4 are there still under Regal’s banner? And if not Regal, how many are still relatively untouched? Is there a vintage 70’s GCC CINEMA I-II-III somewhere? I’m sure most of the 70’s AMC’s are closed now. Some of the 80’s AMC’s had 90’s AMC’s built onto them to keep them viable. How long until those go?
Next came “Tinseltown” which seems to be what they were building during the megaplex/stadium seating explosion. Same loud “Front Row Joe” colors but most Tinseltowns were/are 14+ screens.
There were a few “Hollywood” branded theatres during that time, I don’t know how that all fits in with the corporate development, but I imagine it was dropped when Wallace/Hollywood Theatres began a building boom so Cinemark may have decided to scrap that idea. The only difference I could find between the Tinseltown and Hollywood designs were that the Hollywood designs were louder and usually had more yellow tiles than white.
After that is the “Cinemark” brand. The brown and maroon color scheme with the black and orange carpet. The faux gold poster frames and the pink/red rocking chairs in the auditoriums. This seems to me the time that Cinemark realized their older theatres were kinda cheesy looking and decided that since they were spending millions of dollars they might want to make the theatres more luxurious than tacky.
As far as the steamboat looking Tinseltowns, I’ve seen that same plan in both Tinseltown and Cinemark brands so I don’t think it was unique to one or the other, though the newer ones (Tinseltown 16 in Lubbock, TX for example) may have been rennovated with the new color scheme. The one constant in that design was the bigger the complex, the more box offices it had and therefore more “steam stacks” coming out the roof. 20+ usually had 3-4, 16’s had 3-4, 14’s had 2-3.
Every chain has their trademark design for each era. AMC has their cookie cutter 4-6 plexes of the late 70’s early 80’s. Then they had their 8-12 plexes with the one or two box offices in the center, lobby in in the middle with 4 screens on the left and 4 on the right. “AMC Entertainment” neon over the snack bar. Then during the megaplex boom they have their crazy “Space Port” designs with the starfield carpet. Then they have their in between phase with the tacky Hollywood star murals and their current design with the movie quote wallpaper and terrazzo with inlaid quotes.
Century Theatres had the pink cinderblock walls with the red vomit carpet that was in EVERY location until about 1995. (Some still have it.) There were three transition theatres that were built to have the pink walls but were upgraded after Ray Syufy Sr. passed away. These three were the same layout as most the others but had upgraded everything. Then with the stadium theatres they experimented a bit and had two theatres that were INSANELY huge and by the time the 3rd stadium was built they fell into a groove with the self-serve island snack bar coming off the back wall of the lobby with a Century mural over the kitchen door. From there the only things that really changed were the color schemes and a new mural every few years.
Regal has their generic 16-plex with the “REGAL” tower. Carmike has their old builds “Carmike” vs. the newer “Wynnsong”. Pacific Theatres had the “People Pleasing People” designs vs. the newer “Focus”. General Cinema had their blue-red-and-wood era of the 80’s and then switched it up with the update in the 90’s. Loews had their 80’s 8-plexes with the tacky pencil drawn movies stars over the island lobby, then the white-red-black-and gray tile lobbies and glass atrium of the 90’s, then the Star-Loeks design and then the weird Gingerbread looking theatres right before they went under. UA had the “UA the Movies” then the “Escape to the Movies” and then the “United Artists*” schemes. Lord knows every Cineplex Odeon looked the same in the 90’s. Edwards went from a very 1985 bare bones look to “NEON EVERYWHERE!” Harkins had their glass block and neon phase which has given way to their latest uniform look. Every Plitt I’ve ever seen pictures of looked the same.
As you can see, I pay a lot of attention to the different building types each chain has had. It’s just the natural evolution of the company and the theatre business in general.
Don’t fool yourselves. Digital saves exhibitors on film transport fees and the time spent on payroll waiting for the delivery people. And they wouldn’t be forking over the money to do this if it didn’t get them something in return, like substantial film rental savings.
I’m irritated by this. I was going to be in New Haven visting friends in April and I had some hope of getting inside for some photos. The Showace Orange was interesting to me, mind you’ve I’ve only seen one movie there, but by the layout it seemed as though every auditorium was fairly large. As though it was an original 8-plex that they always meant to expand/cut to 16 but then Hoyt’s built in Branford and took the business.
And of course that and it was wonderfully 80’s/90’s intact.
I’m going to go look at my photos of the Commack Multiplex… humbug.
Cinemark still has it listed on their website and Fandango has showtimes. Cinemark tends not to do print advertising during slow periods, so maybe that’s why you haven’t seen ads for it lately.
Photos have been posted at Cinematour.
Between Cinemark and North American, whose theatre is actually going to get built to replace this one?
If you’d like — send the photos to
Photos can be seen at Cinematour.
Those are photos from 2004. It looks like it’s still fairly AMC simple, but it was a well kept and maintaned complex when we were there.
I was an auditor for Century Theatres and was always intrigued by the dome theatres. I had a bit of projection background so was also interested in the technical side of the older buildings. I don’t know if the lense is still on site, I would assume that it is not. I know that the D-150 automation panel is still mounted on the wall at this location, as well as some of the other older dome locations.
I’m all for keeping the dome, but think about it by just reading this thread: Nobody wants to see a movie unless it’s in the dome.
So from a business perspective, if it were YOUR theatre, would you want to keep running a theatre where people refuse to see a movie unless it’s playing in ONE of your FIVE theatres? While I personally don’t prefer to see movies in the back theatres, #22 and #25 are actually decent houses. It boils down to the fact, that if you want to save the dome, see movies no matter where they play in the complex.
Thought I’d cross post the comment I made on part of the Newsreel post for today about this theatre.
This complex was built as the Century 21 Pleasant Hill and opened with Doctor Zhivago. In 1974 four screens were added behind the building and it began it’s run as Century 21-25 and then the Century Complex. Century rebranded this theatre as one of its CineArts Theatres, which Cinemark still operates the theatre as under their control. To this day, the employees still refer to the auditoriums as #21-#25. Photos can be seen at http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=2718 included a once proposed addition of two domes into the parking lot (assumedly before the 4-plex was added behind the dome).
I’m sure Cinemark would probably love to add Wehrenberg to their screen count, and it would fill in a geographical gap in their map of the US. Though I’m sure Wehrenberg is also attractive to AMC and Regal as well. The question is: Who has money left to buy anything?
AMC bought Loews.
Cinemark bought Century.
Kerasotes bought Colorado Cinemas.
Carmike bought GKC.
Reading is buying Pacific/Consolidated.
It looks like Regal is probably the only one left who hasn’t bought anything recently.