AMC Dine-In Theatres Marina 6

13455 Maxella Avenue,
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

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Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on January 8, 2006 at 9:23 pm

In 1987, I came over to open the Cineplex Odeon Marina Marketplace. Wes Stockman was the manager at the time. This art-deco place had marble floors, beautiful lighting and a really cool cafe. You could order expresso, have spaghetti, a salad or one of their fine pastries. Finally, you could sit down and enjoy your meal in its own dining area.

Here, with my partner Bob Seeling, we put on a great show in what we had considered to be the best-run, high-tech projection booth in the city. Also, it was the first computerized projection booth in the nation. Oh, and yes, we had curtains to close and re-open between the coming attractions and feature presentation.

Garth Drabinsky, the C.E.O. for Cineplex, said that if we make this thing work, we would have a job for life. We made it work with pride, and Cineplex really took care of us. The 2,500 square foot booth floor was stripped and polished weekly. You could eat off the floor.

It had its own water filter for the coffee maker and a desk for the computer. There were no fingerprints on the walls because we enforced keeping it spotless. Bob and I even won an award from the union for having the best running projection room in the local.

This place hired only off-duty L.A.P.D. detectives for its plain-clothed security. Mark Fuhrman of the O.J. Simpson trial was one of them. It was pretty common to see a couple officers escorting celebrities to and from auditoriums.

In addition to regular public showings of movie releases, the studios would rent auditoriums to do Audience Response Screenings (ARS) and get public feedback while in a film’s production. Then, they would alter a film’s production and make changes based on the questionaires that were handed out to be filled-out by the audience at the end of the screenings. The stars of the films being screened would typically hang-out in the projection booth and peek out the port windows to see the audience’s responses.

Between regular public showings and weekly studio premieres and screenings, the Marina Marketplace was making tons of money. We were all very proud of our baby.

Unfortunately, Drabinsky ended up in prison. Next, Loews bought out Cineplex Odeon in 1991 and threw out the union projectionists and off-duty officers. Today, it is ran like any other ordinary theater, and the stars don’t come out to play here anymore.