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The closure was the end result of a legal dispute between the property owners and the theatre’s, now former, operator; naturally, each side has a different take on the scenario. However, the property owners are actively seeking a new operator and are committed to reopening as soon as possible. This is NOT a case of a site which doesn’t make money and there are no plans to operate it as anything other than a live theatre.
This was one of the better OC multiplexes, until Edwards lost interest in keeping it up and a less desirable element began frequenting the theatre. I recall the two large auditoriums having impressive screen sizes (for the time) and waterfall curtains (quite a rarity for the multiplex era). The entire theatre was a notch above most multiplexes of the day. Unfortunately, the Hutton Center’s glory days were relatively brief and the site went downhill fast, after Edwards moved on to megaplexes. The last time I went there (circa 96')it had already turned in to the kind of theatre one had second thoughts about going to.
In recent years, the Island 7 was generally a B-film/move over location, with the occasional indie release. Prior to that, I recall there being some decent bookings,but the Big Newport always took the top releases, due to the larger seating capacity. I don’t recall them ever sharing bookings, but it may have happened with really big movies, from time to time.
I would imagine they will place some special effort in to booking the Island, to help launch the theatre (as they did when it first opened). However, I doubt they will neglect the Big Newport, long term. The Big Newport has more seats in one auditorium than the Island does as a facility. The Island’s higher prices and extras simply can’t replace the Big Newport’s raw capacity and potential for big attendance numbers. They will likely go to double bookings by summer.
After the remodel, seating is now 670 total.
Hopefully, the new owner is interested in reopening the theatre as an entertainment venue and the alleged hotel concept simply involves the adjoining commercial space.
Dr. Gene Scott’s widow/successor, Melissa Scott, is a bit “controversial” and has been liquidating a number of the ministry’s holdings in a questionable fashion. So, I seriously doubt the building’s historical value was considered in the sale, from her side.
All three theatres they chose are excellent modern megaplexes, but I wish they would have tried thinking outside the box and created a more interesting list. There is quite a varied and colorful landscape of theatres in Orange County, offering more than “located in a popular shopping destination”, “top grossing”, and “featuring (insert stock list of modern amenities)”.
While semi open for a few years now, the Yost is celebrating it’s official reopening this weekend, after a $2.7 mil remodel/upgrade. The venue is now focused on live concerts and use as a club, with a full bar and restaurant in place.
This was initially slated to be an Edwards project. After Edwards fell in to bankruptcy, Krikorian was brought in to open/manage the theatre. I’ve been told conflicting stories as to whether Krikorian was intended to be a temporary operator or not; however, that obviously ended up being the case, as Krikorian was replaced in short order.
Opened on 12/16/83
Initially operated jointly by SocCal Cinemas and Edwards; Edwards later took over full operation. The theatre is currently operated by the Parth Theatre Group.
When Mann took the theatre over for a second time, there was a significant refurbishment. It was in near pristine condition during it’s final years.
After closing, the theatre remained fully equipped and in “turn key” condition. When I went on a speculative walk-through, it literally looked like the theatre was ready to reopen on a moment’s notice (there were even unused office supplies neatly organized in the office). Unfortunately, the lease and track record just didn’t lend themselves to procuring a new operator. Had there been more space for support areas and a kitchen, I think it might have been a prime candidate for a “fork and screen” conversion, but that will forever be confined to speculation.
Miscellaneous trivia: The South Coast opened as National General Corp’s 263rd theatre.
Today, the site is a well maintained grass lot; popular for office breaks and as a walkway to/from the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
For some reason, the map above is showing this theatre in the wrong area. The Pierside Pavilion was on Pacific Coast Highway, across the street from the ocean.
The picture was taken from the stairs that lead to auditorium #6. The lobby is located on the opposite end of the hall, to the right.
The Pierside Pavilion 6 was opened on May 24, 19991 by Mann Theatres. Located directly across the street from Huntington Beach’s famous pier and main beach, on the second level of a shopping plaza, the theatre always struggled to compete with the city’s outdoor draws and thriving downtown nightlife. Sold to Edwards in the early 90’s, the theatre would return to the Mann fold after Edward’s bankruptcy, before finishing out it’s days under the operation of SoCal Cinemas/The Movie Experience. The Pierside Pavilion (renamed the Pierside Surf City 6 under SoCal) closed in March of 2008 and sat vacant until December 2010, when the theatre was converted in to 33,049 square feet of office and restaurant space.
Constructed in an compact “L” shape, two small auditoriums were accessed directly off the shallow two story lobby’s left side, while the remaining four auditoriums were located down a hallway on the right. The facility featured two THX certified auditoriums (#4 & #6) and 70 mm capabilities in #6. Auditorium six was also built with pseudo stadium seating (the rest of the complex was traditional slope).
Nice eye King Biscuits! The exterior poster pylons (removed in 97') were used for coming attractions; so, those two would have been pending at the time. But we did have them and I even built up the James & the Giant Peach print.
Today (5/31/11), they will begin removing the 50’s era marquee and box office as part of the ongoing renovation; thus, restoring the theatre’s original look.
Concerning the whole Mann issue; it is my understanding Mann’s last contracted day of operation was 5/19/11. However, there was an extention made to 5/26/11, to aid in the transition process. After completing the change over (the reason they are currently closed), the theatre will reopen under a new owner and operator (as movielover23 mentioned “Chinese Theatre LLC”). I believe the theatre’s new website will soon be chinesetheatres.com.
As controversial as the new owners and the various rumors might be, I’m holding out hope this change will mark a rebirth. That the new owners/operators will initiate some efforts which will ultimately lead to more people entering the theatre to watch a movie, rather than treating it as just a courtyard sightseeing stop/photo op. It’s a beautiful historic theatre, with an unsurpassed pedigree, but it’s true value is found in being a living cinema treasure, not as a marker of what once was.
Proved to be a short run; the Brookhurst has been closed once again.
As i pointed out on Grauman’s CT page, the rumor involves the Chinese 6 being converted to a nightclub, not Grauman’s. The only alleged changes to Grauman’s, thus far, have been expanded food service and moving towards mixed use; which suggests the theatre would have it’s stage back.
If you examine the rumors (especially Hollywood Elsewhere and it’s “inside source”) the alleged dramatic changes are centered more on the Chinese 6 than Grauman’s.
If the Chinese 6 were to be convereted to a nightclub style venue, would anyone really care? It’s not like that annex holds the same historical/cultural significance.
As for Grauman’s, the only changes that have been rumored, to a significant extent, are transitioning to “multi use”; which would suggest the need for a stage, thus restoring an original feature of the theatre. About the only questonable alteration suggested, thus far, involves removable seating.
While I’m just as concerned as the next guy, especially considering the track records of the parties involved, I could see the potential for some of these alleged changes being beneficial. Say, Grauman’s continues to screen movies and adds the option of hosting live events once again. Perhaps, the kitchen/bar adds a luxury service to the theatre. And, the former 6 supplements the venue with post event options and extra drawing power via alternative entertainment choices. Yes, that involves a great deal of speculation and wishful thinking on my part, but, at this point, it’s no more speculative than saying “this is the end”.
This theatre’s construction was a pain in the butt for me. At the time, I was a manager at the AMC Fullerton 10 (the expansion to 20 hadn’t taken place yet) and AMC’s western division office wanted someone to keep tabs on Century’s latest venture in the market (they voiced a concern that it might be a threat to their business). So, every week I would have to go out to the construction site to compile an update. They wanted pictures, hand drawn maps/diagrams, and a detailed summary of what I saw. The big problem was that this was conducted during the project’s earliest stages; i.e. I was basically providing surveillance of a dirt lot. The end result being reports like “ten foot pile of soil now located on western corner of property (see photo 3)”. When the theatre structure actually started to go up, they stopped having me go out to the site. I never quite understood why they lost interest in monitoring the competition at this more relevant juncture.
Despite early concerns, the Stadium Promenade never had much of an impact on AMC’s area theatres. Fullerton served an entirely different market, the Block would later carve out it’s own highly successful niche, and Mainplace folded more as the result of the Block opening.
Great that councilwoman Gardner made the effort to keep everyone informed and the Port in the news; not so great that she throws in the “count me out” and “I’d just as soon watch it on my tv” comments, in reference to food service being added.
I would have to agree with Scott. Between the project taking almost a year and the number of adjoining units they’ve closed for the expansion (i.e. all of the former second floor foodcourt), I’m thinking they are basically building a new theatre on the site.
Today, 1/12/11, was the last day of operations before the year long remodel/expansion begins. There were no advertisements for the remodel in place, nor did management have any idea as to who the operator would be for the “new” theatre (they appeared very downbeat when asked). I basically walked away suspecting it wouldn’t be Edwards/REG.