AMC Fullerton 20
1001 South Lemon Street,
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The history of AMC’s Fullerton location is a tale of three theatres. Opened in 1988, as an eight-plex, the theatre was expanded in to a ten-plex in 1992, and eventually a twenty-plex in 1997.
The initial addition was seamless, as two large auditoriums were added on to the existing structure. However, the mega plex expansion called for a second, separate, building to be constructed across from the original theatre, with two free standing box offices between the structures.
The resulting complex caused a host of logistical problems, most notably, the “bad side vs. good side” mentality among patrons. The original theatres, labeled “the classic side” by AMC, were/are standard 80’s multiplex in design. The auditoriums, labeled “the stadium side” by AMC, were prototypical late 90’s mega plex. In addition to the two diverse styles, the Fullerton 20 was also plagued by a severe lack of parking, as the addition was constructed over a large portion of the parking lot. This problem was later corrected when another building on the property was purchased and demolished for parking.
The eight- and ten-plex versions of the Fullerton theatre saw business levels that far exceeded the facility. Box office and hold out lines regularly stretched in to the parking lot, with the undersized lobby usually packed to full capacity. Yet, with the seemingly needed expansion to a twenty-plex, the facility frequently stood as more than the market demanded.
Today, the moderately successful Fullerton 20 stands as a unique piece of theatre history, illustrating the industry’s transition during the late 90’s megaplex boom.
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