UA Mall Cinemas 1-2-3-4
11202 South Street,
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UA Cinemas-Cerritos was the first of three United Artists locations to open at Los Cerritos Center, a large suburban venue in southeast Los Angeles County. One of the first fourplexes, it opened with the center in 1971, the address given was 333 Los Cerritos Center. Inside an indoor mall corridor, the theatre was officially designated UA Mall Cinemas 1-4, to distinguish it from two additional screens outside in the parking lot that opened the following year (UA Twin Cinemas A & B). In earlier days of commercial development it was not unheard of to have two separate movie complexes (sometimes even operated by different chains) in different parts of the same shopping center.
Each of UA Mall 1-4’s auditoriums was minimalistic (like most multiplexes then): long and narrow, aisle straight down the middle and no premium picture or sound. With utilitarian paint and drapes, each auditorium was done in one of four primary colors: Red, blue, yellow or green. These colors were tied to the old ‘punch & fold’ ticket system in which colored, pre-printed tickets connected patrons to their auditorium (see photos section for details).
The four colors were echoed in the lobby (including giant numbers above the auditorium entrance doors) but carpet, panelling and fixtures made for a dark interior. Identical to UA City-Orange (across the line in Orange County), UA Mall-Cerritos had a no-nonsense layout: snack bar on the left as you entered from the mall and auditoriums straight ahead. There was also an open-air satellite box office (out front in a foyer of poster cases).
UA Cerritos Mall (as it was colloquially known), though inelegant, performed extremely well. With busy traffic and fun amenities of the surrounding center, it had high energy and volume. Strongly booked, it sold out frequently. Morning shows ran daily. Cerritos Mall was the perfect place for children’s fare, horror movies, cult favorites and teen audiences. In the late-1980’s, UA Mall still out-grossed larger and newer complexes (even driving its closest competitor, AMC Alondra 6, into sub-run status). Both the Mall and the Twin, however, were eventually supplanted. In 1998 the UA Galaxy, an eleven screener with stadium seating, opened elsewhere in the center.
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