Edwards Town Center 4

3209 Park Center Drive,
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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Edwards Town Center 4

Construction of Edwards Town Center 4 was announced in the Los Angeles Times on July 12, 1981, complete with an architectural rendering of the facade. The front of the theatre had a unique sloped glass roof, which enabled the lights from the lobby to be seen from the San Diego freeway. The 25,000 square foot building was to cost $7.29 million with Edwards signing a $4.44 million, 30-year lease. The land was and still is owned by the Segerstrom Company, owners and developers of South Coast Plaza and all of the property in the area.

This was Edwards 19th Orange County location with their LA Times ad also showing four LA County locations in Alhambra, Monterey Park and Temple City under the Edwards banner.

Two of the screens were open in time for Christmas 1981, and two more were open by the New Year.

For many years, along with two other Edwards South Coast Plaza theatres, it was a popular first-run destination. In 1998, when Edwards opened the Metro Point 12 stadium in the area, it began to play only art films along with their acquired South Coast Village 3 theatre.

It closed on June 14, 2001, 10 years before their lease was up, mainly because of Edwards bankruptcy. In fact, one of the reasons mentioned for the bankruptcy was that Edwards had too many outstanding leases on non-productive theatres. If the terms of the original 1981 lease had not changed, this would mean that Edwards was paying $12,333 a month for its lease. It was demolished in 2007 and the location is now a parking lot, with no indication that a theatre ever existed there.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Coate on April 13, 2009 at 4:18 am

Theater info and photos here.

Richie_T on January 31, 2010 at 9:18 am

I was startled to see how badly this theater fell into disrepair. Town Center was a classy place to see a movie back in the 80s and early 90s. I saw some amazing 70mm presentations there as a kid including: Return of the Jedi, Star Trek II-IV, Platoon, The Mission, and Lethal Weapon 2. Cool place. Classy. Sad to learn of its premature demise.

Coate on January 31, 2010 at 9:28 am

“Platoon” was a 35mm presentation.

Flix70 on September 16, 2011 at 6:34 am

The first film I ever saw at the Town Center was “E.T."on opening weekend in June of 1982. It was the only time I ever saw a line wrap completely around the building.

The two corner theaters were the largest and the ones you hoped were showing your flick. Saw some great films there over the years: Return of the Jedi(first show opening day; hardly anyone there), Gremlins, Star Trek III, Platoon and Crouching Tiger to name a few.

Always thought it was an odd place for a theater as it was in the far corner of a corporate plaza. The parking lot had an attendent booth and sometimes someone was in it, other times not. I remember always asking someone in the car: “You think I can park here?”

Eventually the lot was closed to theater patrons and you had to park in the corporate structure across the way. Sometimes you had to pay, other times not. Kind of lost its allure after a while.

LuckyBastard76 on January 10, 2015 at 5:20 am

I loved this theater and I agree it was a classy place. I liked how there was a balcony upstairs where they had giant windows and you could see the projectionist and projector. Some of the films I saw there, and there was a lot as this was one of my favorite theaters. Re-release of A Clockwork Orange, advanced screening of E.T., Conan The Barbarian, Videodrome, Blue Velvet, Visiting Hours, Tootsie, Platoon, What About Bob, The Dark Crystal.

Flix70 on February 14, 2020 at 3:30 am

The wife and I drove by the old location for the first time in years yesterday and noticed a parking garage now sits on the site. It’s like the Town Center never existed, except here on Cinema Treasures.

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