Columbia Center Cinemas
Willamette Avenue and Columbia Center Boulevard,
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The Tri-City Herald announced the opening of the Columbia Center Mall on October 15, 1969. In November Sterling Recreation Organization (SRO) opened their first single screen, seating 850, outside the main mall called Columbia Center Cinema. On May 26, 1976 the grand opening was held for two more auditoriums with 440 and 220 seats and a name change to the Columbia Center Tri-Plex.
The date Cineplex-Odeon assumed control is indefinite but the building eventually expanded to four screens. In 1997, Act III theatres, its operators, built an eight-screen theatre at the center, which the Herald said was to serve as a replacement for the original cinema, which would close. In 1998 Act III became a Regal Cinema. The original theatre building was outside the mall between J.C. Penney and the railroad tracks and was destined for demolition after an expansion of the mall began in 2006. Today Regal Entertainment provides the entertainment at the mall, with a Carmike Cinema within walking distance.
(As of 2009, a good view of the shuttered cinema could still be seen on Microsoft Bird’s eye view, between J.C. Penney and the tracks).
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