Edwards Big Newport 6

300 Newport Center Drive,
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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James Edwards

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1969, with 1,130 seats and a 71-foot screen, this was among the last of the large theaters built in Southern California before the advent of the multi-screen shoeboxes in the early 1970’s. It was the fourth theater built by the growing Edwards chain and for many years it was considered their flagship.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, two smaller screens were added on either side of its building, keeping the original auditorium intact.

Edwards' corporate offices were in the second story of one of the newer theaters and anyone who attended a matinee would probably see James Edwards II, the chain’s founder, greeting patrons. He came to work daily until his death at the age of 90.

In 1996, three stadium auditoriums were added to the building but the Big Newport, with its non-stadium seating, has defied trends and still continues to draw crowds. The Big Newport has a loyal following of fans who camp out or at least show up for the first day of the big movies. (Their unofficial web site is www.bignewport.com).

Edwards Newport Cinemas is now part of Regal Entertainment Group.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 62 comments)

RobertAlex
RobertAlex on September 5, 2014 at 5:43 pm

When they switched to digital in the big auditorium I called and asked the Manager. I think that post is still on this thread. I was told it was a Barco2K 32B. They also told me it was upgradable to 4K as they installed before the 4K projectors (non sony) were available. The Sony 4K cannot properly light up that size screen. Many AMC’s and Regals who all have Sony 4K deals outfit their largest screens with DLP projectors from NEC or Christie or Barco.

OCRon
OCRon on September 12, 2014 at 7:27 am

I was over here Thursday afternoon and talked to the manager. They will shortly install automated recliners with swivel trays in ALL six auditoriums. The biggest job will be in the large auditorium, which will be half stadium and half sloped, with a 50 percent reduction in seating. They have two recliners on display in the lobby.

RobertAlex
RobertAlex on September 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm

OCRon, thanks for the update! Personally i am not sure how I feel about changing the Big N, although whenever I go it is usually the 7ish showings on a Saturday for the big event movies, since no one is ever there. There have been opening weekends when we were sitting with maybe 50 other people in that huge auditorium. I guess a remodel is the better option to it being chopped up or worse, closed. Did they tell you if they were going to serve food? The part about the swivel tables make me nervous.

As far as the layout, it seems they are going to make it look like the Ziegfeld with both slopped and stadium, that doesnt sound too bad. Hopefully they will go the distance and add in Dolby Atmos and one of the new Laser Projectors, but doubt it.

Richie_T
Richie_T on September 12, 2014 at 6:12 pm

I love this theater more than any other. I hope they do right by her. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be on December 18th, 2015.

OCRon
OCRon on September 12, 2014 at 10:23 pm

I found some information from the city of Newport Beach. (see photo section for excerpt).

An IMAX is coming. The architect will be Blair Ballard Associates (BBA), who did the Chinese Theatre conversion.

http://bbarchitects.com/index.html

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 12, 2014 at 10:52 pm

They need to do it in the adjacent building next door (the one where all the auditoriums are on the lower level). The big house in there is an easy fit for an IMAX conversion.

Logan5
Logan5 on September 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm

“The Rocketeer” showed at Edwards Newport Cinema in 70mm 6-Track THX Dolby Stereo SR beginning on Friday June 21, 1991 (the film’s nationwide release date).

RobertAlex
RobertAlex on September 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm

So from what I read from this thread they are turning the Big N into an IMAX?? wow, although i welcome dual projection and hopefully the new Laser 4K Projector, I feel they can do this without the IMAX brand.

Coate
Coate on September 25, 2014 at 5:56 pm

What’s up with all the comments about “The Rocketeer” posted yesterday? There were over twenty of them. Anyway, I think the sound format of the film’s 70mm prints was Dolby A, not Dolby SR. And I believe only Screen #3 (the smallest and newest of the three in service at the time) at Edwards Newport was THX certified. Did “The Rocketeer” play on screen #3 or the big screen? I didn’t see it there, so I can’t say for sure. (I saw it once at the AMC MainPlace in Santa Ana and a second time at the El Capitan in L.A.) I’d have to double check, but I think the newspaper promotion implied it played on the big screen. (A few weeks into its run it moved over across the street where it would’ve been in a THX house.)

Flix70
Flix70 on October 1, 2014 at 12:31 pm

A 50 percent reduction in seating with both sloped and stadium seating, not to mention IMAX? My beloved Big Newport is truly dead.

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