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 66 comments)

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 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 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 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.

Flix70 on December 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Actually caught “Unbroken” on the big screen over the weekend (I figured it was most likely the last time I’d see a film here in its original configuration). Asked about the pending renovation and was told things would get started next month, beginning with the big-screen auditorium and then the smaller theaters after that. Apparently the big screen will become one of Regal’s proprietary RPX theaters, not IMAX. RPX features reclining seats, giant screen, dual digital projection, immersive sound, etc. Basically like IMAX without the licensing fees. The employee I spoke with said the big screen would be closed for 2-4 months during renovation. My guess is they’ll have it ready for “Avengers 2” on May 1.

Richie_T on March 26, 2015 at 3:04 pm

The renovation of the big screen has begun… Fingers crossed.

Flix70 on March 30, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Richie_T: I notice that the three stadiums theaters are now listed as having reclining seats and reserved seating. They were closed when I visited on March 16, the big screen was still open. Were you able to look inside the stadium theaters? I find it odd that they renovated the stadium theaters first and not the big screen. We’re a month away from the start of the summer movie season. Is the big screen really going to be ready for The Avengers May 1?

Flix70 on March 30, 2015 at 2:30 pm

I actually just spoke with someone at the Newport who said the big screen will be closed until June or July. Apparently theaters 3 and 4 will be done by the end of April. She thought it was strange that they did the stadium theaters first, too. She offered that they probably wanted the smaller theaters done first because they take less time. Still, how do you not have your biggest theater available for the start of the summer movie season? Especially when you’re removing 50 percent of the seats in the small theaters.

Flix70 on March 30, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Make that theaters 2 and 3 by the end of April.

Richie_T on March 30, 2015 at 3:55 pm

My guess is that it makes more sense to have five theaters up and running by May 1st… I imagine July 4th would be a good of day as any to unveil the new big screen. Perhaps Terminator Genysis will kick things off. I can’t wait to see the finished product. I grew up watching films at Big a Newport. I worked there from 1990 through 1992. I can barely articulate how much this place means to me. I live in LA now but will happily make the trek down south to see what’s doing. I can guarantee my attendance in late December for Star Wars.

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