Hollywood Cinemas 9

1401 Esplanade Avenue,
Kenner, LA 70065

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dscheifler
dscheifler on February 15, 2014 at 1:11 pm

The property and theater are currently listed for sale with an asking price of $2.5 million.

dscheifler
dscheifler on February 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm

I opened this theater as Managing Director for GCC in March of 1989. That summer was unimaginably busy, with Batman and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids selling out in two auditoriums each for weeks, along with other A track films. As the largest and most modern theater in New Orleans, we were awarded most of the big titles for the first year. THX Dolby Stereo in #4. One silver screen for 3D in #6. We had an office above the concession stand, from which we could view the lobby and service areas. A huge (for back then) concession stand with six or seven serving stations and fifteen people working during peak periods did phenomenal business, giving us one of the highest “per person” concession sales averages in the GCC chain, at around $1.50. Our team won General Cinema’s “Platinum Award” as the theater rated highest (out of 300+ locations) in a secret shopper program rating customer service and cleanliness during 1989.

The theater was not part of the mall, but sat across the ring-road to the west on a separate property. To build the theater, soil was brought into the swampy site, and the theater was built on numerous pilings. As time went by, subsidence caused the parking lot and sidewalks to sink, while the theater sat solid on the pilings. Metal ramps had to be added as the gap between sidewalk and theater ramps increased. A water main broke, causing flooding in #6, and later an electrical main broke leaving the theater without power until repairs were made. All that in just the first few years. Maintenance bills resulting from the subsidence kept mounting after I left in 1992, from what I later heard. As happens, this theater was eventually outclassed by newer and larger theaters opening in the New Orleans market.

jaybee7414
jaybee7414 on January 4, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Sorry, I hear ya' CS. I guess a dollar show is out of the question.

Do you happen to know when they first opened as the Esplanade Theater (or something like that)? Do you know when they reopened as Hollywood 9?

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on November 13, 2012 at 10:40 pm

If you really read what I wrote, it should be clear that I agree with you that it probably if not definitely will not survive in its present role as a first-run theater. But the owners might make a go of it as a discount house; only time will tell. This has worked in some other places. But unless they can convert to digital, the theater will almost inevitably close as there will be increasingly no product to show.

jaybee7414
jaybee7414 on November 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm

CSWalczak, how can you suggest that Hollywood 9 would have even a fighting chance against a massive new movie-house a stone’s throw (literally)away? THey are not successful now.

jaybee7414
jaybee7414 on November 13, 2012 at 8:52 am

From what I saw Saturday Night, it might close well before that.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on November 12, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I would not be surprised if this theater either becomes a discount house or closes entirely when the new theater opens. As a small independent operation, the owners may well be facing the challenge of going digital and making other upgrades that the new Kenner theater will have from the get-go.

jaybee7414
jaybee7414 on November 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm

By the way when did the UA Pavillion 8 in Kenner close. How long was it opened?

jaybee7414
jaybee7414 on November 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I went there Saturday, November 10, 2012 to see “Skyfall”. I hadn’t been to this area in six months, and noticed that with the huge development of the new movie theater the mall looked more desolate then ever. And with that and the closing of the road on the other side Hollywood 9 looks more isolated then ever. There were less than 20 people watching the show.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on November 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm

There is a picture of the theater’s entrance here and there are additional pictures on its page at CinemaTour.