Cinėpolis Plaza Americana Otay

Calzada del Tecnológico 2100,
Tijuana 22457

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When CinemaStar Theatres opened in November 1997 the San Diego Union noted, “It was the first multiplex to open in Tijuana, and one of the only venues to offer U.S.-style amenities.” To help with the financing CinemaStar took on a Mexican partner but it was considered the first theater by an American movie chain to enter the Tijuana movie market.

CinemaStar may have had an official opening in December 1997 with “Titantic", as the San Diego Union reported it had all the excitement of a Hollywood premiere with Mexican movie stars, limousines, searchlights and a red carpet.

In 1998 competition came when Cinemark opened in Tijuana. CinemaStar was still reported in the San Diego Union in December 2006 and was sold to Cinėpolis after that year.

CinemaStar was founded in Oceanside by Alan Grossberg and John Ellison Jr. The San Diego Union’s profile of the partners noted they were theater veterans. Mr. Ellison came to San Diego in 1967 with Fox West Coast Theaters. Mr. Grossberg was a film buyer for independent theaters and owned the Flower Hill in Del Mar and the La Paloma in Encinitas.

They bought the Nickelodeon chain in 1994, which in April 1995 in reaction to a suit by the Nickelodeon Network was renamed CinemaStar. Flash-forward to March 1998, when Grossberg and Ellison agreed to resign after the board of directors restructured management following a “new injection of equity financing". The partners received $1,075 million in severances and went on to form UltraStar theatres.

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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