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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas in the News   » Beaverton, OR - Century 16 Opens

Author Topic: Beaverton, OR - Century 16 Opens
The Evil Sam Graham

Posts: 85
From: Des Moines, IA
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted November 20, 2004 12:19 PM      Profile for The Evil Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email The Evil Sam Graham         Edit/Delete Post 
Source Oregon

Multiplex reels more films into Beaverton
Sixteen screens, stadium seats and a mix of art house and Hollywood movies await cinema fans
Thursday, November 11, 2004

BEAVERTON -- The city will get its first new movie complex in 37 years next week, when Century Theatres opens a 16-theater multiplex in Cedar Hills Crossing

A canned-food benefit for the Oregon Food Bank will inaugurate the theater Wednesday, followed the next night by a $15-per-person charity showing to benefit the Westside YMCA.

The theaters begin regular admissions on Nov. 19, with films and show times to be advertised next week.

Century touts its theaters as the most comfortable in the business. Each auditorium has stadium seating, with most rows stair-stepped, so nobody's head blocks anybody else's view of the action. The seats recline. And if two people sitting together want to sit even closer, the arm rests flip back out of the way.

Movie watchers who want to splurge can eat popcorn with real butter on it, says Nancy Klasky, the 1,000-outlet chain's marketing vice president in San Rafael, Calif. And advertising is limited.

One Beaverton resident, Mayor Rob Drake, says he's gratified the Century chain is opening in Beaverton, after a false start in 2000 when redevelopment of Cedar Hills Crossing, formerly the Beaverton Mall, stalled.

"Century sounds first class, and we're really thrilled to have them," Drake says. "I look forward to going there with my family."

Though new movie complexes have been built near Hillsboro and Sherwood in recent years, they had eluded Beaverton until this month.

The most recent one, the three-theater Westgate just down Southwest Cedar Hills Boulevard from the shopping center, opened in 1967. The Westgate is targeted for removal, whenever the city finds money to extend Rose Biggi Avenue north from Millikan Way.

(tesg notes: The Westage was renovated into the Westgate 5 in 1992, and I believe the four-screen Beaverton Drive-In, now closed, was built in the late 1970's/early 1980's.)

A theater once was scheduled in the Round at Beaverton Central development next door to the Westgate, but it disappeared from those plans after the project's second developer, Dorn-Platz Properties, altered the business lineup.

The complex's arrival is especially good news for C.E. John, the company that co-owns and has been slowly rebuilding Cedar Hills Crossing, says Gary Rommel, architect for the shopping center.

The theater building is on Southwest Hocken Avenue, on the west side of the mall. A new food court and some mall stores, including Centerville, have second entrances on Hocken as well as access via the mall.

The new entrances, Rommel says, are designed to encourage customers to walk to and from the theater complex about 200 feet away.

What they will typically see when they get to the theater, Klasky says, is a wide mix of films, including foreign and art films as well as more standard Hollywood fare.

"We'll see if people respond," she says. "And then we'll continue to play them there if people do respond favorably to these titles."

Source Oregon

Friday, November 19, 2004

Alicia Gifford turned 12 this week. To celebrate, her mom took Alicia, six friends and several bags of donated canned items to a free preview of a 16-screen theater in Beaverton.

They never got in. An estimated 3,750 other people showed up, too, making donations to the Oregon Food Bank in exchange for free tickets. Ultimately, the Giffords decided to rent a movie instead. But they vowed to return soon to the Portland region's newest megaplex, even if it costs them $8.50 a ticket.

"Like a new pair of shoes, it's new, so it's special," said 12-year-old Austin Brittain.

By that definition, metro Portland will have a few more special places soon.

The area is in the midst of its biggest movie theater construction boom in more than five years, with 36 new screens opening over the next six months -- including the Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton -- and at least 28 additional screens on the drawing boards after that. The added screens promise to broaden the variety of movie-going experiences available, at least in the suburbs, adding everything from smaller pub-style moviehouses to multiplexes that serve espresso and ice cream.

The additions mirror a nationwide shift by theater companies, which are widely replacing older, low-profit cinemas with spiffier new multi-screen megaplexes. But existing theater owners, including smaller independent venues, say they're not worried the building craze will dent their business because ticket sales in the Portland area continue to rise.

David Emami, who owns small suburban theaters, said his budget theaters Tigard Joy and Milwaukie 3 have posted 10 percent to 15 percent annual revenue growth over the last four years, about double the industry average of 5 percent to 6 percent per year. Hoping to take full advantage of the growth, Emami said he is finalizing a deal to open a new, eight- or 10-screen pub-style theater in downtown Tualatin.

In addition to today's grand opening of Century Theatre's newest 16-screen multiplex, three other multi-screen theater openings are planned or in the works:

Regal Cinemas plans to open a 20-screen complex in May at the new Bridgeport Village in Tigard-Tualatin.

Century Theatre plans a 20-screen complex at Clackamas Town Center, though no opening has been announced.

Emami's pub-style theater in Tualatin.

In some ways, the new theater fervor isn't surprising. Portland goes for movies.

According to a Scarborough Research marketing study earlier this year, 60 percent of adults in the Portland-Vancouver area said they had gone to a movie in the past three months. That rate ranked 14th highest of 107 markets surveyed. The national average was 52 percent.

Sarah Feenan, one of the lucky people who made it inside Century 16 on Wednesday, says Oregon's weather plays a role. "A gloomy day is a good day to see a movie," said the 19-year old student at The Art Institute of Portland.

Portland has become an even better market for art films in recent years than it already was, industry officials say. Tom Prassis, vice president of sales at Sony Pictures Classics, estimated the average art film in Portland in the late 1990s grossed only half of what it did in Seattle. Now, art films in Portland bring in $7,000 to $8,000 a week, compared to about $6,000 a week in Seattle, Prassis estimates.

He credits the surge in large part to the newer theaters in Fox Tower 10, which opened in downtown Portland in 2001 and offer stadium-style seating and state-of-the art sound.

Prassis said the Portland area increasingly rates with the big cities in terms of art house distribution.

Sony Classic Pictures recently bumped up by one month the Portland release of its much-awaited "House of Flying Daggers," a Chinese action film similar to the 2000 hit film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." The movie will open at Fox Tower 10 on Dec. 17 -- the same day it debuts at theaters in larger cities such as San Francisco, Dallas and Boston -- before screening at other area theaters beginning Jan. 14, said Prassis.

All this seemed impossible just four years ago, when a nationwide overbuilding of movie theaters caused several companies to file for bankruptcy, including Regal Entertainment Group, the largest movie screen operator nationwide, and in Oregon.

Since then, Regal has closed seven theater complexes sporting 29 screens around the metro area, The Oregonian estimates.

But the net effect has been small. Over the same period, three new complexes with 32 screens have opened: the Fox Tower 10 and Pioneer Place 6 in Portland and the Century 16 in Beaverton.

The trend is much the same nationwide. The number of indoor movie theaters declined in 2003 by 12, to 5,700, which is down sharply from 7,031 in 1999, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.

Fewer theaters didn't mean fewer screens, however. The nation's indoor screen count rose slightly to 35,361 from 35,170 in 2003, after peaking at 36,448 in 1999.

Industry experts say Regal and other theater operators have learned from past mistakes. Regal, in particular, has shut down older theaters that can't compete with today's high-definition televisions and home stereo systems, while carefully siting newer, state-of-the-art theaters with amenities including video arcades and ice cream.

"They're building smarter," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations Co., a box-office tracking firm in Los Angeles. "Now, it's building to be more profitable, not just to have more screens than your competitor."

Portland theater operators say they think the new megaplexes are filling underserved areas.

Regal's 20-screen complex in Tigard-Tualatin follows a growth of retail stores along Interstate 5 aimed at wealthier suburban audiences, including Lake Oswego residents, said Roger Paulson, a consultant with Paulson Theatre Services. Meanwhile, Century Theatre's planned 20-screen complex in Clackamas will essentially replace 11 screens Regal Cinemas darkened in the same area earlier this year.

"I don't see any of these theaters endangering any independent theaters," said Paulson. "The more movie-goers that are brought in to new complexes, who might otherwise just stay at home and wait, the more conversation and awareness there will be about all kinds of film. And that's good for the business at all levels."

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The Evil Sam Graham

Posts: 85
From: Des Moines, IA
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted December 11, 2004 07:31 PM      Profile for The Evil Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email The Evil Sam Graham         Edit/Delete Post 
Source Oregon (Freelance writer Chelsea Cain)

You may have already heard this, but a very, very exciting thing has happened. A new suburban multiplex has opened. Now, this is not your average suburban multiplex. This multiplex is extraordinary and special. It has 16 screens, a Starcade video game room and ice cream. I am speaking, of course, of the Cedar Hills Century Theatres 16.

Number of accidents I pass on Interstate 26 on my way to Beaverton: 1

Number of lanes (out of three) closed due to accident: 2

To get from my house to the Cedar Hills Century Theatres 16 in Beaverton, you have to take three highways. It is worth it. I mean, I wouldn't take three highways to get to a 10-plex, but 16 luxurious auditoriums? Do you even know what that means? Let's just say that no matter what time it is now, "National Treasure" is starting in 15 minutes.

I have to admit that I am little disappointed when I first arrive at the Century. It's not like I was expecting the Pantages, but this theater looks very similar to the Century Theatre out on 82nd Avenue. I stow my giant Symphony bar and bottle of water deep inside my purse, and approach the booth to buy one ticket to "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason." There is a problem. The theater Web site listed a showing at 7:40 p.m. There is, in fact, no 7:40 p.m. showing, only a 6:55 p.m. and an 8 p.m. It is currently 7 p.m. I buy a ticket to the 6:55 p.m. and book it to my auditorium.

One of the more intriguing promises made in the campaign advertising this new Century theater is "Never Any TV Commercials!" As far as I can figure, this statement could mean any of the following:

1. The theater does not show any commercials before the movie.

2. The theater does not show any commercials that also appear on TV, instead showing only commercials that are made especially for movie theaters.

3. The theater does not show any commercials advertising TV shows.

Since I do not arrive at my auditorium until halfway through the "Meet the Fockers" preview, I cannot offer any empirical findings on scenarios 2 and 3. However, "Meet the Fockers" was followed by a Fandango commercial, so I guess we can eliminate scenario No. 1.

The auditorium showing "Bridget Jones" is small but comfortable. There are 10 women in the audience. Most seem to be on what is often referred to as "girls' night out." This is problematic from my standpoint, as women engaged in "girls' night out" often over-purchase at the concession stand and this can make for increased snacking noise. My concerns turn out to be unfounded and most of the women are quite quiet, except for the one woman who kept saying "That's outrageous!" every time Bridget got herself into a socially awkward situation.

After the movie I do a full reconnaissance sweep of the lobby. It is very colorful, all multicolored neon, multicolored carpet and reflective surfaces. The general effect is very much like those scenes in "Buck Rogers" when Buck would go to a 25th-century disco and they would all dance around with colored light ropes. Hanging above the concession island is an enormous mural that brings to mind Picasso's "Guernica," only with movie iconography rather than slaughtered Spaniards.

But I haven't even gotten to the Starcade video game room yet. Four words: Dance Dance Revolution Extreme. This game tests the player's ability to dance, as measured on a dance platform directly in front of the machine (and all in attendance). You are going to so impress dates with this action. You might even be able to skip the movie

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

Posts: 661
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted December 20, 2004 01:21 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
While I'm no journalist... I think I'm a good newspaper article critic, and I need to say.

That is the worst, most poorly written article ever. [thumbs up]

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The Evil Sam Graham

Posts: 85
From: Des Moines, IA
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted December 22, 2004 04:21 AM      Profile for The Evil Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email The Evil Sam Graham         Edit/Delete Post 
Indeed, but how could I resist posting an article that compares a Century lobby to a Buck rogers set? [Cool]

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