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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas in the News   » Monterey, CA - Delay of the Century

   
Author Topic: Monterey, CA - Delay of the Century
The Evil Sam Graham
Member

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


 - posted December 24, 2004 08:13 AM      Profile for The Evil Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email The Evil Sam Graham         Edit/Delete Post 
SOURCE: Monterey Herald

quote:
No curtain-raising, yet, for new theater
Monterey: Century Cinemas at Del Monte Center misses opening deadline

By SUKHJIT PUREWAL
Herald Staff Writer
Posted 12/18/04

Alex Corning and her friend Alison Hunter had an agenda as they strolled toward the new Century Cinemas at Del Monte Center late Friday afternoon.

"We wanted to be the first ones. We just wanted to able to walk in and smell the fresh theater," said Alex, a Pacific Grove teen.

And her mom Mimi Nolan had her own visions: "The idea of being the first feet on the floor."

Didn't happen. Despite a scheduled grand opening and full-page ads announcing Friday as opening day, the clock ran out on Century Theatre's efforts to open the 13-screen complex at 6 p.m. Friday.

Workers from Barry Swenson Builder had worked through the previous night in a feverish effort to make the deadline. By midday, however, it was obvious that the building's safety equipment wouldn't be ready for inspection by city officials.

"The basic safety equipment isn't completed," said Deputy Fire Marshal David Reade.

Reade, who had been at the theater since the morning, said the sprinklers weren't yet operational and handrails hadn't been installed in the auditoriums.

On the exterior, the scene late Friday looked like an active construction zone complete with unidentifiable metal sticks dangling from a trash bin, cardboard boxes stacked in a corner and pylons everywhere. Painters were still applying layers of paint around the electronic marquee.

By 4:30 p.m., reality was setting in and city officials said the theater simply wasn't ready. A security guard appeared and began turning away moviegoers and telling them that Century's existing theater at the shopping center, Galaxy, would be showing evening movies instead.

Century may try again tonight to get the screens fired up or perhaps on Monday. City inspectors will be available today if the theater officials try for completion, said Bill Wojtkowski, the city's community development director.

Century officials referred all calls Friday to Nancy Klasky, who didn't return them.

A news release from Klasky's office later in the day confirmed the delay.

In an all-out effort to get the theater open, Century had kept Galaxy closed as all the Galaxy employees appeared to be helping in getting the new theater operating. Moviegoers looking for a matinee or an early show were turned away and told to return to the new theater for 6 p.m. shows.

Century was hoping to open 11 of its 13 screens Friday with "The Aviator," "Spanglish," and "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events."

Century's permit allows for 13 theaters to be operating at any given time and Wojtkowski suggested the company could open six screens in the new theater while still operating the existing Galaxy theater, with its seven screens, before the new theater is completed.

If all goes according to plan, Galaxy could be closed by next week. One Century employee said the building could become a part of neighboring Macy's.

Monterey City Manager Fred Meurer said the city had done all it could to help Century get the theater open on time and not just for the developers' benefit.

"This is to provide the community coming to the Del Monte Center the best experience," Meurer said.


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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted December 24, 2004 03:25 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
Everybody should be pleased to hear, I witnessed all 13 screens with my own two eyes.

The Century Cinema 13 at Del Monte Center has been 100% open since Wednesday 12/22/04.

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Dave Felthous
Member

Posts: 186
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted December 26, 2004 02:08 PM      Profile for Dave Felthous   Email Dave Felthous         Edit/Delete Post 
Some years ago the Galaxy had two Dolby auditoriums with THX certification and four with the inferior Ultra*Stereo. The newspaper story says that today's Galaxy has seven screens, which either is an error or an additional auditorium was built later in the theater's life.

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted December 26, 2004 03:34 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
Newspaper error. There were only six screens the entire time I've known it.

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Dave Felthous
Member

Posts: 186
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted December 26, 2004 07:13 PM      Profile for Dave Felthous   Email Dave Felthous         Edit/Delete Post 
I liked the caricatures of famous old-time movie stars that adorned the auditorium walls at the Galaxy. So many theaters these days have dreadfully dull auditorium decor -- curtained walls (makes for good accoustics, of course), plain light fixtures, bare, unlighted screens. You older guys will remember the days of screen curtains, bright with all sorts of colored lights, that parted, or ascended, when the movie started. Really cool. But no more,in most cases.

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted December 26, 2004 11:57 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
Oh god those were awful.

Brejfus Industries (or something like that) are the ones responsible for those hideous creations. Cinema-Cal Enterprises liked putting those things in all their theatres, and naming most of them Galaxy as well.

To my knowledge the Galaxy 8 in Vacaville, CA as well as the Galaxy 8 in Pleasanton, CA both had those. I know that some of the Cinema West theatres had similar creations in Sebastopol and Willits.

They really are interesting in concept, a nice way to spice up a wall of plain sound panelling. But some of the art used in some of them is just way too abstract.

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Eric Hooper
Member

Posts: 107
From: Santa Clara, CA
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted December 30, 2004 05:13 PM      Profile for Eric Hooper   Email Eric Hooper         Edit/Delete Post 
Well, it's better than nothing, IMO.

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