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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » Charter Centre Cinemas- Huntington Beach, CA. (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Charter Centre Cinemas- Huntington Beach, CA.
Ron Pierce
Member

Posts: 59
From: Tustin, CA
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted April 15, 2006 05:33 PM      Profile for Ron Pierce   Email Ron Pierce         Edit/Delete Post 
Regency Cinemas reopened the former Edwards venue on April 14 with $2 tickets before six o'clock and $3 tickets after six o'clock and $1 hot dogs all the time (I guess they're not worried about staining the upholstery and carpets, or the cleanup between showings).
http://regencymovies.com/index.php?theaterId=10

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Jeff Arellano
Senior Member

Posts: 685
From: Monterey Park, CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 16, 2006 12:14 AM      Profile for Jeff Arellano   Email Jeff Arellano         Edit/Delete Post 
Wonder how this theatre will do.

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted April 16, 2006 08:59 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Regency seems to be defying the idea that 2nd run houses can't survive in today's out-on-DVD-3-months-later world! Good for them! And what a way to keep alive some of these multiplex relics of the pre-stadium era. I hope they keep it up. Only wish they could have gotten ahold of a few more. The GCC Hollywood Galaxy would have been a great $3 theatre. What about the National in Westwood when/if Mann gives it up?

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Christopher Crouch
Member

Posts: 292
From: Anaheim, CA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted April 17, 2006 01:14 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
Despite the all too common belief that discount houses are a losing business model and/or for those simply waiting out a lease, these theatres can actually be quite profitable. I currently work for a company, Starplex Cinemas, that is doing very well with a nationwide chain of theatres that are predominately discount outlets.

In today's economy, and with ever increasing ticket prices, there are a lot of people (especially families) that can't afford to go to first run theatres, but still want the experience of seeing movies at a theatre. Where once discount houses were frequented by a modest audience of low end customers, the numbers and demographics have changed dramatically. I've been seeing the same attendance figures and types of people I used to see in my first run multi plex days. I even opened a successful discount theatre in the rather high end Irvine, CA. market.

If anything, I believe we'll be seeing more and more discount houses in the near future, as the major first run chains continue to alienate movie goers. On a related note, I also believe the specialty theatres (dinner/movie, amusement center/movie, etc.) will continue to find a growing nitch.

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Kyle Muldrow
Member

Posts: 143
From: Laguna Hills, CA
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted April 26, 2006 05:17 PM      Profile for Kyle Muldrow   Author's Homepage   Email Kyle Muldrow         Edit/Delete Post 
Chris, does that mean you are working (perhaps I should say managing or operating) the Woodbridge Theater in Irvine? I checked out Starplex's website, showed it to my wife (we live in Costa Mesa) and would love to check that place out. I saw first run films there when it was an Edwards theater. Not the greatest, but not too bad and not crowded in those days. When Todd Blood took over, the place didn't improve. The sound and picture quality went down and the place was terribly understaffed. There were times there was only one person in the theater to handle the ticket booth, concession area, and projectors. I also remember one time when the teenage manager didn't show up on time and the place opened 30 minutes late!!! That's just inexcusable!!

What's the word on Woodbridge? Have there been any upgrades to the place? We'll be there pretty soon!

Kyle

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Christopher Crouch
Member

Posts: 292
From: Anaheim, CA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted April 26, 2006 07:20 PM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, I was the general manager of the Woodbridge, during the remodel and initial months. I'm currently stationed at another Starplex location, working on bringing it up to higher standards.

As for the Woodbridge: We basically gutted the theatre; installing new seats, screens, wall coverings, flooring, concession stand, and upgraded sound/projection (DTS in all theatres). We almost had to start from scratch, as the theatre had obviously been neglected for years and Blood had left the place in shambles. Also, the teenage management was replaced with people who actually work in the industry as a career, not for an after school job, and the staffing is much more appropriate.

While it's still a small, neighborhood theatre (hardly comparable with mega plexes), the Woodbridge has vastly improved from it's previous incarnations and it's a far cry from most people's idea of a discount house. Were it 1980-89, the current Woodbridge would be comparable with most new multiplexes.

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Jeff Arellano
Senior Member

Posts: 685
From: Monterey Park, CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 26, 2006 07:31 PM      Profile for Jeff Arellano   Email Jeff Arellano         Edit/Delete Post 
Chris, are you working at the La Mirada Location? I have gone there a few times for a show. I like the old Krikorian plain as can be look they have going on.

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Christopher Crouch
Member

Posts: 292
From: Anaheim, CA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted April 26, 2006 08:50 PM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, I'm currently at the La Mirada theatre. Probably, the most difficult theatre I've ever worked with. Between the previous GM's two years of neglect and a rather "problematic" clientel (spend almost an entire shift, weekly, repairing/cleaning up vandalism), it's a handful. This theatre also wasn't remodeled, as was the Woodbridge, so there are a lot of aging facility issues. None the less, it pulls in around 7,000-11,000 people per week.

It is a uniquely early Krikorian structure. Insteresting side note: the original blue prints show that the building was supposed to feature a more ornate theatre, complete with THX certification. I'm guessing his mid 90's divorce played a role in the theatre's downgrade (the same reason he ended up selling off most of his original chain).

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted April 26, 2006 10:08 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
I'd love to come down and get pics of both those places. I know we were welcomed at the Starplex in Waco when we were there.

Also, I'd like to see what consitutes something "uniquely Krikorian". [Smile]

Does anybody know anybody that works for Regency Cinemas? They have a lot of the older locations in SoCal and so far, they have not responded to any of my e-mails through their website, but I like to think that's because of spam filters.

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Christopher Crouch
Member

Posts: 292
From: Anaheim, CA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted April 26, 2006 11:55 PM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
You are more than welcome to check out the Woodbridge 5 and La Mirada 7.

As for "uniquely Krikorian": His theatres tend to have some unusual features, usually impractical and/or illogical in nature (I could write you a book on the irregularities to be found at his Buena Park 18). I worked roughly two years for his company and noted that he approaches the theatre business more like a hobby or toy than true business.

In the case of La Mirada, it was the result of him "playing" with a tighter budget than he now has. There are apparent attempts at overly ambitious flurishes, but done in a somewhat half assed manner. A prime example can be seen in auditorium #3, which houses a near movie palace sized screen in a shallow 300 seat theatre. However, overall, this theatre is rather stripped down and plain for a Krikorian; you have the impractical ideas present, but on a far less grandiose scale (Krikorian lite, if you will).

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted April 27, 2006 09:26 AM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Christopher, I am happy that some of these older theatres are surviving thanks to companies like Starplex being brave enough to open discount theatres.

I am curious about Starplex's Gateway 8, a first-run theatre in Federal Way, WA. Over the holidays I went to see Narnia there and was pleased with the whole experience. The staff was courtious and the presentation quite good. This theatre was opened by GCC in 1988 and closed during their bankruptcy. It was later reopened by Galaxy Cinemas who gave over operations to Starplex last year.

My question is: There is a Century 16 megaplex being built only blocks away from the Gateway. What were Starplex's intentions with taking over this theatre? Is the plan to make discount? I don't think it could hold on as a first-run house.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted April 27, 2006 10:10 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
There are apparent attempts at overly ambitious flurishes, but done in a somewhat half assed manner. A prime example can be seen in auditorium #3, which houses a near movie palace sized screen in a shallow 300 seat theatre.
And that's a bad thing???

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Kyle Muldrow
Member

Posts: 143
From: Laguna Hills, CA
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted April 27, 2006 02:34 PM      Profile for Kyle Muldrow   Author's Homepage   Email Kyle Muldrow         Edit/Delete Post 
Chris, I went on an "independent secret mission" after work today (Thur, 4/27) and went to the Woodbridge 5 to see "Hoodwinked". It was in Auditorium #5 and pretty good experience overall. You just go to the concession stand to buy your tickets (there were two guys in uniform in the theater at the time), the seats were comfy, and the picture was just fine. Only trouble was the sound. It wasn't scratchy or anything, but just not enough volume. I had a little trouble hearing over the small children who wouldn't shut up and this was with a very small crowd in the place. But it was WAY, WAY better than when Todd Blood ran the place. I saw one movie when he ran it and, after a picture that was never focused, garbled sound, and no one in the lobby to complain to, vowed never to go back again.

Two more question (since I'm on the soapbox):

1) I noticed the two guys at the Woodbridge were wearing Interstate Theaters shirts. I heard about a merger or buyout between Starplex and Interstate. Can you fill us in?

2) I have a few suggestions for other theaters Starplex could take over. First, the Brea Center on Imperial Highway and the 57. It's another former Edwards and Todd Blood theater. It might need more work than the Woodbridge. Second, I think there's an old GCC house on Brookhurst in Fountain Valley near the Sam's Club that might still be standing. Then, there's the dream: The South Coast Plaza theater near the Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. I realize this one is a MAJOR longshot, but it would be great to go back in that one giant auditorium with the big screen and see movies again, even if it's just for special showings. Regal does that now at the old South Coast Village 3 on Sunflower and Plaza Drive (saw Casablanca last night). Why can't that be done on that great big screen just down the street? [Shrug]

Ok, end of rant. [Big Grin]

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted April 27, 2006 04:43 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Then, there's the dream: The South Coast Plaza theater near the Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. I realize this one is a MAJOR longshot, but it would be great to go back in that one giant auditorium with the big screen and see movies again, even if it's just for special showings.
I thought I heard last year that this theatre is headed for the wrecking ball and that a high rise and museum would be built in its place. Maybe I'm wrong (hopefully).

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Christopher Crouch
Member

Posts: 292
From: Anaheim, CA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted April 28, 2006 02:34 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
Kyle,
Interstate was a subsidiary of Cinemark (their discount branch). Leroy Mitchell sold Cinemark a couple years ago and Interstate broke off as an independant company. Meanwhile, Starplex (a first run chain in Texas) was owned by Leroy Mitchell's younger brother, J.C. Mitchell. In 2005, Starplex and Interstate merged. I believe Interstate was the dominate partner in the merger, but the Starplex Cinemas name was kept, as it was viewed as more marketable. Currently, there is still a lot of Interstate branding visible, but the official name is Starplex and the Interstate name will eventually be fazed out all together.

The company has been looking for more discount sites in California (in addition to La Mirada and Irvine, we also have a former UA in Bakersfield). I know they looked at Brea, when Blood was still running it, but I'm unusre where they stand on that theatre, as it's in pretty rough shape.

The biggest issue with most California sites is the lease. With real estate being at such a premium in California, landlords tend to ask for lease agreements that are on the high end and, if there are no takers, they can afford to remodel or level old theatrs for more lucrative ventures. The vacant theatres, that are desperate for tenants, are often in extremely poor shape and/or not compatible with the Starplex discount business model. None the less, expect to see some more California theatres in the near future.

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