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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » SoCal Cinemas

   
Author Topic: SoCal Cinemas
Christopher Crouch
Member

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


 - posted May 01, 2006 02:33 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
I was curious if anyone knew the fate of SoCal Cinemas? As recent as the mid 90’s, I recall them being a significant player in the Southern California theatre scene, but they seemed to have dropped off the map by 2000. The company had some progressive ideas and unique design concepts, but the execution of theses ideas/concepts always appeared to lack a concrete direction; the former Anaheim Hills, Cinemopolis Theatre (now Cinema City, which I believe is independent) being a prime example. I found a website for “The Movie Experience”, which looks to be the remnants of this chain, but it’s a far cry from what they once were.

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted May 02, 2006 12:44 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
From what I understand, The Movie Experience IS SoCal Cinemas. Bruce Sanborn and everybody appear to be the ones operating those theatres.

As for what happened to cause them to sell off all their theatres, I don't know.

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Jeff Arellano
Senior Member

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


 - posted May 02, 2006 05:59 PM      Profile for Jeff Arellano   Email Jeff Arellano         Edit/Delete Post 
In the local San Gabriel Valley, they had several locations.

The Former So-Cal Movie Experience 12 at Chino Hills was sold to Krikorian.

The Eastland 5, Wescove 3, and Fox 3 were all closed around 1998-1999. All three have been torn down.

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted May 02, 2006 07:55 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
Man -- it irritates me that I was in the Eastland shopping center right around the time it would have been closed, and since it was before my cinematour days, I just didn't care.

[Frown]

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Christopher Crouch
Member

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


 - posted May 03, 2006 02:43 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
Searching Sanborn/SoCal/The Movie Experience (wonder what's behind the annual name change?), I found numerous references to an ADA lawsuit in the late 90's. Seeing as how they went through a major downsize around that time, I wonder if the lawsuit played a role. Going from twelve theatres in 1999, to their current four (which all appeared to have occured within four years), is a rather drastic turn. Then again, that was also the period when a lot of chains began to implode from the initial mega plex boom/bust.

I primarily remember this chain from their Cinemopolis theatre, which was in close competition with my first AMC post, Fullerton 10. I remember them being a step ahead in facilities/technology, like having pseudo stadium seating and touch screen technology (when we were still using Pacer-CATS v3.04). Yet, even with a seemingly better product to offer, they always seemed to be a step behind in business.

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Adam Martin
Administrator

Posts: 1090
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted May 07, 2006 06:37 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
What happened to the Mission Cinemas in San Luis Obispo? Mission was operated by SoCal, but appears to have closed. (I just posted some 2004 photos of the SLO theaters and noticed this.)

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted May 07, 2006 08:56 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
The Mission Cinemas is the 3 screen film center that's now considered part of the Fremont 4 in SLO.

I believe when Mann ran the Fremont, they opened it and called it the Mission Cinemas. But it's still open.

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Adam Martin
Administrator

Posts: 1090
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted May 07, 2006 10:55 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
That's almost at stupid as the Arclight website not telling you what's playing in the Cinerama Dome. [oogle]

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

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


 - posted May 08, 2006 08:09 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
Huh? When did that happen? I've never known an instance of that happening on their website. Usually on the left hand side of the screen they have an "At The Dome" listing with the film that's playing there underneath.

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Christopher Crouch
Member

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


 - posted September 18, 2008 03:49 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
An old thread, but the unusual branding seems to have expanded further. In addition to utilizing The Movie Experience, SoCal Cinemas, and Sanborn Theatres in various capacities, they've now added "Cinema Fusion" to the mix. It appears this new moniker is utlized soley for their Anaheim location; which I've seen listed as "The Movie Experience at Garden Walk in Anaheim", "The Movie Experience 14", "The Movie Experience 14: A Cinema Fusion Experience", "Cinema Fusion Anaheim", etc. To add to the confusion they also have two website "cinemafusionanaheim.com" and "themovieexperience.com" (which was recently updated in to a modern design). I noticed their popcorn buckets are branded with both the SoCal Cinemas and The Movie Experience names. Finally, the company is celebrating 90 years of Sanborn Theatres, later this month, with a screening of Gone With The Wind".

Talk about an identity crisis.

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Mark Campbell
Member

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


 - posted September 19, 2008 09:46 AM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
"A Cinema Confusion Experience". I gather they call it Cinema Fusion because they might play something from Focus Features or Miramax?

Speaking of branding, why does AMC still use Loews in the title of their acquired theatres. For example in the Seattle area: "AMC Loews Factoria 8". They never did this for the GCC theatres they acquired. To further the identity crisis if you actually patronize the AMC Loews Factoria 8, you will notice on the outside of the building the sign reads "Factoria Cinemas". Near the entrance there is the dreaded Cineplex Odeon logo with a sign "Cineplex Odeon Theatres". (happily it is an SRO build, not a Cineplex build) All interior signage is AMC. There is no "Loews" to be seen anywhere.

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