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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » South Coast Plaza Theatre Visit

   
Author Topic: South Coast Plaza Theatre Visit
Christopher Crouch
Member

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


 - posted September 26, 2007 04:50 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
I stopped by the South Coast Plaza Theatre (Costa Mesa, CA.) this afternoon. While the exterior's state is no mystery, I'd wondered what the interior currently looks like for some time (the windows have been blacked out since 2000). Fortunately, a small opening and my long arms allowed for a couple of lobby pictures.

Sadly, the lobby is little more than a long abandoned remodel project. Most of the ceiling is removed, the concession area is stripped down to the studs, walls are bare plaster, and electrical conduit hangs loose everywhere. Not gutted, but basically stripped down to the point where major work would be needed to bring it back to any acceptable form. From the heavy layer of dust and debris, I'm guessing this is all the remnants of Edwards' pre bankrupcy plans for a remodel to a dinner/movie venue.

About the only hint of the theatre's past was an old popper, sitting beside the skeletonized concession area.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

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


 - posted September 26, 2007 07:31 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
Aren't they tearing those down to put (more) high rise condos over in that part of the area? I thought I read that in the OC Register a couple of times.

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Christopher Crouch
Member

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


 - posted September 26, 2007 08:53 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
I've been reading that myself for the past five years or so. However, I have yet to hear about anything other than "plans". Considering the value of that parcel of land, I'd imagine they'd eventually get around to doing something with it (other than having two vacant cinemas sitting there). I wish they'd try to save at least one of the buildings for a cinema venue, to go along with the neighboring performing arts center, but the chances of that are pretty slim.

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Christopher Crouch
Member

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


 - posted March 14, 2008 02:05 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
Well, the day has finally come. They are in the process of razing the entire complex. I stopped by and took some pictures today (3/14).

The original theatre is well in to the process of being demolished. Basically, the walls and framework are up, but the interior is a pile of rubble. The Plaza III is still intact, but they are in the early stages of gutting.

While the South Coast Plaza theatre had already been somewhat stripped, prior to demolition, I was surprised to see that the Plaza III had been left virtually "operations ready". The concession stand still had it's poppers, coke towers, menu boards, etc. The auditorium still had it's screen, curtains, seating, speakers, etc. I suspect the projectors had still been in place. It almost looked like Edwards had just locked the doors and walked away. Sadly, most of these items were in the process of beeing ripped out and piled as trash.

So, if anyone would like a "last glimpse" of this formerly top notch venue, stop by pretty soon. If you go to the top floor of the neighboring parking structure, there is a good view of the South Coast Plaza theatre (the roof is almost completely removed). The Plaza III's doors are open, providing a decent view of the interior.

Sad, I had always held out the hope that someone would step in and save at least one of the buildings.

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Bill Gabel
Member

Posts: 288
From: New York, NY
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted March 14, 2008 10:38 AM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
Well this marks the second theatre built by Harold W. Levitt & Associates tobe razed in the last few months. That firm also designed the National Theatre in Westwood. That firm also designed the Fox Valley Circle Theatre in San Diego which lasted from Dec. 1966 to 1998.

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Christopher Crouch
Member

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


 - posted April 01, 2008 06:49 PM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
Other than the South Coast Plaza tower sign, the theatres are now gone. The original theatre is a vacant parcel and the Plaza is down to a couple piles of debris (likely trucked off by the end of the week).

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