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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas in the News   » Franciscan Plaza To Reopen

   
Author Topic: Franciscan Plaza To Reopen
Christopher Crouch
Member

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


 - posted May 09, 2009 04:26 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
Looks like San Juan Capistrano will finally have a cinema again. Also, nice to see a long dormant Orange County theatre reopening, not being gutted or razed for retail/offices.

OC Register Article

quote:
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Contracts signed on new downtown San Juan theater
After nearly a decade dark, the theater inside the Franciscan Plaza could be open by Thanksgiving.
By PETER SCHELDEN
The Orange County Register

Amid the sound and smell of freshly popped popcorn, Regency Theatres signed a lease contract to bring a new movie theater to a vacant space in downtown San Juan that once housed an Edwards cinema.

The new theater will be open by Thanksgiving, Regency Theatres President Lyndon Golin said at today's signing. Terms of the lease were not disclosed, though Regency has a 10-year, no-interest loan from the city for $450,000.

For nearly a decade, the space at Franciscan Plaza on Verdugo Street near the train station has been empty.

Councilman Sam Allevato said the city will see to it that the theater opens in November.

Dave Busk, who managed the space for eight years, was removed from the property last July as part of a lawsuit. Under his management, the space was plagued by several unmet deadlines for opening a new theater.

“(Busk) just flat out didn’t have a good business plan,” Allevato said.

Members of the downtown business community believe the new theater will draw customers downtown to help ease a recession that has seen many small businesses in the region close shop.

Ruby’s owner Joe Campbell, who has been the Franciscan Plaza’s only continuous tenant in recent years, said the Edwards theater drew more customers to his restaurant, and he expects the Regency theater to do the same.

“I’m not concerned what the (opening) date is,” he said. “My concern is there seems to be a legitimate commitment to open it.”

Some work is necessary to open the theater, both by the property owners and by Regency Theatres.

Owners Fabio Russo and Alberto Mobrici will need to make the building “cold-shell ready,” which basically means to drywall the interior, San Juan Development Director Douglas Dumhart said.

“The inside still needs significant work,” Dumhart said. “I think the pressure’s on the property owner more than the city or the theater.”

Busk had demolished the interior to make way for future theaters that were never developed, Dumhart said.

Regency will need to furnish seats, fixtures and other features that make up a theater.

The cinema is planned to have three screens, along with an upstairs VIP lounge where alcohol will be served.

Golin said he expects the relatively small theater to do well.

“The little theaters in places like San Juan are still very viable,” he said.

Golin said movie box-office sales are up 20 percent this year overall. During difficult economic times, he said, people watch movies to escape. He said the opportunity to watch a movie among others can make people feel better during hard times.

“They want that communal experience, to go and be with other people,” Golin said. “A downtown theater that was once a proud and beautiful theater — we wanted to bring that back.”



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Todd Erwin
Member

Posts: 68
From: Newport Beach, CA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted May 11, 2009 10:57 AM      Profile for Todd Erwin   Email Todd Erwin         Edit/Delete Post 
This is good news.

I'm happy to hear that a reputable chain is moving in, it will only be 3 screens (as opposed to the 5 screening rooms that were present during Edwards ownership), and that they will have to build these screens inside from scratch.

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Kyle Muldrow
Member

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


 - posted May 29, 2009 11:25 AM      Profile for Kyle Muldrow   Author's Homepage   Email Kyle Muldrow         Edit/Delete Post 
I like the sound of this too...I went to that theater once when Edwards ran it. It was a decent little place. I'm sure Regency's reputation and track record helped secure that loan from the city council.

One thing though: Todd, you said in your post the theater would have three screens. A couple of related links on the OCR's website said there would be 4 screens along with a VIP room. Is this place going to be 3 screens + VIP (which would make 4 total) or 4 regular screens + VIP (which would make 5)? Not sure which it is...not that it really matters anyway...the main thing is this place will be showing movies again!

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Todd Erwin
Member

Posts: 68
From: Newport Beach, CA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted August 04, 2009 12:33 PM      Profile for Todd Erwin   Email Todd Erwin         Edit/Delete Post 
I'm just thrilled that Regency will be building the auditoriums from scratch. Hopefully, they will do it right, this time....

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Christopher Crouch
Member

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


 - posted November 11, 2009 02:26 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
Regency now has the theatre listed on their website. There are no times or an opening date yet, but there is a mention of "Rick's Cafe' a wine bar" and a VIP auditorium.

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Christopher Crouch
Member

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


 - posted December 13, 2009 02:50 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Is this place going to be 3 screens + VIP (which would make 4 total) or 4 regular screens + VIP (which would make 5)?
The February 2009 proposal appears to outline a total of four screens, with one of these being the "V.I.P" auditorium. Of particular interest, the proposal mentions that all of the auditoriums will be outfitted with stadium seating. The V.I.P. auditorium will feature leather recliner seats and food/liqour service, via "Ricks American Cafe" (a refrence to "Casablanca"). The renovation is slated to run $450,000.

I also noticed that Regency's site now lists the theatre as opening in January of 2010.

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Richard A Stegman Jr
Member

Posts: 267
From: Calimesa,CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 30, 2010 07:56 AM      Profile for Richard A Stegman Jr   Email Richard A Stegman Jr         Edit/Delete Post 
Opens one week from today(Friday,May 7)according to the Regency theatre listing in the L.A. Times.

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Kyle Muldrow
Member

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


 - posted May 02, 2010 07:55 PM      Profile for Kyle Muldrow   Author's Homepage   Email Kyle Muldrow         Edit/Delete Post 
Chris Crouch,

Could you please let me know where I can get corporate information (like an annual report) on Starplex Cinemas? To contact me, please go to my post in this thread, click on "Who?", and send to my email address.

Thanks!

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Christopher Crouch
Member

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


 - posted May 08, 2010 10:44 PM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
The Franciscan Plaza reopened yesterday (5/7/10) with the features "Oceans", "The Back-Up Plan", and two screens of "Ironman 2" (one of the screens being their food/alcohol service auditorium).

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