The owners of Santa Monica Place are proposing to build a new theater at the mall. City and business leaders have for years said that Downtown needs an upgrade to its cinemas. Some say more than one should be developed.
So, this week The Q-Line asks:
Would you like to see new theaters Downtown and why?
Here are your responses:
“I would like to see a new theater in Santa Monica Place. There are so many empty spaces in that building that could be used more effectively. A theater such as AMC with the deluxe recliners and the food service would be ideal for that location. I do not, however, want to see any more theaters on the [Third Street] Promenade.”
“Yes, please bring a Landmark and an ArcLight and one of those luxury-style google-plexes where the seats fold back into daybeds, only hold the reading lamps and waiter service please! Just some place we can walk or bike or bus to and enjoy an evening like we can only at the Laemmle’s on Second Street and Aero on Montana. Let’s stay classy Santa Monica.”
“I am 100 percent for Santa Monica Place to put the theater. I think it is a wonderful idea. We need more theaters here. Plus, everybody is running to Century City so we’re losing business and it will generate more money when people come to the theaters here.”
“Several years ago when Macerich, the owner and operator of Santa Monica Place, was conducting its public outreach regarding the redevelopment of a shopping center, I had a lengthy conversation with an executive there. I indicated that Santa Monica was in very bad need of state-of-the-art theaters and I suggested including a motion picture complex within Santa Monica Place. I was told that the only location where the city wanted theaters was in the parking structure on Fourth Street between Arizona Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. This was a head scratcher to me because the city was in desperate need of new movie auditoriums and the stubbornness of the city and insisting upon use of that parking structure has had enormous consequences, including, at that particular time, the possibility of losing the American Film Market, which is an annual event in Santa Monica. We have had dollar theater-type auditoriums now for years, and we cannot get state-of-the-art auditoriums built because of the stubbornness of the city of Santa Monica. This is a media-centric town. We have a lot of film and entertainment companies based here. We have a lot of studio executives, production companies, directors, writers, producers, and actors living here and it has been a total sign of disrespect to the entertainment community that the city has been so stubborn in terms of allowing new motion picture auditoriums to be used here.”
“I have somebody living at my house who is one of the first trained in emergency response in Santa Monica and he was an active paramedic. We think that putting a movie theater on top of Santa Monica Place is not safe. I also know from the fire department that they consider a place that is more than 55 feet in height a high-rise. They cannot effectively fight a fire when it is a high-rise. … If the people who built Santa Monica Place wanted to put a movie theater in there, they should have done it before they remodeled the place. There was enough options to do that. I think if they want to build a movie theater with preferred seating and elevated seating, they should do that on a side on the Aero where there is a movie theater. They should underground parking so that the height does not get over 55 feet. It’s just not safe, also considering that we can have earthquakes and tsunamis in Santa Monica.”
“I strongly support a new movie theatre. I’ll be able to take the light rail to the Fourth Street stop and avoid the traffic. Before the movie I can have something to eat Downtown, and after the movie I can go shopping. Hopefully the City Council and Planning Commission will approve this wonderful proposal.”
“More cinemas would be a plus; we’re a movie town! The Academy Awards used to be at the Civic Auditorium. We have annual film festivals here and many people connected to the industry live in the area. [We’ve lost] several theaters over the years; the Wilshire, the Criterion, and the Twin. Let’s get with it.”
“How is a new multiplex going to be shoe-horned into that top floor and exactly how many theaters are we talking about? AMC abandoned the Criterion, but kept the former Odeon? Why? The Broadway theaters always seem kind of dumpy, as does the AMC 7. The Criterion had stadium seating, good sightlines and of the three, seemed to have the best overall facility. I say renovate them all. If new theaters must be built, and I don’t quite buy that premise, here are some alternative suggestions: Turn the Sears building/location into a new multiplex. Instead of the Gehry hotel, put the multiplex on that property. Every movie theater does not have to be on the promenade. The Laemmle Theaters are the worst in town, even if sometimes they play the most interesting films. That place needs an extreme makeover for sure.”