This area on the third floor of Santa Monica Place may be the home of a new movie theater. (Daniel Archuleta

If you’ve been to the third level of the Santa Monica Place mall recently you might have noticed some striking changes.

A Cheesecake Factory is replacing Zengo and La Sandia, an ArcLight Cinema is under construction with hopes of completion later this year, and now numerous shops at The Market have closed down leaving room to spare for a new business.

Rumors are swirling about what might go into the empty Market space but the Daily Press has not yet been able to pin down the specifics.

“The Market will also see a dynamic transformation, however we are unable to confirm the details of what that will be at this time,” Santa Monica Place’s Senior Manager of Marketing Shoshana Puccia told the Daily Press in an e-mail.

The Market, an indoor collection of food and drink-serving shops, is currently split, with a few shops staying open and the rest of the area partitioned off by large fake hedges.

The Curious Palate, Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories, Venokado Wine and Gifts, and Groundworks Coffee will stay in their lanes while all the other shops, like N’ice Cream and M.A.K.E. have already gotten the hook.

“We don’t really know what the plans for the space are, other than that we are leaving at the end of the month,” M.A.K.E. spokesperson Juliana Sobral told the Daily Press in an e-mail last month. “We are evolving our raw food restaurant that’s located there now and moving our culinary academy to our new location on Abbot Kinney.”

On Yelp, a website that aggregates users’ opinions, The Market was reviewed as bit of a gutter ball. It had three stars out of a possible five.

“I really wish they’d get more of a variety of restaurants,” one reviewer, Amy S., said in 2012. “A pizza place, a really good deli, gourmet bowling alley perhaps?”

The ArcLight, Santa Monica’s first new movie theater in more than two decades, will roll in right around the corner from The Market. Santa Monica Place’s owner, Macerich, is slated to serve as the developer in the conversion of Parking Structure 3 into a second, larger ArcLight.

The Cheesecake Factory will fit into the frame of two previous restaurants that are on the other side of The Market.

While The Market’s sign at the mall has not been knocked down, Santa Monica Place’s website no longer lists it in its directory.

The Market opened in May of 2011 as a gourmet alley, meant to be similar to San Francisco’s Ferry Building.

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