Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 36
Spotlight on: Edwards TheatreSanta Maria Town Center, proprietors
By SHELLY CONE
It’s been many years since Santa Maria has had a downtown movie theater, but after much anticipation the Edwards Theatre will open in the Santa Maria Town Center mall in the old Gottschalk’s footprint.
The city’s downtown area was once a bustling hub of historic storefronts anchored by the Santa Maria Theatre. The city lost that theater to the wrecking ball decades ago to make room for Santa Maria Town Center West. Then the United Artists four-screen theater that was housed in the mall closed, leaving a large vacant space in the mall for years. For many moviegoers, and for downtown retailers especially, having a large theater in the middle of town is an important way to draw shoppers to the area.
Santa Maria Town Center Assistant Property Manager Amber Lease said anticipation has been building among movie fans and business owners alike.
“I think everyone is excited about it across the board,” Lease said.
Stretching tall and proud at the corner of Broadway and Cook streets, the theater has slowly come to life as workers completed construction inside. The 14-screen theater will feature stadium seating and will hold 2,800 moviegoers. A party room and an arcade area will be included among the amenities.
One of the theater’s 14 screens will offer movies featuring the RPX: Regal Premium Experience. This big-screen theater concept is described as a custom-built premium environment featuring elegant and luxurious seats with high-back headrests. Moviegoers will watch their favorite movies on a giant, immersive screen illuminated by high-quality digital projectors and a state-of-the-art sound system. The dual projectors will have the ability to show 2-D and 3-D movies.
The theater is expected to spark an economic renaissance downtown as moviegoers spend more time—and money—at stores in the heart of the city.
“People are hoping it will bring new life to the downtown area, and it’s reassurance that things are changing,” Lease said.
For those who can’t wait to take a peek, the theater will be host to preview events to benefit Santa Maria area nonprofits on Sunday, Nov. 17; Monday, Nov. 18; and Tuesday, Nov. 19, with $2 movies, $2 popcorn and $2 soft drinks. Proceeds from the preview events will benefit PLAY Inc., Santa Maria Valley Youth and Family Support, and Northern Santa Barbara County United Way.
The theater is officially set to open on Nov. 21 with first-run movies including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Grand-opening festivities include free popcorn and soft drinks with each paid admission Nov. 21 through 27.
The Edwards Theater is in the Santa Maria Town Center at 142 Town Center East in Santa Maria.
For more information, visit regmovies.com.
Contributor Shelly Cone wrote this week’s Biz Spotlight. Information should be sent to the Sun via mail, e-mail, or fax.
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