There will be less options for low-budget South Bay moviegoers in 2014 when the UltraStar Cinemas movie theater in Chula Vista shuts down early in the year.
555 Broadway, Chula Vista
"We've been purchased by AMC," said Cheryl Dodge, a manager at UltraStar, referring to the AMC Theatres chain. Dodge said the theater would be closed and completely remodeled before opening again as an AMC theater in the summer of 2014.
The Chula Vista UltraStar has been a "play it again" theater, offering discount admission to films that have left other theaters, for several years.
Dodge said that the theater, located in the Chula Vista Center shopping area, had been struggling for years. The remaking of the nearby Plaza Bonita mall in 2008 to include an AMC theater resulted in a business decline for the UltraStar.
"A long time ago, Plaza Bonita was a little spot on the road," said Dodge, but after that mall was reconstructed, "our business totally died…. I thought we were going to close then, but instead it became a 'play it again' theater."
Chula Vista Center, which includes several large chain stores, such as Sears, Macy's, and J.C. Penney, is within five miles away of Plaza Bonita at the intersection of the 805 and 54 freeways in National City.
"It's too bad, because these are hard times," said Dodge. "Here, you can bring your whole family for twenty dollars and get one-dollar hot dogs."