Don Bauder 5:30 p.m., July 27
Horton Plaza 14: And then there were 7
The "Everything Must Go" signs draped across the windows confirmed the rumor. When Sam Goody's hits the wrecking ball in November, with it goes half of the screens at UA (or do you say Regal or Edwards?) Horton Plaza.
Paul Serwitz, vice president of film for Regal Cinemas confirms that the theatre's lease has expired and the Westfield Group is "taking back the space."
"We reached an agreement with the city," says Jerry Enger, senior v.p., development for the Westfield Group. "Westfield takes responsibility for the space for the next 25 years. The design goes to the City Council for final approval in November."
This isn't going to be a grassy extension of the urine-scented garden that already faces Broadway. According to Enger, Westfield's goal is to build a world class urban plaza that will feature everything from concerts to outdoor movies. Enger is looking at a calendar of 200 events a year when the venue opens in the spring of 2014.
And then there were the original seven. Built in 1985 on land that housed Robinsons-May, Horton Plaza was once the hottest movie ticket in town. The theatre was such a success that an additional 7 screens were added in 1995. This was the same year that the AMC Mission Valley 20 (with it's fashionable stadium seating) went up and began drawing business away. The 7 "new" screens -- they're the auditoriums up the stairs to your left when you walk through the door -- are the ones slated for demolition. The good news is the theatre's 600-seat big house will remain intact.