Last October we got wind that a new multiplex was being proposed for Santa Monica Place, a mall in Santa Monica, California. These plans were confirmed earlier today when Arclight Cinemas announced they had entered into an agreement with Macerich, the mall’s owner, to open a 14 screen cinema at Santa Monica Place by mid-2015. Unlike some of its existing locations, Arclight may find it slightly more difficult to achieve success in Santa Monica.
The theatre will occupy 44,250 square feet on the third floor of the mall, just above Bloomingdale’s. Santa Monica Place was originally designed by architect Frank Gehry and opened in 1980. It underwent an extensive multi-million dollar remodel starting in 2007, which gutted the inside and removed the mall’s roof, turning it into an indoor/outdoor facility. Since the mall reopened in 2010, the third floor has been occupied by L3, a seldom used venue rented for events and parties.
Arclight Cinemas already operates five other multiplexes throughout Southern California, including cinemas in El Segundo, Hollywood, La Jolla, Pasadena and Sherman Oaks. The circuit will be opening its first East Coast location in Bethesda, Maryland later this year and has broken ground on a location in Chicago, Illinois which is scheduled for a 2015 debut.
Ever since Pacific Theatres launched Arclight Cinemas back in the early 2000s, the circuit has garnered a reputation for offering the premiere movie-going experience in Los Angeles, catering to the regions cineasts and serious film buffs. Arclight is considered one of the pioneers in premium mix-use cinemas, helping establish the format with amenities such as a lobby restaurant and bar, gourmet concessions, black box auditoriums, stadium seating with extra leg room, no late entries, reserved seating, a ban on advertisements before screenings and an eclectic mix of big budget blockbusters and art house movies.