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Downtown Santa Monica AMC Theater Project is Dead For Now

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After three years of negotiations, AMC has ended talks with Santa Monica to build a 70,000 square-foot flagship movie theater complex in the city's downtown. Santa Monica had been looking to put a theater on the site of the city-owned parking Structure 3 on Fourth Street, and entered into exclusive negotiations with AMC way back in September 2009. Those talks continued until last week when, as the Santa Monica Daily Press reports, AMC execs ended negotiations saying the project would not make enough money to justify the expense of building it. Costs to build the theater had increased, which is what happens after three years. "I don't know if there have been any changes on the income side in terms of the operations of the theater," says the director of Housing and Economic Development in Santa Monica.

The move comes just when negotiations were expected to wrap up; designs were floating around, the planning department had released the draft environmental impact report in October and agreements were expected to be in place at the end of November. While Santa Monica isn't exactly short on places to see movies, city officials still want their new theater and are expected to put the project out on the open market. Or they could save a ton of money and use the parking structure roof as a drive-in theater. Just a thought.
· AMC backs off theater development [SMDP]
· Santa Monica Thinking About Swapping Parking for Premieres [Curbed LA]