The new movie theater game is surprisingly fraught in Santa Monica: there have been zero theaters built in the city in more than 20 years. (AMC pulled out of a deal last year to build a theater on Fourth Street, and a deal with another operator has been held up.) The owners of the recently-rehabbed Santa Monica Place mall are gonna try their hand, though--they've submitted plans to build a nine-screen, 1,239-seat theater to replace the L3 event space, which "has remained relatively vacant" since the remodel, reports the Santa Monica Daily Press (there's no operator involved yet). The multiplex would be the first in the city to have stadium seating (!) and two of its theaters would have lounge seats; there'd also be one concession stand and a lobby. Altogether it'd add 29 feet to the mall's height. Santa Monica has been on the hunt for new theaters for about a decade now--they're only allowed in downtown--and officials say they might still be after another (there's a total seat cap for the area "because of concerns about adding more traffic congestion," but it could be changed). The Criterion on the Third Street Promenade closed this year "and the two remaining theaters operating have been operating for years with outdated technology," according to the Lookout News.
· 9 screens, 1,200 seats proposed for mall theater [SMDP]