Universal Studios Hollywood rolled out a new logo Tuesday and announced upgrades to its CityWalk shopping center. As the Los Angeles Times reports, Universal wants to make CityWalk a more popular destination with tourists—and LA residents.
Obviously, that’s going to take some work.
CityWalk’s chaotic, imposing layout and labyrinth-like parking structure have been repelling locals since 1993. Still, in some ways, the shopping and dining area’s outdoor design anticipated that of malls like The Grove and Americana at Brand. Locals shop there. Why shouldn’t they enjoy the giant gorilla-laden environment at CityWalk?
So far, plans for the CityWalk makeover include an overhaul of Universal Cinemas scheduled to be completed next year. Planned upgrades include the addition of reclining chairs in all 18 theatres and a new bar within the multiplex. Universal is also bringing in several new eateries, including a Margaritaville (the chain restaurant themed around the song stylings of Jimmy Buffet), Chinese restaurant Meizhou Dongpo, and the first California location of Portland-based Voodoo Donuts.
Of course, none of these seem likely to draw in locals. Even an Arclight, which has been pampering LA moviegoers for years, would be a tough sell. It's hard to imagine many locals forking over $10 to $35 for parking just to get a taste of Jimmy’s Jammin’ Jambalaya. A new Voodoo Donuts location is certainly intriguing, but wouldn’t Randy’s have been a more on-brand choice? Not only is it local, the giant donut would fit right in next to King Kong.
The announcement video below touches on some of the upgrades for CityWalk, along with the Universal Studios theme park itself.