July 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Opening for Movies 12

By John Dickey, Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.

Jul. 30--The Cinemark Movies 12 is expected to be completed in time for the holidays, company officials said Tuesday.

"Right now, we're on schedule to open for Thanksgiving," said Tom Owens, senior vice president for real estate for Cinemark.

A November opening would allow the company to show the holiday run of movies at its new Yuba City facility.

"A lot of big films open for Thanksgiving," said James Meredith, vice president of marketing for Cinemark.

Cinemark executives are also hoping for a seamless transition from the old movie house to the new that will keep Movies 8 open until the new Movies 12 is finished.

The company had thought they would have to close Movies 8 for about 45 to 60 days before the new theater is finished, leaving Yuba-Sutter without a local movie house. The new movie is being built adjacent to the old Whyler Road facility.

Now, they are confident about a plan taking shape to keep Movies 8 open while Movies 12 is under construction.

"It'll be virtually seamless," said Owens.

Owens said he was 99 percent sure that the Movies 8 could remain open. Customers would have to park in front of Movies 8 for awhile, then in front of Movies 12 while the old theater is being demolished. The move would leave the movie complex about 30 to 40 parking spaces short for a period of time.

"So you're just moving customers from one parking field to another," said Owens.

Mayor Rory Ramirez said the move would probably not require a City Council vote but could instead be accomplished through a minor change in the construction schedule. Ramirez said city staff has been looking into the idea after Ramirez was initially approached by the Movies 12 builder and developer, John Ochipinti, about keeping the theater operating continuously.

Movies 12 is slated to replace the aging Movies 8 theater. The new, 2,113-seat facility will provide more screens and modern amenities like stadium seating.

Construction started in April on a project the company has been pursuing since 2002. It was held up by a city moratorium on new movie theaters outside of a downtown area that was designed to promote a city-backed redevelopment project.

Contact Appeal-Democrat reporter John Dickey at 749-4711 or [email protected]


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