Cinemark to Open High-End Theater in Playa Vista (Exclusive)

Cinemark's planned NextGen theater in Playa Vista.

Construction of the nine-screen NextGen movie theater project, which will compete against The Landmark and Arclight Cinemas, is slated to begin this fall, with a targeted opening date of May 2014.

Cinemark Holdings will open a nine-screen, high-end cineplex at the Runway at Playa Vista, a forthcoming real estate development in the coastal community near Marina del Rey.

The all-digital movie theater, one of the exhibitor's NextGen design concepts, is expected to open in May 2014, said James Meredith, vp marketing and communications for Cinemark USA, the stateside arm of Plano, Texas-based Cinemark Holdings, a publicly traded company that operates 459 theaters around the world.

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The cineplex will offer VIP seating in several auditoriums, RealD 3D capability, self-serve concession stands and an open plaza that will include a cocktail lounge. In a bid to win premieres business, the NextGen theater will include a large Cinemark XD auditorium that will have a 72-foot, wall-to-wall and ceiling-to-floor screen, Meredith said.  

The beachside communities of Playa Vista, Marina del Rey, Venice and Santa Monica have long lacked a high-end cineplex that offers similar features and amenities to The Landmark in West Los Angeles or ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood, Pasadena and Sherman Oaks. Meredith said that the NextGen cineplex would have the ability to offer assigned seating -- a hallmark of The Landmark and Arclight Cinemas -- but Cinemark has yet to decide whether this feature would be implemented.

The NextGen development will be part of Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co.'s $270 million Runway project, which will include residences, retailers and restaurants on 14 acres adjacent to Jefferson Boulevard. The project, which has been designed by architecture firm Johnson Fain of Los Angeles, will include 200,000 square feet of retail space, 35,000 square feet of creative office space and 420 apartment units. Lincoln developed an office project at Playa Vista, which now has more than 3,200 residences and about 2 million square feet of office space.

"We had a lot of interest from theaters around the country who see the opportunity to come to Playa Vista," said David Binswanger, executive vp of Lincoln. "Cinemark, in our minds, had the best idea for the brand. They were a premium choice for us.”

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Lincoln expects to close on its purchase of the land for the Runway development in August; the company is buying the property from Playa Capital Co., the master developer of Playa Vista.

Construction of the Runway -- including the cineplex -- is expected to begin this fall. Lincoln Property and Cinemark declined to discuss the cost of the development or the terms of Cinemark's long-term lease with the developer.

Cinemark operates six NextGen theaters across the country; the company launched the high-end brand during the past 18 months and now has facilities in Dallas and Salt Lake City. This would be the company's first such offering in the Los Angeles area.

"It'll truly be what I would call a neighborhood theater," Meredith said.

(Below: additional renderings of Cinemark's NextGen theater at the Runway at Playa Vista)























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