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A year-by-year, film-by-film history of 70-millimeter wide gauge exhibition in Orange County, California


 Compiled by Michael Coate and William Kallay



70mm Equipped Theatre Pictures

Movies / Movies 8 / Buena Park Mall


Theatre Specifications
Chain: United Artists
Opened: August 17, 1984
Closed: 1999 — Now a fitness club
Seats:  400-500 (2 main auditoriums)


The UA Mall 8 at the Buena Park Mall opened in 1984.  Situated in the back of the mall behind a major department store called the May Co., the theatre was in a poor location not easily seen from Dale Street.  But it was one of the nicest and most state-of-the-art complexes in Orange County at the time.


The complex was Orange County’s first theatre to feature THX Sound. The large THX-certified auditorium was also equipped with 70mm projection.  Three films played in 70mm-THX at the UA Mall 8: “2010” (1984); “Cocoon” (1985) and “Aliens” (1986). From firsthand experience, the presentation of “Aliens” was exemplary.  Crisp projection and clean sound made this one memorable film experience.  Through 1987, the theatre played a number of 35mm engagements in their THX-certified auditorium, including a superb presentation of “RoboCop,” but the theatre soon abandoned THX-Certification and, occasionally, Dolby Stereo shows.  The other auditoriums in the complex were rather small, typical of UA design.


As with many decent theatres, this complex soon fell into disrepair and was closed.  A large department store took over the space when the entire Buena Park Mall was renovated in the early-2000s.  The building exterior is still intact, as well as dividing walls and I-beams that once separated the two large auditoriums in the former complex.  If you visit this store, you can clearly see the size of the two main auditoriums which now house racks of clothing, rather than theatre seats. 


Buena Park didn’t go without a movie complex for too long.  In 2003, and across the parking lot, a new 18-screen megaplex was built by Krikorian Theatres.




UA Buena Park Mall 8 opening day ad (August 17, 1984) [Enlarge]


UA Buena Park Mall 8 (c. 1999)


A sign marking the end of this decent UA theatre [Enlarge]


UA Buena Park Mall 8, former entrance below (2005)


Theatre building began at the end of glass design


Buena Park Mall sign


Back of former complex — Entrance to Mall and complex on right side of building


Back of former complex, close-up


Side of complex looking toward Dale Avenue


One of the former large auditoriums [right] (2007)

[1] Los Angeles Times / United Artists
[2] William Kallay



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