The AMC MainPlace 6, located upstairs in the MainPlace Mall, opened
in the fall of 1987. This was AMC’s nicest theatre complex in
Orange County. Why say this? Because most of the company’s theatre
complexes in Southern California were small, dank theatres with
skinny auditoriums, bad projection and lousy mono sound. Yet when
MainPlace opened, it was the dawn of a new era for AMC in the
This complex was extremely nice. To get to it, patrons had to ride
up an escalator to the upper level of the mall. Once upstairs, and
depending on what you were seeing, you were either directed to the right
side of the complex, or across a bridge to the left side where the
two large, 500-seat auditoriums were.
Most of the auditoriums on the right side of the MainPlace 6 weren’t
too small, though theatre #1 was pretty tiny. All had common-width screens, though. But the showcase theatres were something
Each screen on the left side of the complex (when entering the lobby
from the escalator) had 70mm projection and THX Sound
certification. Though the screens weren’t very large (especially
compared to the
Cinedome nearby), they held the bright projected
image of a 70mm print very well. And even certain 35mm prints
looked very good here.
The sound system was clean and dynamic.
The auditoriums were something beyond what AMC normally had in
Southern California. The seats were comfortable. The interior
décor, though sparse, was pleasing. Ceiling fans spun above.
Typical of AMC’s “policy,” there weren’t any curtains covering the
screens, and on-screen slides were shown to the audience as they
waited for the film to begin.
At first, art films like “Withnail and I” and “Chuck Berry: Hail,
Hail Rock and Roll” played at the theatre, which always seemed
empty, even on weekends. It seemed like it took a few months for
the theatre to gain patronage. Soon, AMC started booking more
commercial films, usually ones that didn’t play at the Cinedome.
The complex ran 70mm prints from studios who normally did not book
with the Cinedome. Disney and Fox were the main suppliers, as well
as Columbia (now Sony). The first 70mm presentation here was
Freedom,” which was soon followed by the much more successful “The
Although the theatre did moderate business, it closed down in 2000
when AMC opened up their huge 30-screen complex at The Block of
Orange. That mall replaced the old City Mall, which had the
City Center theatre in its parking lot. But all was not lost when
Blood, an independent theatre operator, came in and leased the
theater shortly after it had closed. But in 2006, the owner
was evicted and the theatre closed again. It's scheduled to
re-open in fall of 2006.