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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

Rancho Niguel


Theatre Specifications
Chains: Mann / Edwards / Mann
Opened: June 23, 1989
Seats: Approx. 400-500 (2 main auditoriums)


Opened on June 23, 1989, this Mann 8-screen complex was revolutionary for its time.  What made it stand apart from other theatres in Orange County was that its two largest auditoriums had stadium seating.  The only other two theatre complexes in the county with stadium seating at the time were the Cinedome and Edwards South Coast Theatre III.  Also worthy of note was that these same auditoriums had “cry rooms,” in which parents could take their babies and small children into rooms that had seating, speakers and a view of the screen.  This isolated them from the main audience, providing those patrons with peace and relative quiet during the show.


The theatre has a long and wide lobby, with bathrooms upstairs.  The two main 70mm-equipped stadium theatres could be found on opposite ends of the complex.  Another relatively large auditorium sits next to the stadium auditorium on the left side of the complex, but it has the once standard slope seating arrangement and it’s not known if it was equipped for 70mm.


The Rancho Niguel 8 was originally opened by Mann Theaters, but was bought out (or leased) by Edwards at one point.  Eventually, Mann took over the theatre complex again.  It was certified with THX Sound.


As for 70mm presentation, there were a few from 1989-1993, including a 1989 double-feature of “Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade” and “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” and “Last Action Hero” (1993). 


The theatre is still open and currently shows first-run films.




Mann Rancho Niguel 8 (Sunday ad, June 1989) [Enlarge]


Mann Rancho Niguel 8 (2005)


Mann Rancho Niguel 8 box office and lobby


The complex is quite large and is fairly difficult to get a nice wide angle shot of!

[1] The Orange County Register / Mann
[2] William Kallay



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