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