Close to the 405 Freeway and just a short
drive from the South Coast Plaza theatres is the Town Center. Opened on
December 25, 1981, the
four-screen theatre featured two auditoriums with 600-seats each,
fairly large for then-modern cinemas. This theatre was built during
a period in which Edwards seemed to have a similar design on many of
their theatres. The lobbies weren’t huge, but large
enough to handle weekend crowds, and restrooms were located
What made this theatre, and some other Edwards' unique, was that
moviegoers could get a glimpse of the projection booths on both
sides of the complex. Large 70mm reels were displayed in the window of
the booths for display. During a 70mm engagement, patrons could see
the large format film turning on the flat platters. And if memory
serves, there was at least one sign/sticker posted in the window of
the projection booth that told moviegoers
that the theatre was equipped for Dolby Stereo.
The large auditoriums had two aisles and three seating sections, red
and white curtains on the side walls, and a viewing section in the
back as you entered. The screens were flat and not
particularly large, but projection and
sound were generally excellent. The theatre, on occasion, would play two 70mm
prints at the same time.
Town Center hosted a number of 70mm engagements during the 1980s.
Like its sister complex up the street (South
Coast Plaza III), Town Center hosted a number of 70mm
engagements during the 1980s, including the O.C. exclusive of "Quest
For Fire" (1982).
The theatre was also one of the host sites for a special British
By the early 2000s, the theatre became an art house, but it
was in seriously poor shape. Curtains were torn, carpet was
well-worn and seats weren’t very comfortable anymore. The theatre
closed by 2001. It was demolished in May 2007, and is slated to be replaced by a
high-rise office tower.