H-SANTA MARIA

Aug 27, 2012 10:48 PM by Nikki Ibarra

New movie theater could soon come to Santa Maria mall

A new 14-screen theater could soon call Santa Maria home, as the Santa Maria Planning Commission just gave a one-year extension for the project last week.

The theater will be where the Gottschalks department store once stood at the Santa Maria Town Center, on the corner of Broadway and Cook Street.

The plan has been in the works for a six years, but it is now one step closer to finally getting started.

This extension means the mall owners and investors have until October of next year to get financing in order.

"We're hoping that this will be the start of a new era for the downtown area," said Larry Appel, director of Community Development for the city.

Last week, the developers requested a permit extension with the city because there are new investors, which is something Appel said, has taken a long time to secure. "It's a very difficult time with the economy and trying to meet all of the expectations of the investors. It's been difficult," added Appel.

When the building is completed, moviegoers could expect a Regal Edwards theater with over 2,000 stadium seats.

"A lot of people drive to Arroyo Grande right now to get the stadium seats so now they'll be able to have that right here in town," said Appel.

But with this theater brings potential business, something Appel said is needed.

As for when moviegoers can enjoy this new theater, that hasn't been announced yet, but they hope demolition will start in October.

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