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AMC to Build a 30-Screen Theater in New Orange Mall

November 12, 1996|GREG JOHNSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

AMC Entertainment Inc. announced Monday that it will build Orange County's largest cineplex at The City, a now-vacant shopping center in the City of Orange that's scheduled to be torn down in January.

The massive cineplex, with 30 screens and 6,500 seats, will serve as the anchor for an 800,000-square-foot shopping and entertainment center planned by Mills Corp., a Washington, D.C.-based developer. The cineplex, which is slated to open in early 1998, will mirror the design of a sister theater that opens this week at a new Mills Corp. mall in Ontario.

In a related development, Mills announced Monday that the first two retail tenants for the Orange mall--Sports Authority and Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet--have signed leases for the center, which is scheduled to open in late 1998.

Municipal officials are touting the $165-million shopping center redevelopment project--which will be called City Mills at Orange--as the cornerstone of a redevelopment effort in the southwestern part of town. When the center opens, it will house 12 anchor stores and about 85 smaller shops.

Earlier this year, the City Council and Redevelopment Authority approved a package of tax breaks designed to make the project financially attractive to Mills, which operates four major malls in Eastern states.

"This development is going to generate a lot of interest in that part of town," said Mayor Joanne Coontz. "And it will be a huge asset when it comes to generating sales tax receipts."

The theater will be decked out with all of the newest attractions in the movie business, including love seats, amphitheater-style auditoriums, digital sound systems and three concession stands with 24 stations.

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