Edwards Theatres announced Wednesday that its Southern California cinemas will not show late-night movies on New Year's Eve because the company expects only scant audiences.
The movie chain decided to have the last movies of the century begin at 8:30 p.m. because of a history of poor attendance during past New Year's celebrations.
"We've found that late-night shows really don't do well," said David Ward, spokesman for Newport Beach-based Edwards Theatres Circuit. "Who'd want to be in a dark theater at midnight New Year's Eve?"
The theater chain also said it will not have a midnight Imax debut of Disney's "Fantasia 2000" at the Irvine Spectrum on New Year's Eve, because of poor ticket sales.
Tickets for the midnight showing were being offered only in large blocks, he said, not to individuals. The company had hoped that a local company might book the entire theater for the event, Ward said, but that didn't happen.
The chain has about 730 screens in California and 21 in Idaho.