Column: Pomona may get a sequel: movie theaters

It’s been 11 years since Pomona’s last movie theater, Indian Hill Cinemas, closed. Now, a company named Maya Cinemas is pushing to build a multiplex not along a freeway but in downtown. The story makes up my Sunday column.

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  • SAWZ

    Its a nice dream but it would turn into a nightmare. The developer is in “La La Land”. The day of the multiplexes is over. People are now wedded to their I-phones. The auditoriums are empty. I live within walking distance of a beautiful large multiplex. I don’t patronize it except on rare occasions where I am viewing in a several hundred, seat auditorium with less than ten other people. (I do patronize the Laemmle in Claremont that has small auditoriums and screens the independent films that are not usually showing elsewhere.) I came from a farm in WY where in my youth, long ago, the Sunday night movie in town for our family of four was the highlight of our week–there was one choice and the total cost for all four of us, including popcorn, was about $1.50–a large sum for a farmer. Now a family of four would need to spend $80-$100 on tickets and concessions. The demographics of this area cannot support such. We need more from Rep. Torres right now than a bright idea about who should build theaters.

    • davidallen909

      That’s a cold splash of ice water to the face! You have a point about multiplexes not being what they were, but millions are turning out to see Star Wars, Captain America, etc., and if the price for a family in your childhood was “a large sum for a farmer,” the current prices you quote are probably comparable, aren’t they?

      • SAWZ

        I don’t think so. Then, a movie ticket cost thirty cents at the most (actually my ticket at the drive-in was nine cents) and was part of a standard life at that time. Regular ticket price of $12 now is realistic only for those that have income that goes above and beyond their basic needs. Where in this area, now, can a family afford to go to the movies together at current prices–especially since they are putting all their disposable incomes into their I-phones? One auditorium might be full for the movies you name–while the other five sit empty. That big movie might be the one outing an average family will take all year. If this plan comes to fruition and is a success, I will gleefully admit I was wrong.

        • Doug Evans

          To be fair, people have been predicting the death of movies since the invention of TV and then the VCR. In my humble opinion: as long as there are families, and teenagers, there will always be people going to the movies. When my daughter was little we loved taking her to our local Harkins in Chino Hills, and now that she’s a full-grown teen (at thirteen) who doesn’t want to be seen with her parents, she loves to have us drop her off with her friends to watch whatever apocalyptic-world-teens-in-danger flick is playing that month. My wife and I see the big event pics (James Bond, Star Wars) at our Harkins or the Edwards in Brea, and we will occasionally make the trek up to Claremont to see something small or British or whatever at the Laemmle. The theaters, at least the ones we’re in, always seem full at these movies. According to David’s column, we will have a closer screen than Claremont for the smaller independent movies at this proposed Pomona theater, and that would be great. (Though we love Claremont.) Fingers crossed for them!

          • SAWZ

            I did say that if this project succeeds I will gleefully admit I was wrong. I share your love for movies.