Edwards Town Center 4

3209 Park Center Drive,
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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Flix70 on May 25, 2023 at 4:57 pm

1983’s “Return of the Jedi” opened at the Town Center in 70mm 40 years ago today (May 25, 1983).

Starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher & Harrison Ford, George Lucas' finale to his Star Wars Trilogy debuted at number one on over 1,000 screens, netting a then-record $45 million its opening week, and remained in the top ten through late September, grossing just north of $250 million in North America and finishing its run as the highest-grossing film of 1983.

I saw Jedi opening day at the Town Center as a 12-year-old. My mom let me skip school that day so she could take a buddy and me to the 9:30 AM show. Hardly anyone in the theater that morning, it was like our own private screening. I got a program and settled in for the last great event film of my childhood.

MSC77 on February 26, 2023 at 10:56 pm

A chronology of Orange County’s 70mm presentation history has recently been published. Town Center is mentioned numerous times.

Flix70 on January 15, 2023 at 5:04 pm

Barry Levinson’s 1987 comedy “Good Morning, Vietnam” opened at the Town Center in 70mm 35 years ago today (Jan. 15, 1988).

Starring Robin Williams (in his first Oscar-nominated role), the film took over the top spot from “Three Men and a Baby” after expanding from three to 785 screens and remained number one for the next eight weeks, netting just shy of $124 million in North America and finishing its run as the fourth highest-grossing film of 1987.

I saw “Good Morning, Vietnam” at the Town Center opening weekend with a full crowd and marveled at Williams' performance, one that would pave the way to three more Oscar-nominated roles in the next 10 years.

Flix70 on December 17, 2022 at 4:56 pm

Sydney Pollack’s beloved, Oscar-winning 1982 comedy “Tootsie” opened at the Town Center 40 years ago today (Dec. 17, 1982).

Starring Dustin Hoffman, Teri Garr & Jessica Lange, the film opened at number one on 943 screens and held the top spot for the next 12 weeks, remaining in the top ten until mid-June of ‘83. It would gross over $177 million in North America (becoming Columbia Pictures’ biggest domestic hit ever at that time) & finish its run as the second highest-grossing film of 1982.

“Tootsie” was nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, but ultimately would just win one for Best Supporting Actress (Lange).

40 years later I still marvel at its great ensemble cast, script & direction and with no disrespect to Sir Ben Kingsley who won Best Actor for “Gandhi” that year, have always felt Hoffman deserved an Oscar for his performance.

MSC77 on October 12, 2022 at 12:10 am

Flix70: Your E.T. comment of June 12th has some errors: (1) The domestic gross at the conclusion of its 52-week first-run was $359 million (the $435 million figure you cited includes re-issues). (2) Its domestic all-time gross record held for 14 years (not 11) until eclipsed by the STAR WARS: SPECIAL EDITION re-issue. (JURASSIC PARK eclipsed the E.T. gross worldwide but not domestically.) (3) The Town Center’s run was 49 weeks in total with the latter half of its run in 35mm in a smaller house.

I share your celebratory sentiment and have fond memories of seeing E.T. numerous times in 1982. (I did not see it at Town Center though I’ve seen many other films there.)

Flix70 on August 7, 2022 at 4:41 pm

John Badham’s action-comedy “Stakeout” opened at the Town Center in 70mm 35 years ago this weekend (August 5, 1987).

Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Emilio Estevez & Madeline Stowe, the film opened at number two (behind “The Living Daylights”) on 951 screens and slowly saw its theater count grow the remainder of the summer as it took over the top spot the next weekend & held it for five straight weeks, ending its run just shy of $66 million, enough to finish as the 8th highest-grossing film of 1987.

I saw it here opening weekend with a full crowd as a teenager & enjoyed it.

Richie_T on June 12, 2022 at 6:45 pm

Hey Flix70… I’ll bet we sat in that same right corner theater for the opening Saturday ET screening… I have the exact same memory… line around the building… glad to know others remember this theater and those times as fondly as I do!

Flix70 on June 12, 2022 at 4:45 pm

Steven Spielberg’s beloved 1982 classic “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” opened at the Town Center in 70mm 40 years ago this weekend (June 11, 1982).

Starring Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore & Dee Wallace, the film opened at number one on 1,100 screens with $12 million and slowly increased its theater count each week for the next nine weeks, averaging over $10 million a week. It remained the number one or two film through mid-October and stayed in the top 10 through January of ‘83.

At the end of its astonishing 52-week run it had become the highest-grossing film of all time with a domestic take of over $435 million, a record it would hold for 11 years until Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park.”

The Town Center was one of three theaters in OC showing “E.T.”. in 70mm (it would play there for 28 weeks) and I dragged my mom there that first Saturday where we were greeted with a line wrapped completely around the building (first and only time I ever saw that). I remember it played in the large far corner theater on the right and was just a great cinematic experience from start to finish.

Flix70 on December 26, 2021 at 5:12 pm

The Town Center opened 40 years this weekend (Dec. 25, 1981) with “Modern Problems” starring Chevy Chase & “Neighbors” starring John Belushi & Dan Aykroyd.

samwisefan on August 24, 2021 at 6:00 am

My two best memories of this theatre are actually both audience test screenings. One of them was for the movie THE BEAR. That test screening happened an entire year before the movie was released in the US. And the second one was for DICK TRACY. That test screening was super memorable because Warren Beatty was actually there and walked right by us on the upstairs hallway after the film ended.

Flix70 on February 13, 2020 at 4:30 pm

The wife and I drove by the old location for the first time in years yesterday and noticed a parking garage now sits on the site. It’s like the Town Center never existed, except here on Cinema Treasures.

LuckyBastard76 on January 9, 2015 at 6:20 pm

I loved this theater and I agree it was a classy place. I liked how there was a balcony upstairs where they had giant windows and you could see the projectionist and projector. Some of the films I saw there, and there was a lot as this was one of my favorite theaters. Re-release of A Clockwork Orange, advanced screening of E.T., Conan The Barbarian, Videodrome, Blue Velvet, Visiting Hours, Tootsie, Platoon, What About Bob, The Dark Crystal.

Flix70 on September 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm

The first film I ever saw at the Town Center was “E.T."on opening weekend in June of 1982. It was the only time I ever saw a line wrap completely around the building.

The two corner theaters were the largest and the ones you hoped were showing your flick. Saw some great films there over the years: Return of the Jedi(first show opening day; hardly anyone there), Gremlins, Star Trek III, Platoon and Crouching Tiger to name a few.

Always thought it was an odd place for a theater as it was in the far corner of a corporate plaza. The parking lot had an attendent booth and sometimes someone was in it, other times not. I remember always asking someone in the car: “You think I can park here?”

Eventually the lot was closed to theater patrons and you had to park in the corporate structure across the way. Sometimes you had to pay, other times not. Kind of lost its allure after a while.

Coate on January 30, 2010 at 10:28 pm

“Platoon” was a 35mm presentation.

Richie_T on January 30, 2010 at 10:18 pm

I was startled to see how badly this theater fell into disrepair. Town Center was a classy place to see a movie back in the 80s and early 90s. I saw some amazing 70mm presentations there as a kid including: Return of the Jedi, Star Trek II-IV, Platoon, The Mission, and Lethal Weapon 2. Cool place. Classy. Sad to learn of its premature demise.

Coate on April 12, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Theater info and photos here.