UA 6 Movies
320 3rd Avenue,
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Previously operated by: United Artists Theater Circuit Inc.
Architects: Daniel T. Uesugi
Firms: Uesugi & Associates
Located in Park Plaza at the Village. When UA Movies-Chula Vista had its grand opening in 1983, studio heads were brought down from Los Angeles on a special railcar to see its modern amenities and futuristic design. However, both Mann Plaza Bonita (1982) and Pacific Sweetwater (1983)–also sixplexes and each in nearby National City–also had recently opened. San Diego’s South Bay had 18 screens overnight.
UA Chula Vista was, unfortunately, usually the slowest of these three complexes because of United Artists Theatres' perennially weak booking power. However, with its glass pyramidal lobby and contemporary ice-blue tile decor, Chula Vista then was still quite something more to look at over its competitors. The main theatre seated 504 and it had 70mm capability, though this was rarely used (a notable exception was a 70mm engagement of “Amadeus”). “Rambo:First Blood Part II” (1985) was one of this theatre’s few super-busy times, opening on multiple screens and to sell-out crowds. Paul Belshe was manager then, before moving on to run the much busier and far more prestigious UA Horton Plaza opening in downtown San Diego later that year. All of Horton’s original assistant managers came from Chula; and many of the floor staff were trained here for Paul’s new location.
In the megaplex era, Chula Vista 6 did have a brief post-UA afterlife under the CinemaStar chain but closed in 2000. Today, like so many of the 1980’s multiplexes, it now serves as a fitness center.
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