Venturing into new territory, Regal Cinemas--the nation's second-largest theater chain--announced plans to construct a 22-screen multiplex theater in southern Orange County.
Regal has no screens in Orange County and faces stiff competition from Edwards Theatre Circuit Inc., the dominant local player. But officials of Knoxville, Tenn.-based Regal said they hope the 85,000-square-foot theater will attract visitors to Foothill Ranch Towne Centre & Marketplace when it opens at the end of this year.
Mall developers had put aside 40 acres for entertainment venues and hoped to attract a movie theater, a spokeswoman said. A roller hockey and ice skating arena tenant has also signed on.
Foothill Ranch, a 2,743-acre master-planned community, was designed to be self-sufficient with its own stores and services. The mall opened in May 1994 and houses such retailers as Mervyns, Target, Home Base and Wal-Mart.
Mall officials declined to release the cost of the theater project.
Regal currently operates nine theaters in San Bernardino, Diamond Bar, Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Moorpark, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates, El Cajon and Whittier.