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To the movies and beyond

Jackson Bell

After more than 18 months of construction, AMC Entertainment Village

is set to open next week with a red-carpet event featuring actor

Kevin Bacon and a host of other celebrities.

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But city redevelopment officials see the grand opening of the

16-screen theater and retail complex as the start of something new in

Burbank Village, and are relying on the AMC project to provide the

impetus for transforming the ailing retail area.

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“When the already established AMC 14 Theatres opened, it was a

catalyst that attracted new restaurants to town,” said Burbank

Redevelopment Projects Manager Jennifer Mack. “The one thing that we

hope happens is that [the AMC Entertainment Village] brings in more

restaurants and quality retail.”

The theater complex, which opens to the public June 20, is

expected to draw more than 1.5-million moviegoers annually,

resulting in an estimated $300,000 or more in tax revenues from movie

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ticket, restaurant and retail sales, Senior Redevelopment Projects

Manager Jack Lynch said.

Several restaurants and retail stores, meanwhile, are on the verge

of signing leases with AMC, Mack said. Macaroni Grill, Chipotle,

Sushi Den, Wolfgang Puck Express, Subway, Cold Stone Creamery, Urban

Home and Dai-Bai-Dang are among those she said could sign by June 30.

The 4,200-seat megaplex, which cost $68 million to build, will

contain state-of-the-art amenities, including stadium seating with

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loveseats, digital sound and wall-to-wall screens, AMC spokesman Rick

King said.

The complex, south of San Fernando Road on the east side of the

Media City Center, will feature a glass atrium with a spacious

open-air plaza and a second-level patio leading to the theater’s

entrance. Thirty-foot-tall depictions of Burbank heavyweight boxing

legend Jim Jeffries and a scene from “Alice in Wonderland” will also

adorn the plaza.

“Burbank is a great location and one of our biggest trade areas,”

King added. “We expect it to be a top performer in Southern

California.”

Other highly anticipated projects coming to Burbank Village

include Urban Outfitters, which will open this fall in the abandoned

Newberry building, and the pending $39-million Olson Co. housing and

retail project at San Fernando Boulevard and Angeleno Avenue.

In March, Cusumano Real Estate Group gained approval for a

$17-million multistory office and retail building along Olive Avenue

between San Fernando Boulevard and Third Street. Both are scheduled

to begin construction before the end of the year.

“It should be a snowball effect,” Downtown Manager Gail Stewart

said. “First AMC, then Urban Outfitters ... a year from now, [the

Village] will look completely different.”


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