Renovations will close Fashion Island theater

NEWPORT BEACH — Edwards Island Cinemas at Fashion Island will soon undergo a major renovation that will close the seven-screen theater for most of the year, the Irvine Co. announced this week.

As the focus of Phase II of the Irvine Co.'s remodeling of the upscale shopping center, changes to the 30-year-old theater will include a spacious lobby with a classic look that reflects Fashion Island's "Italianate" architecture, stadium seating in all auditoriums, larger, more comfortable seats, wider aisles and more legroom, according to a news release.

The theater will close in January 2011 and is anticipated to reopen in time for the Christmas 2011 movie season.

"Given the success of the first phase of reinvestment in Fashion Island, we are pleased to announce the theater renovation, which we believe will create a first class movie-going experience for Fashion Island guests," Keith Eyrich, president of Irvine Co. Retail Properties, said in a prepared statement.

Phase I had begun in 2009 and was completed earlier this month.

The $100-million makeover brought in an Italian-inspired 45-foot-tall fountain, 150,000 square feet of additional retail and parking space, 16 new stores and renovations to a handful of existing stores.

Yet more new stores are planned to fill vacancies during Phase II; however, no store names have been released yet, confirmed Irvine Co. spokeswoman Erin Freeman on Thursday.

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