do, I cannot bring it forward to the Redevelopment Agency with staff
recommendations," Development Services Director Jeanne Armstrong
The Exchange is the retail and restaurant area on Maryland Avenue
between Broadway and Wilson Avenue. Ten theater screens are at the
Mann Theaters in The Exchange, five of which have stadium seating.
But officials are discussing the possibility of making the other five
stadium seating or putting new seats, carpeting, signs and sound
systems in each theater.
Either way, the job would cost a lot of money, and Exchange
officials said that is the glitch. Bill Holderness, who owns the Mann
building, said it could take between $1.5 million and $2.5 million to
renovate the theaters. The city has invested in the area to try to
Public dollars went into The Exchange parking lot, for instance.
But other fixes have been tried, including a valet parking program
and the approval of spending of $100,000 in public money for an
advertising program, which never started. This year, the
Redevelopment Agency approved a $25,000 program to create more
lighting in the area.
But Holderness lamented that the city's participation in making
The Exchange a destination falls flat compared with the $60-million
investment in the yet-to-be built Town Center, which would be built
between Brand Boulevard and Central Avenue.
The 15.5-acre Town Center will have a 16-screen multiplex with
stadium seating. The development of a new theater has officials
wondering if other theaters can even compete with the planned
state-of-the-art multiplex. A city-commissioned study this year found
that theaters in the area are already ill suited to compete with new
screens in Burbank and Pasadena.
Without a larger profit margin for Mann, Holderness said the cost
of retrofitting would not be feasible for Mann.
"Two million dollars to do that kind of work is a little tough,"
Holderness said. "We just have figure out where to get that extra
Armstrong said Mann has eight years left on its building lease.
She added that two schools of thought exist on the issue. One is
that a retrofitting could be a good profit model because as the
Glendale population grows, moviegoers will have Mann to turn to as an
option. The other is simply that with a mega-complex coming on the
horizon, renovation might not be a good business model.