South Coast Village

Edwards South Coast Village is the crown jewel of the Regal Cinema Art chain. Not because it has the most screens (because it doesn't) but because it is the most visible. The Village is right across the street from South Coast Plaza and what used to be Planet Hollywood. It's deep dark secret is that it is in Santa Ana, not swanky Costa Mesa. But the difference is only a matter of street lanes. Parking is usually fine. Because these movies do not tend to attract large crowds, the parking in front of the theater frequently suffices. If not, behind the theater is strip mall with plenty of parking; the walk is just a little further. One really nice thing is that some of the restaurants right across the street are really swanky. Like McDonald's and Carl's Jr. And on the other side are places like Morton's, Darya, and other random places.

There are only three screens here, and the smaller two are not that big. If the print is particularly wide, then you're out of luck. You can see small parts of the movie around the edges of the screen on the wall. This is especially true on the two smaller screens. The ground slopes slightly and there is no stadium seating, so if you're not careful, you may get to sit behind someone's head. It is no secret that many of the patrons are elderly. These elderly people have no qualms about sitting directly in front of you, even if the entire row is empty. Dumb elderly people!! The seats in the smaller theaters are strange: they recline a couple inches. So if you're not careful, you can rock back and forth. The seats used to squeak incessantly, but it looks like they finally oiled them. The floors are sometimes a little sticky, which, of course, is not the best feeling to have. The large theater also sometimes smells like urine, which is truly nasty. When the lights are on before the movie begins, you can look at the drapes, which are in dire need of a thorough cleaning. The entire theater is pretty old and due for remolding. At one time, the grapevine said that it will get one, and get upgraded big time to include plush seats, dinner service, and wine, but that has yet to happen.

In the lobby, there are some pieces of local art, which is a nice touch. There is also a small kiosk-type pillar with reviews from the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times of the movies currently playing. The employees run the gamut from people who seem like high school kids to fans knowledgeable about the movies. They also just recently got a new digital system that allows them to play more annoying commercials before the commercials before the movies start. Basically, the theater is trying to present itself as refined and cultured, and to a large degree, it succeeds. If anything, the movies it plays more than make up for merely adequate conditions of the theater.

1561 Sunflower Avenue
Santa Ana, CA

714 540 0594

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