The new old Port Theatre of Corona del Mar is ready to have the butts of locals fill its seats again.
Opened in 1950 along Pacific Coast Highway and closed for the past 14 years, the Port opens to the public Friday with a slate of films including Bernie, First Position and Safety Not Guaranteed, according to management.
Landmark Theatres, the last chain to run the Port, lasted there from 1989 to 1998, presenting art-housey fare that gave the screens of Regency, Regal-Edwards and indie venues a run for their box office receipts. Unfortunately, patrons are more likely to remember the Port's ass-munching seats than they are the last movie they saw there.
Having undergone major renovations--including the de-munching abilities of the seats--the Port actually got an audition during last April-May's Newport Beach Film Festival, where free screenings and seminars were held.
The Port opens Friday with: Richard Linklater's dark comedy Bernie, a true crime tale about the titular mortician (Jack Black), who befriends an unlikable widow (Shirley MacLaine) in a small Texas town; First Position, a documentary on the rigors of the world's top ballet competition; and Safety Not Guaranteed, a film from the Duplass brothers that has Seattle magazine intern (Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Recreation) chasing down an eccentric scientist (Mark Duplass of The League and every small budget film this summer) for a story.
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The flicks will be projected with state-of-the-art, digital equipment, and management promises a teasing new array of food and beverage choices beyond the usual tubs of popcorn.
"We now have a theater again in CDM!" says new owner Fariborz Maseeh, a Newport Beach philanthropist, in a statement from his venue. "We hope the new Port will offer a unique experience for its patrons across the spectrum of all art and entertainment platforms."
Your move, Balboa Theatre!