La Costa UltraStar Gets New Owners and Will Remodel as VIP Food/Drink Theater

UltraStar Cinemas has confirmed to us that they are no longer the owners of the La Costa movie theater.

Updated: UltraStar Cinemas has confirmed to Carlsbad Patch that changes are indeed happening at  on El Camino Real. They wrote in an email, "As of May 2nd, 2011 UltraStar Cinemas will no longer be operating the La Costa 6 theater location. The landlord has entered into a new lease with a new theater operator. This new operator is closing and remodeling the theater into a VIP food and drink theater concept. It is our understanding that they plan to re-open the location in late 2011."

Carlsbad Patch also received an email from a reader who said staffers told her it was becoming at 21 and up theatre managed by Cinemax.  

Another reader added in comments that he heard not Cinemax but, "Cinépolis, the Mexico-based luxury theater chain, is the one taking over the location."

john losavio May 07, 2011 at 10:31 PM
Cool, there are OTHER DINKs in La Costa? Thought we were the only ones without a jogging stroller and a 3-ton SUV. Cool, see ya in a few months for drinks and some cultured cinema!
The Schredder May 08, 2011 at 10:16 PM
Being a parent of two children, I am very saddened that my kids won't have the great experience of just seeing a movie and hanging out with their friends at the local neighborhood cinema. It's a place I always felt secure dropping my jr. high schooler off at and very convenient too. Now we have to truck on over to San Marcos OR the theaters new the Carlsbad Westview mall. It's a shame the new operator isn't someone who wants to cater to the local kids. It sounds like any business, they want to make money and most likely catering to the older demographic will get them there.
Colleen Johnson May 12, 2011 at 05:10 PM
This is extremely sad for all of us living in this area with children. This theatre was a comfortable, clean, safe, and quaint place to take the entire family. What is becoming of our world when liquor is more important than family!
Frank Maher May 12, 2011 at 10:29 PM
I was also disappointed to see that the Ultra Star had closed its doors. I have read about what is coming, and while I beleive its an interesting concept, I am very skeptical out of the gate. From what I have read, it certainly seems that it will be much more expensive that current prices, and with all the kids in the area, including mine, its sad to see the change. My bet, it last about six months and then cant figure out why no one is coming. Its too bad.
Liz Witkowski May 13, 2011 at 12:30 AM
Really? Think about the babysitting money you will save on date night when you can get your movie, your drink and nosh on all in one spot. Sure, I liked Ultra Star and seeing its farewell message on the marquee is a bit sad and whatnot but I am ready to move on emotionally.
Danny Baldwin May 13, 2011 at 02:00 AM
I'm beginning to doubt that it will be 21+ only, contrary to what the reports were. If you read the NC Times article (http://www.nctimes.com/business/article_0c0a1650-9623-555c-ac3d-0218db7635f7.html), it indicates that the Del Mar 8 was also bought by the company (presumably Cinépolis, according to my source). I had NOT heard of any 21+ exclusion on that location, which will presumably be the same concept. It will NOT be an UltraLuxe. So hope yet. But I would bet there will still be a hefty ticket price increase, so taking a family might be out of the regular price-range of some.
Danny Baldwin May 13, 2011 at 02:10 AM
However, now that I think about it MAYBE not. If they're running two theaters in the area, then that should bring prices down, because it makes the luxury concept less "unique." 14+ screens (figuring they may carve La Costa up) at high prices would be unheard of, except in an UBER wealthy area.
EBL May 13, 2011 at 06:02 AM
This sure beats having to drive to San Marcos for a couples dates night. Ever been to San Marcos Edwards on a Friday or Saturday night, its like a mob of teenagers and middle schoolers hanging out in crowds in front. I'll gladly pay twice the price to not have to deal with the loitering, booming stereos, smoking, and unsupervised under 21 crowd milling about.
Stacy Gardner May 13, 2011 at 06:28 PM
I live near the cinema and received an EARLY PUBLIC NOTICE regarding the upcoming changes. Project Description: A conditional use permit for a movie theatre with bar/cocktail lounge. The project proposes to renovate the existing Ultra Star la Costa 6 movie theatre into a Cinepolis VIP movie theatre. Renovations include construction of a new box office, converting from a sloped seating to stadium style seating: reducing the number of theatre seats from 1500 seats to 508 new recline type seats with retractable end tables; adding 497 sq. ft. outdoor patio enclosure with lounge style seating and fire pit; and adding a new kitchen, bar, and eating area within the existing theatre lobby. This is an EARLY public notice and subject to change.
Deanne Goodman (Editor) May 13, 2011 at 06:30 PM
Thanks Stacy for keeping us updated!
Peg Ferran May 14, 2011 at 08:21 PM
ok I get it, the motion picture industry is suffering, BUT I don't think an ultra luxurious experience watching a flick is gonna rescue them...most people have a huge flat screen, Netflicks/computer streaming type movies to watch, not to mention On Demand, Red Box etc...so if the experience of watching a movie with an audience is a dying one, because of the overhead and high prices to produce, plus the profit margin dwindling, a $25 ticket ain't gonna do it...recession + no jobs + the cost of a sitter+ cost of gas...doesn't add up unless these folks know something we don't. And what was the age group that the industry mostly makes movies for? 18 to 25? How many young people at that age does anyone know who can afford to see the latest movie at those prices? Neighborhood theaters are gone now I guess and I'll wait for Netflicks to release the good ones before I'll spend the gas money to find it in a theater with a responsive audience.
Beverly Mutchnik May 16, 2011 at 05:53 PM
We have frequented the La Costa theater since it opened but I must admit that it's time had come. The seats were so uncomfortable and it really needed a face lift. I think that a luxourios theater in our neighborhood is a big plus. I also find Edwards theater in San Marcos comfortable but the throngs of teens does turn me off. Kids are fine (I have 4) but a sophisticated theater would be welcome.
Sharon May 19, 2011 at 05:30 PM
Great like we really need a bunch of drunks leaving the parking lot and driving on our streets. This is a terrible fit for the area. The property manager is partially to blame. They are extremely greedy and forced nearly half of the tenants out. I do feel for the tenants in the center- Tomoyama Sushi and Allen's Pizza. Its a ghost town for them now! We need to support them right now. They are great people trying to run a small business.
Phil Goodman May 21, 2011 at 05:33 AM
Deanne From one Goodman to another, I don't think that this concept will work here for several reasons. First of all what generations are they going after to make a success of it? I happen to specialize in generational marketing and research worldwide and I can tell you that each generation will accept or reject this concept differently according to their mind-set. Secondly our economy is in a major downturn and unfortunately will be there for the next few years. So, unless the new owners have deep pockets they better come to the realization that if they plan to appeal to the upper income, here is something to think of that will parallel their business. If Las Vegas waited for all the High Rollers to show up, they would be in worst shape then they are in now. My thoughts by Phil Goodman.......
againstthegrain May 27, 2011 at 07:16 PM
Ok, so which area UltraStars are still in operation currently? I have a BUNCH of discount UltraStar tix purchased through HR that I used to give as size-less, clutterless birthday presents and I'm worried I'm stuck with them.
cbad100 May 28, 2011 at 06:39 AM
I have worked in the complex for 6 years now and grew up down the street the new theater wont hurt the other shops in the center it will only bring more people right now is the hard part having lost some night rushes plus there are only 5 other places that serve alcohol at most and the theater serving expensive drinks wont hurt the other shops.so basicly no kids kicking ur seat or ruining the movie beers and food while u watch and better seats I'm in maby ill actually take my fiance to a movie after work now. Sorry have to add this in but if u want to bring ur kids to a movie drive down the street to san marcos oh ya and no kids at the theater means less kids hanging out at the center all day causing us problems and not buying anything whatever cash u give ur kids to getout of ur hair most likely spend it on things they don't want you to know about I grew up in this area 20 plus years seen it all change for better or worse the world moves on thank you for my rant
Danny Baldwin May 28, 2011 at 07:25 AM
Flower Hill is still around, but not for long -- it's set to close in July. Mission Marketplace off the 76 in Oceanside, the Poway 10, and the Hazard Center 7 in Mission Valley are all currently still going strong.
Elizabeth Burke May 30, 2011 at 04:17 PM
I am really disappointed. Ultrastar was really convenient and it was easy for my teenager to get there on his bike with his friends. I also took my kids there a lot and enjoyed the smallness of the theater. I hate the crowded theaters in San Marcos and Vista. As for the complaints about loud and kicking kids, just speak up and tell them to quiet down. That's all it takes. And what happens when some customers have too much to drink and get rowdy in the theater? Or hop in their car to drive home? I'll take the annoying kids. Thankyou.
k June 04, 2011 at 01:30 AM
I think it is a great concept. If someone gets rowdy, or out of control they wouldn't be tolerated. They would be removed or arrested. San Marcos theatre is not that far away from La Costa. I love kids, however it wouldn't hurt to have a venue without them, either. Adults need a place to go to watch movies, other than thier bedroom to be away from the kids at night!
Rob Armstrong June 06, 2011 at 03:35 AM
What's really missing here is something from the past that should have never left us, the Drive-In Theatre. Go have an evening at South Bay Drive-In in Imperial Beach (http://www.southbaydrivein.com) and you will see what I am talking about. Funnest date I have had in a while. And, listening to the sound through your car stereo is fantastic. One thing I really like I about drive-ins is you don't have to watch the movie. You can talk and, well, other things. Super fun experience. Way better than any walk in theatre.
Danny Baldwin June 12, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Articles have come out about the takeover and the venues will NOT be 21+, as previously rumored. Alcohol will be served, however. http://www.nctimes.com/business/article_205b68e1-1a37-585c-81f7-a24fef644d40.html
nicole June 26, 2011 at 07:27 PM
really i mean really as it is in la costa there is nothing to really do for kids like there is no bowling you have to go to san marcos for that, no arcades nothing for kids to do. All i see happing is more dui's and more arrests congrats if thats what you wanted. what ever happened to drive in movie theater
Bradley James Laporte July 16, 2011 at 08:47 AM
hahaha like people dont drink at a drive in movie theater. Im stoked for this change. face it kids are not spending that much money on movies any more. its adults that go. catering to them is a great idea. im sick of going to movies with kids crying anyway. An adult movie experience will be awesome. if this idea is not for you then you should have been more supportive and spent money at the theater before it closed down. ppl only realize how good something was until its gone, then they dont want it to change after the fact. Im down for a beer and a movie any day
Raul July 24, 2011 at 09:55 PM
You should visit the cinepolis on del mar heights road before getting too upset. Very nice venue and only 2 of 8 theatres are adult only. The movie I saw there had plenty of kids (capt America). But idont think most parents will want to spend $18.50 too often for their kids to go to the movie. The space was nice and not being kicked by kids was great. Also, there were families eating in the lobby where the bar is...almost like a restaurant. Check it out!
Christine August 01, 2011 at 08:52 PM
I'm really excited for the change. I wish it had been adults only, but at least with the higher prices there should be fewer of them.
Danny Baldwin August 01, 2011 at 08:55 PM
The Del Mar location has been filled with kids and teens the two times I have been, which is insane given the $19.50 price-tag. (But I guess that's Del Mar for you...) Will be interesting to see if they die down in numbers once it isn't "new" anymore.
Christine August 01, 2011 at 11:59 PM
I really hope that's not the case here. It's one thing to deal with it paying the old prices at Ultrastar, but if I'm paying $19.50 + whatever the cost for food & a glass of wine is and have to deal with all the kids/teens I probably wouldn't go more than once.
Jason September 05, 2011 at 04:42 PM
as someone who would drive an extra 15 minutes and pay an extra $1.50 just to avoid the 'crowd' of crying babies, talking teens and cell phone conversations, I think it's a fantastic idea and will be there anytime a new movie comes to the screen. Lol, at those people talking about drunks stumbling out of the theatre as it's already been stated on their coming soon website that there will be a two drink minimum. Do your research before jumping to conclusions.
W. Mike Marshall October 02, 2011 at 09:06 PM
I've made a hobby of driving the El Camino Real corridor in Encinitas and La Costa and predicting which businesses will fail via our economy, demographics and the type of business. My estimate of this theater (that I can no longer take my child to) will last a year at the most. The price of a couple going out for a movie via this concept, with drinks, food, etc at an est. $100! No thanks, I'll stick to Netflix, a good surround sound system and my own store bought beer/wine. Will be great for a small minority of people, but no way going to be profitable enough to survive that centers rent, labor costs, etc. Just another fad being opened up in the wrong place and at the wrong time in our economy.
W. Mike Marshall October 02, 2011 at 09:17 PM
Jason, thanks for the good laugh, IS IT A 2 DRINK MINIMUM OR 2 DRINK MAXIMUM?! (a big difference!) Homework? lol The Carlsbad Police are gonna love this new DUI income generator!


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