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New AMC cinema opens at Westfield UTC mall, taking the place of ArcLight

The old ArcLight cinema at Westfield UTC is pictured after its opening in November 2012.
The ArcLight cinema at Westfield UTC is pictured after its opening in November 2012. The theater closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and has been replaced by AMC.
(File)

AMC opened a new movie theater in the place of shuttered luxury cinema ArcLight at the Westfield UTC mall Feb. 10.

ArcLight had been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and followed many high-profile movie chains going out of business after heavy losses during the first year of COVID.

AMC has taken over six leases across the state formerly belonging to Pacific Theaters and its ArcLight brand.

“AMC continues to play offense and aggressively seek out opportunities to strengthen our company through strategic acquisitions,” Chief Executive Adam Aron said in a statement.

The theater industry was hit hard early in the pandemic when capacity was limited in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Cinemas’ capacity often was capped at 50 percent and, even without restrictions, many cautious movie-goers decided to stay home.

California public health rules currently say everyone in the theater — regardless of vaccination status — needs to wear a mask. But starting Wednesday, Feb. 16, the state will lift mask requirements for vaccinated people in most indoor settings. Unvaccinated movie theater patrons still will be required to wear masks.

Westfield UTC’s ArcLight was the first to open outside Los Angeles County. Doors at the 14-screen theater opened in November 2012. ◆