The new Port Theater, which has been under renovation for more than a decade, will open to the public on Friday with a showing of the movie “Bernie,” owner Fariborz Maseeh has confirmed.
“We now have a theatre again in CDM!” Maseeh said in a statement. “We hope the new Port will offer a unique experience for its patrons across the spectrum of all art and entertainment platforms.”
The Port Theater opened in the 1950s with 900 seats. It closed in 1998 and was slated for demolition when it was sold. Renovations, which included significant seismic upgrades, have been underway for several years.
The theater opened briefly this April for the Newport Beach Film Festival; read our story here.
The comedy “Bernie” will be shown Friday. The film, made in 2011, stars Jack Black. Other films scheduled the first week include “Safety Not Guaranteed” and “First Position.”
Show times were not immediately available. The theater website is not yet live, but soon patrons should be able to check here for more information.
“The community can look forward to a theatre that represents its interests in entertainment and also fulfills the community’s need for a place to gather and connect with one another,” according to a news release. “A vibrant theatre will bring a new energy and vitality to its residential and business neighbors.”
The new Port Theater also has submitted an application for a use permit to allow an eating and drinking establishment with live entertainment, dancing, alcoholic beverage sales, and to operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. A conditional use permit also is necessary to reduce the parking requirements because the theater does not provide on-site parking, according to a city webpage. The application was submitted June 4, but no hearings have yet been scheduled.
In May, the theater briefly operated a cafe until complaints led to city officials shutting it down due to lack of proper permits; read our story here.
The theater is located at 2905 East Coast Highway.