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Blue Oaks Cinema sold to Cinemark

Cinemark halts construction of competiting location
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Just over a year after the Rocklin opening of Blue Oaks Cinema 16, the business is changing hands. Cinemark has announced plans to take over operation of the all-digital 3,000 seat multiplex that opened in November 2010 from the previous owner, Santa-Rosa based SR Entertainment. "We are excited to be in the area," said James Meredith, Cinemark USA, Inc.'s vice president of Marketing and Communications. Officials from SR Entertainment confirmed the changeover. The transition is expected to take place Friday. Details of the sale have not been released and SR Entertainment CEO and President Dan Tocchini could not be reached for comment. Tocchini put nearly $10 million into converting the former Mervyn’s department store. Last January Tocchini backed off his expectations of nearly 800,000 moviegoers visiting Blue Oaks annually. He told the Placer Herald he was unsure there were enough moviegoers to support two competing theatres. "There is no need for two theaters to be there," he said. Cinemark Theatres, which currently operate the Century Roseville 14 Theaters on Eureka Road in Roseville, was planning to build a 14-screen 2,587-seat theatre along Highway 65 and Washington Boulevard. Now that development is on hold. According to the City of Roseville, an October public hearing on the project was canceled. "The project has not been withdrawn," Roseville Associate Planner Gina McColl said. "(City) staff is just waiting for direction from the applicant before we proceed with scheduling a hearing date." Meredith said the 59-acre project, identified as Parcel 49, may go forward -- without a cinema. "While we will focus on operating the theater in Rocklin, we still own the property in Roseville," Meredith said. The original development plan filed with the city of Roseville included 20,000 square-feet of hotel space, 36,000 square-feet of restaurant space, 637,000 square-feet of retail space and 25,000 square-feet of office space. "We have reached out to potential tenants for the tract where the theatre was originally scheduled and we hope to be able to move forward with development plans soon," Meredith said.