This popular shopping and entertainment area was built it 1993 and expanded in 2000. It provides a link between parking areas and the theme park, gives customers an opportunity to spend more money (and eat and shop) after leaving the theme park, and gives local residents a buzzing environment to spend dollars and see movies.
The whole area (along with parking structures and service areas) can be used by production companies for filming.
During the 2000 expansion, an outdoor video screen and lighting system was added to CityWalk.
“Since 1993, CityWalk has boosted the city’s rhythm through a foundation built on providing memorable entertainment experiences. With a series of dramatic enhancements currently underway that includes the introduction of new restaurants, shopping experiences, visually aesthetic design features and the completed state-of-the-art movie theatre renovation, the spotlight shines brightly on CityWalk as it continues to resonate as one of L.A.’s most influential lifestyle centers.” from 2016 press release
- Shopgirl (2005, Steve Martin)
- Neighbors (aka Bad Neighbours in the UK) (2014, Zac Efron & Seth Rogen are seen outside Abercrombie & Fitch at the end of the film – see right)
Opened in 1987 by Cineplex Odeon (“the worlds’ largest cinema complex features 18 wide-screen theatres, 6000 seats, state-of-the-art sound and free parking”), before Universal CityWalk had been constructed, the Universal City Cinemas now contain 18 regular motion picture auditoria and one IMAX screen.
Stadium-style seating was introduced in 2007, when AMC Loews took over operation of the facility.
The cinemas were upgraded in 2016 to Dolby ATMOS immersive surround sound and Christie RGB laser projectors.
In April 2017 the cinema was rebranded Universal Cinema, and was officially opened on 21 April 2017.
LA Times article about the redeveloped venue (December 2016)
April 20, 2007 — Universal CityWalk Cinemas celebrates its sweeping top-to-bottom re-launch with an unprecedented “Open House” at the movies offering guests a free day of movie-going complete with free popcorn and free soft drinks and introducing audiences to “The Best Movie-Going Experience in L.A.” on Thursday, May 3, beginning with the first late-morning screenings and continuing through the last regular showtimes of the day.
Guests will enjoy a free “first look” at the Universal CityWalk Cinemas’ (CityWalk Stadium 19) comprehensive re-do, featuring technically advanced screens, a sophisticated, state-of-the-art sound system, an “eye-popping” interior and exterior design and the widest, stadium-style seating available in any U.S. theatre.
“Open House” guests will find lavishly remodeled theatres and will be seated in custom-made, ergonomically-designed stadium-style “rocker seats,” measuring 26″ in width with first-class spacious leg room. They’ll watch movies on new, wider, curved wall-to-wall movie screens, and enjoy perfectly balanced digital surround-sound systems.
Living up to its billing as “The Entertainment Capital of L.A.,” Universal Studios Hollywood celebrates summer 2007 with the “New CityWalk,” featuring a lively mix of new dining choices, a collection of contemporary retail favorites, an exciting range of entertainment that includes free concert performances and free outdoor movie screenings as well as the ever-popular mechanical bull-riding at Saddle Ranch Chop House, virtual NASCAR racing, salsa dancing at the Rumba Room, and the newly revitalized 18-screen and IMAX theatres.
UNIVERSAL CITYWALK’S AMC THEATRE RECEIVES MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR UPGRADE CREATING ALL-NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART CINEMA
December 13, 2016 – Universal CityWalk unwraps a multi-million dollar renovation of its AMC Theatre to create an all-new state-of-the-art Universal Cinema, debuting just in time for the holidays and offering movie-goers a chance to catch the latest seasonal blockbusters from the comfort of deluxe, recliner seating.
For film buffs, CityWalk has long been the epicenter for fans seeking an environment that matches the excitement of their favorite blockbuster movies. As part of if its bold revitalization, CityWalk now elevates the movie-going experience to new heights as the 18-screen and IMAX AMC Theatre updates with the most technologically advanced sight and sound achievements. A complete remodel of the split level structure includes the installation of deluxe recliner seats in 18 theatres—the equivalent of those found in Hollywood screening rooms—making every seat, the best seat in the house.
Each redesigned theatre has been fully upgraded with Christie RGB Laser projection, Dolby Atmos immersive surround sound and equipped with Christie Vive speakers for optimal audio performance. The installation of new, state-of-the art screens, perforated to enable 360 degree audio, complement the overall enhancements.
The recent upgrade to the IMAX theatre features next-generation 4K laser projection and 12-channel sound systems designed to enhance the entire movie-going experience and provide audiences with sharper, brighter, clearer and more vivid digital images than ever.
The Director’s Lounge Cocktail Bar—an all-new dedicated and stylish second level retreat, flanked by the upper level theatres—adds a charismatic new dimension to the space as it blends high-tech elegance with chic sophistication for casual pre- and post- movie-going fun. Beverages served at the Lounge can also be taken into the second level theatres.
Additionally, movie-goers can enjoy $5 Movie General Parking with the purchase of a movie ticket.
Food / Drink
- B.B.Kings Blues Club
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (formerly Gladstones)
- Buca Di Beppo
- Camacho’s Cantina
- Cafe Tu Tu Tango
- Crepe Cafe
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Jody Maroni’s Sausage Kingdom
- Karl Strauss Brewery Garden
- KFC / Pizza Hut
- Panda Express
- Saddle Ranch Chop House
- Shanghai and Mein (Closed for redevelopment)
- Starbucks Coffee
- Tony Roma’s
- Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse
- Wolfgang Puck’s
- More information on CityWalk dining
Other Entertainment at CityWalk
As well as eating and shopping, there are various entertainment venues at CityWalk.
- Rhumba Room (latin dancing)
- Sky Venture
- Gibson Amphitheatre
- Universal Chamber of Chills (October / November 1996)
- Showscan ‘Emaginator’ (November 1993 – ?)
- NASCAR Speedway – Virtual NASCAR Speedway racing on CityWalk.