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Top 10 stories of 2011: No. 8 — Atascadero shows first flicks since ‘06

Posted: Thursday, Dec 29th, 2011

Galaxy Theatres’ 10-screen cineplex had its grand opening in mid-March. People from all over North County showed up to enjoy the first new movies shown to the public in Atascadero since 2006.

William Stewart of Atascadero saw “Battle Los Angeles” on Saturday, March 19; he said he was relieved not to have to drive 13 miles to see a movie any more.

“Galaxy is a heck of a lot better,” Stewart said. “It’s very clean, and the employees seem happy to be there.”

Stewart’s point of view was the norm over opening weekend. Tracy Hubbards of Paso Robles saw “Limitless” in the VIP theater with her boyfriend on Friday evening. She said she reserved their tickets online, and was thrilled to have a glass of wine during the film.

“We’ll definitely be going back for date night,” Hubbards said. “But [Park Cinemas] is much closer, so we’ll be going back there, too.”

North County’s other theater, Park Cinemas in Paso Robles, had a pretty normal weekend, owner John Roush said. He added that it is too early to say what impact Galaxy’s opening will have on Park Cinemas.

“We’re the only locally owned and operated theater in the North County,” Roush said. “Citizens understand their money will stay in the North County.”

Conspicuously absent during the opening weekend were lines.

Galaxy patrons can buy tickets online at or in the lobby at one of three kiosks or the staffed box office. Seating for all auditoriums is reserved.

Reserved seating was one of Stewart’s favorite Galaxy features.

“An usher showed me to my seat,” he said enthusiastically. “The only time I waited in line was for popcorn, and that was only for about a minute.”

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