Update on CinéArts Closing at Palo Alto Square

Published on July 08, 2021

On June 17, 2021, the City Manager Ed Shikada, Planning Director Jonathan Lait and Special Assistant to the City Manager Kara Apple met with Shawn McGarry and Kenneth Young of Hudson Pacific Properties, long term leaseholders of Palo Alto Square. An email from Mr. McGarry received on June 22, 2021 summarized what was discussed, namely that Century Cinema (CinéArts Theaters) had vacated the premises as of May 13, 2021.

As noted in Mr. McGarry’s email, Hudson Pacific Properties has not identified how they intend to use that space in the future.

CinéArts’ closure is a loss for Palo Alto and many community members have expressed their disappointment to the City Council. A change in land use for the theater space represents a change to the approved development plan, which could require an amendment to the Planned Community (PC) ordinance. Staff is researching the administrative record for this PC for further detail and has provided links to related reference materials that may be in the public’s interest, including:

There was also an earlier May 1978 modification to the development plan to limit the uses on a portion of the property (now 955 Page Mill Road) and to provide an additional access route over a 27-foot-wide easement from the site southward across the southern Pacific spur track through the parking lot of the building at 700 Hansen Way. Records for this approval were not immediately available at the time of this post.

The City Manager’s office continues to engage Hudson Pacific Properties with the goal of restoring a theater use at this site.

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