For 40 years, the Harkins Camelview 5 at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall has been the best place in town to catch an independent or limited-release film.
Located in a small building which is detached from the main mall, the Camelview 5 has dutifully served its clientele of indie moviegoers since 1973. The building's exterior is distinguished by several large metal "mushrooms" adorned with neon lights, which are a local landmark all of their own.
Nearby in the main section of Fashion Square Mall, Harkins Theaters also operates a 7 screen theater showing the latest new releases. For a long time, this proved to be a good setup. However, Harkins has recently announced plans to combine the two theaters into a new 14-screen theater under one roof.
The new Harkins Camelview 14 is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2015 according to the Harkins website. Harkins told the Phoenix New Times that both theaters will remain open until the new one is ready next year.
The revamped Camelview 14 will continue to show art house and independent movies as it presently does. The theater will also be Harkins' most luxurious movie house yet, with reclining chairs, 4K digital projectors, and a bar inside that serves alcohol.
The addition of a luxury theater will allow Harkins to compete with other high-end offerings such as Studio Movie Grill in North Scottsdale and AMC Esplanade.
However, not everyone is enthusiastic about the new theater. Fans of the original Camelview 5 have organized to fight for the preservation of the theater. An online petition and Facebook group have sprung up, with nearly 700 people following the group's activities.
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