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RIVERSIDE, CA- UltraStar Cinemas will build 16 to 18 movie screens at the new Villaggio at Mission Inn & Market project Downtown, according to Alan Mruvka, developer of the Villaggio and founder of E! Entertainment Television.

The theater chain becomes the first major tenant to sign a lease for space at the new development and will anchor the project, which is a mixed-use venue. Alan Grossberg, president and CEO of Carlsbad-based UltraStar, says his company sees “enormous growth in Downtown Riverside,” making it a natural location for expansion of the chain.

Besides the planned multiplex theater, the project will include 180,000 sf of upscale shopping, dining and entertainment, 90,000 sf of apartments and condos, an 80,000-sf office tower and a 700-car parking structure.

Scheduled to open in the summer of 2005, the theaters will occupy up to 90,000 sf of the 350,000-sf center. The box office will be located in the center’s main courtyard, with the stadium-seating theaters located on the second floor overlooking fountains and the center’s main passageway, “Via Villaggio.”

Designed by MBH Architects of Newport Beach in consultation with Atelier Architects of Sherman Oaks, the Villaggio is located in the center of Historic Downtown Riverside, directly adjacent to the Mission Inn Hotel and to the Inland Empire’s Justice Center.

Mruvka, who has since left E!, is currently president of the Alan Mruvka Co., which specializes in retail, residential, commercial and community development in California, New York and New Jersey. Last year his company removed the 100-year-old historic Ironworks Building in Riverside, a 35,000-sf abandoned brick structure, and converted it into first-class office space that is now home to two Fortune 500 companies. Mruvka’s firm recently completed the renovation of the 80-year-old Santa Fe Depot Railroad Station in the city, converting it a restaurant and office space.

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