What do Rivian, the history of Hollywood, and coffee have in common? Very little as of writing, but they’ll come together on December 9, 2023, when the brand opens its flagship retail space in an extensively renovated historic movie theater located in Laguna Beach, Calif.
Rivian purchased the South Coast Theater, which was inaugurated in 1935 as the New Lynn Theater, and spent several years restoring it with a major focus on originality. The 11,000-square-foot facility retains the lobby area, the marquee, the ticket booth, the proscenium arch, and the 129-seat theater area, among other features. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in March 2023.
Above all, the theater’s mission is to sell trucks and SUVs; Rivian isn’t pouring money into an old building merely to keep local residents entertained and to give motorists something pretty to look at as they drive by. Visitors will be able to check out the R1S and the R1T, get details such as pricing and specifications from sales personnel, and buy branded merchandise. Test drives will not be offered, however.
The facility will continue to show movies thanks to a partnership between Rivian and the Laguna Beach-based Coast Film Foundation. Don’t expect to catch the next Batman there; the theater will mostly play independent films, particularly those that highlight outdoorsy topics. Which brings us to coffee: Rivian saved space in the building for a coffee shop, and we’re told a selection of pastries will be on the menu. The facility will also sell various items made by local artisans, while Orange County-based Almond Surfboards will display its surfboards.
Rivian will publish details about the movies it will screen and the events it will organize in the South Coast Theater on its website. For locals, the building is located at 160 South Coast Highway, right across the street from the beach. Fear not: Rivian says sandy shoes are welcome.