Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/30/2010 09:01:55 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – What will 2011 bring in San Bernardino? A cinema? An airport?

A new cinema represents the latest hope within the halls of San Bernardino government to bring commerce back to downtown.

“People ask me, No. 1, when is it (the movie theater) going to open?,” said Councilwoman Virginia Marquez, whose ward includes downtown.

Movement on a cinema idea is expected to happen soon after the new year begins.

The City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on Jan. 10 to consider a 34-year lease with Regal Cinemas to lease the downtown theater that has been vacant since CinemaStar left town in 2008.

Consultants and San Bernardino officials have said the development of a cinema alongside California Theatre, a live performance venue, is critical for downtown’s rebirth.

Another question is whether 2011 will be the year San Bernardino International Airport finally announces a deal to bring an airline to the former Norton base.

The airport’s Million Air franchise does business with private and charter flights, but millions of dollars of investment in a new terminal and rebuilt runways and taxiways has yet to produce a deal with a passenger carrier.

But even with much curiosity about the airport, Marquez said the second-most common question for her constituents is not the airport, but rather when the Westside will get a commercial gas station again.

An Arco station at the corner of Fifth Street and Mount Vernon Avenue closed in December after being open for nine months.

The new year will also be another election year. The city attorney’s, city clerk’s and city treasurer’s seats are scheduled for the November ballot.

The election follows an attempt to change the City Charter by giving the mayor and City Council power to appoint those positions.

To read entire story, click here.