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Apple Opens Largest West Coast Store on Santa Moncia Promenade

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

By Jason Islas
Staff Writer

December 17, 2012 -- Hundreds turned out Saturday morning to be among the first inside the new Apple store on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, the largest on the west coast, according to Apple officials.

The crowd awaits the new Mac store's opening (photos by Jason Islas)

People lined up almost the full length of Third Street between Santa Monica Boulevard and Broadway, eagerly awaiting the 9:00 a.m. opening of the newest Mac store, a building that is over 8,000 square feet with glass store front and ceiling.

A larger Mac store on the Promenade will certainly be an economic boon.

The new store is somewhat smaller than the Mac store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which pulls in approximately $440 million a year.

With the City's take being $1.25 for every $1,000, the new store could provide a decent bit of revenue.

Santa Monica's former mayor Richard Bloom, who was mayor when Apple decided to expand its Promenade store, said, “Apple has been a major player on the Promenade for many years.”

“It's clear that we want to be improving and renewing what we have and continue economic development,” he said, creating jobs for the people of Santa Monica while improving the economy.

And once the doors did open, cheers of the crowds and the red-shirted employees could be heard several blocks away.

Excited Mac fans were herded into the building -- and a sea of red shirts -- by security guards in black through the glass doors beneath the giant, iconic Apple logo overhead.

Each customer received a t-shirt, a high-five and a roar of cheers as they passed through the doors.

Inside, it was more like a holiday party than a retail store. John Lennon's “War is Over” blared over speakers while chipper employees with their red shirts -- each with the white Apple logo emblazoned on their chests -- made small talk with customers.

“I've been an Apple user ever since they started,” said Earl Fisher, a 40-year resident of Santa Monica. He sported a black beret and particolored scarf for the occasion.

He paused to look around. After a minute or so of silence, he said, “This is by far the most interesting store on the Promenade.”

Another long-time Santa Monica resident -- and Mac user -- said the building was gorgeous, adding it was an “architectural masterpiece.”

Though, he said it lacked the intimacy of the smaller store just up the street that has now been closed.

He glanced at the giant Apple logo over the entrance as he recalled the famous commercial from 1984 in which a woman, running from security guards, bursts into a room of uniformed people, all staring at a screen with face of an authoritarian leader droning on about the future.

In the commercial, she hurls a Soviet-style hammer at the screen which then bursts into a bright light.

“On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you will see why 1984 won't be like '1984,'” the text at the end of the commercial reads.

Most people Saturday were excited to play with the new toys.

Kecia Weller, a self-professed life-long Mac user, was happy to show off her brand new iPad.

“I love the new Apple store,” she said, through a huge smile.

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