Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas

6360 Sunset Boulevard,
Hollywood,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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RobertAlex
RobertAlex on June 14, 2014 at 12:07 am

Roger, I agree with you 100% which is why I was so disappointed. The problem is not the screen but rather what arclight has done to diminish the affects of the curve. The issue is the masking on the bottom corners of the screen.

RogerA
RogerA on June 13, 2014 at 5:23 pm

The screen at the Chinese was 120 feet but the curve made up for 20 feet of that so if you look at it dead on it was a little less than 100 feet wide the same size as the Imax screen is now. Only a small area of the screen at the Chinese was used. Width was limited to 65 feet for the 2:35 format 35mm film as the amount of light required to get 18 foot lamberts on a big screen will damage the film.

RogerA
RogerA on June 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Yes, the Cinerama Dome opened with Mad World in Ultra-Panavision the print being a single 70mm strand with 6 channels of mag sound on the print. The screen has a medium curve. I don’t know the exact angle. Not as curved as the original Cinerama or Todd-AO screens but the screen at the Dome is curved.

Some people hate it and to those who do I would suggest they just go see the film in another theater. There are loads of flat screens in the city. The screen at the Dome does not bother me even the mild distortion that some presentations have. I have seen films at the Dome for over twenty years. When A Million Ways to Die in the West was moved from the Dome to a Smaller theater I decided to wait and watch it in my home theater when it comes to DVD in a week or so. I don’t have a curved screen in my home theater but if someone would find me an anamorphic adapter I would install a curved screen. Some people hate curved screens and some people love the curved screen. I have seen 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Dome and at the Egyptian (flat screen) and it looked much better on the curved screen at the Dome.

The best curved screen was at Grauman’s Chinese in early 90’s. It was a very shallow curve and no one ever complained about that curved screen. I don’t think most people even knew it was curved.

RobertAlex
RobertAlex on June 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Jason, I know. I stood there with my mouth open knowing this dude had no clue to what he was speaking of and just walked away. I emailed Arclight, lets see if I get a response. Yes, it was Days of Future Past…or as I will call it now, the movie that smiled at me for 2 hours.:)

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on June 2, 2014 at 12:47 pm

actually the movie was x men dofp not xmen first class.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte on June 2, 2014 at 11:41 am

““no longer show 3 projector movies anymore as they used to when they opened”

They didn’t show “3 projector movies” when they opened in 1963. Good lord I want to smack whoever at the theater said that to you.

RobertAlex
RobertAlex on June 2, 2014 at 9:13 am

I finally made it back to the Dome last night after spending most movie weekends since last fall/summer at the Chinese or the Village (or the new Prime AMC Burbank). They finally were showing something I wanted to see that was not in 3D, X-Men FC. Wow, how depressing it was. The masking that they “fixed” the screen with last summer is even worse now. It is as if the screen looks like it is smiling, with the bottom right and left sides of the masking pulled up about 5 feet on either end. The screen looks small and distorted. It is as if you walked into a carved up theater from the 80’s where the screens didn’t really fit the space but they jammed them in.

It wasn’t that crowded so I walked around trying to find the sweet spot and couldn’t find it. From every part of the theater you can see how distorted the screen is. I guess they are trying to diminish the curve, but isnt that why we come to the Dome, to see a giant curved screen? It was hard to tell, but I cannot imagine it to be bigger then 70 feet now. I know it is supposed to be 86 feet wide, but that has got to be used only for 70mm showings such as when I saw IAMMMMW in fall ‘12. It is so bad (IMO) that the screen they used for Evita (when they put a flat screen in front of the curved screen) looked way better then what I saw last night.

I went out and complained and the manager told me that they had to do that since they “no longer show 3 projector movies anymore as they used to when they opened”. I sighed and walked away.

RogerA
RogerA on December 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I went to The Wolf of Wall Street. Great seats, (I booked early) sound was perfect, excellent presentation. I don’t mind the curved screen and the picture quality was excellent.

The movie that’s for you to decide.

Flix70
Flix70 on November 14, 2013 at 10:03 am

Anybody catch “JFK” in the Dome this past Tuesday night? If so, do tell.

Mark_L
Mark_L on November 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I remember Jerry Lewis promoting the Dome on his short-lived ABC variety show from 1963.

Coate
Coate on November 7, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Happy 50th anniversary to the Cinerama Dome, which opened for business fifty years ago today.

RogerA
RogerA on November 2, 2013 at 8:04 am

My mistake the Rivoli payed an advance of $1,250,000 to get Cleopatra

RogerA
RogerA on November 1, 2013 at 9:39 pm

to bigjoe

It would be interesting to see an as close to possible roadshow version of Mad World. Stills in place of footage that is missing may annoy some people so I suppose both versions would be best. I assume the sound as well as the picture is missing. They did make some three projector prints of Mad World those should be close to road show length if any survived. As long the whole Ultra-Panavision frame is shown that is a given but the longest version available would be fine by me.

The 65mm negative for Cleopatra should be in pretty good shape. The Rivoli in New York paid a million dollars in advance to book Cleopatra. A large up front advance was required to play the film. The Rivoli did make its money back and the film had a long roadshow run at that theater. Many people traveled to New York City just to see Cleopatra. Theaters in smaller cities payed a smaller advance and many of those theaters did not make their advance back. The general audience did not appreciate the film. Cleopatra was a run away production there were huge cost over runs and producing a movie in Todd-AO was expensive prints were expensive; Fox was strapped for cash because of Cleopatra. It took years to get most of their money back. Of course Cleopatra was followed by Sound of Music and that was an instant hit and a cash cow in roadshow and in general release. What almost put Fox into bankruptcy was Star, Doctor Doolittle and Hello Dolly these three Todd-AO films did not do well at the box office. Easy Rider was shot in 16mm by anyone who could hold a camera and out grossed Hello Dolly. Viet Nam had made the country cynical. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was designed to roadshow but the public taste had changed it did not do well. While some theaters did well with a popular movie that movie may have been in four channel magnetic, or even mono optical others would get into financial trouble with a 70mm show like Chitty. The inflation of the 70’s and the increase in the cost of energy put many of these big roadshow theaters out of business. There was a roadshow theater in Boston called the Astor it was a Todd-AO theater and it lost money for years in the late 60’s and early 70’s. There now stands a multiplex run by AMC on the same site taking up the same area as the one theater once did.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on November 1, 2013 at 6:34 pm

to RogerA-

again thanks for your reply. a quick two part follow up question.

*since IAMMMMW has a direct link to this theater having been its premiere attraction I have a question for you. with the Criterion Blu-ray coming out in January would you prefer the longest version possible with actual footage approximating the original roadshow cut or do you not mind stills taking the place of lost footage.

*at the end of your last post you said-“while Cleopatra bankrupted many a theater it was a grand and glorious time”. how did Cleopatra bankrupt many a theater? in played its roadshow run in L.A. and Manhattan for just over year. I can’t imagine a premiere 1st run theater keeping a roadshow engagement for a year let alone over a year if it wasn’t doing reasonable business. also I wish people would stop referring to the film as a flop, bomb etc…… as corny
and hokey as it is its still one of the best historical epics in film history. the only reason people have referred to it as flop, bomb etc… is because it cost to frigging much for the dollar value of the day, in this case June 1963.

RogerA
RogerA on November 1, 2013 at 7:26 am

After the initial release two scenes in A Clockwork Orange were replaced in order for the X rating to be reduced to an R rating. Kubrick would not let anyone view the original version once the change was made.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 1, 2013 at 6:41 am

Bigjoe59… The decision to cut “2001” was made by Kubrick, himself, who thought that the film could use a bit of tightening, as well as one or two inserts to connect the monolith with the idea to use the animal bone as a weapon. Similarly, with “The Shining” (which came some years after the age of roadshows), Kubrick decided to excise the film’s original coda, as unecessarily explanatory. In both cases, Kubrick having complete control over the way he intended his films to be shown, the trims were either destroyed or locked away in some personal vault.

If the Kubrick Estate is in possession of this material, it is possible that these will one day find their way into the market, but, thus far, Kubrick’s curators have been very faithful to preserving the presentation of his work in strict accordance with his wishes. I don’t think longer cuts will ever be in order, but I could envision the trims making it into an “extras” feature on future DVD/Blu-Ray releases. It would also be great to see the abandoned pie-fight sequence from Dr Strangelove, while we’re at it…

RogerA
RogerA on October 31, 2013 at 8:59 pm

The cut footage was tossed in the trash like so many other things. Prints have faded. There is an an age old phrase and that was faded by Deluxe. The future use of the original negative and footage wasn’t envisioned in the twentieth century. I remember screenings in Hollywood where I met with people in control of this media and they questioned the reason for keeping these old films and negatives. Many a print has been run through a band-saw or used as slug in sound editing. Millions of feet went to be recycled. Some footage has survived and much has not. Cuts were made by the filmmakers and cuts were made by the studio.

Once a film was in general release there was little reason for the studio to cut it. The long films were a problem. Some theaters ran two shows a day some ran three but these long films couldn’t be run more than three times a day. An early show shortly after noon then a mid day show and an evening show. Managers anxious to cut theater payroll and reduce hours (union projectionists didn’t work cheap) may have trimmed some general release prints as much as possible by cutting the intermission (that takes fifteen minutes at least) but once a film was in general release I don’t know of any case where the film once in general release was officially cut by the filmmaker or the studio. Of course these films were butchered for television and could have been cut for re-release. Many a film was butchered for television. Yes, the powers that were in charge figured that once a film was televised that was the end of its useful life.

Star Wars ran almost twenty four hours a day in Los Angeles and other major cities when it was released and many a projectionist sent their kids to Harvard on the overtime pay. Managers were glad to pay the overtime. While Cleopatra bankrupted many a theater. It was a grand and glorious time.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on October 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Hello to RogerA.–

many thanks for your follow up e-mail. if I might repeat myself-when roadshow runs finished films would then go to “continuous performances at popular prices” in one of the many 1st run theaters in Manhattan.in most cases the films were shortened by simply cutting out the overture, intermission, entr'acte and exit music. then went the films went to neighborhood theaters around NYC the films themselves would be tweaked. to which i don’t understand why films would be tweaked in their roadshow runs. wasn’t the whole point of the roadshow policy to have 2 shows a day? so why did it matter how long the film was?

unfortunately IAMMMMW was one of the films that was tweaked when it was still in its quite popular road- show run. something I don’t understand since again it only had 2 shows a day anyway.

other films that opened on 2 a day roadshow run that were unfortunately tweaked shortly after they premiered were Cleopatra and Lawrence of Arabia. again something I don’t get. fortunately in the case of Cleopatra the footage that was cut within weeks from the premiere roadshow print of 4hrs. 6 mins. was properly preserved so the recently released stunning blu-ray disc is the original premiere roadshow cut. sad to say this isn’t the case with any of the home video versions released to date of IAMMMMW.

its interesting most 2001 devotees probably don’t know that Kubrick’s original cut was 20mins. longer. what i’m not sure about is if the longer cut was ever actually used in the premiere roadshow run at Loew’s Capitol. if the 20mins was cut out say the day before the film’s premiere was it preserved or just tossed?

one last thought and its about an interesting fact you point out. The Sound of Music was one of the very few roadshow films that played its second run continuous performance engagements and its neighborhood theater runs with the exact same cut that played the Rivoli for a year and a half. the only difference being the film played straight thru without an intermission.

RogerA
RogerA on October 29, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Bigjoe in the days of film it took a little effort to tweak a film. Sound and picture had to be cut separately and new prints had to be made. Or sections of the print had to be replaced. If the films were shortened for neighborhood theaters it was done by the theater owners. Do you have any examples of films that were tweaked in their roadshow run? I know Mad World was and there was a longer version of 2001. The standard release print of Sound of Music was the same as the roadshow version and it was not unusual for managers to order the projectionist to skip the intermission.

RogerA
RogerA on October 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm

to Bigjoe there was a roadshow release usually with multi channel magnetic sound then there was a 35mm print with mono optical sound sent to neighborhood theaters they didn’t do that much tweeking.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on October 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm

to RogerA-

thanks for your reply but I am still a bit confused. I understand the studio’s mindset of tweaking a film when it finished its roadshow run and went to a 2nd run theater. then when it went to the neighborhood theaters around NYC being tweaked further. but i don’t understand tweaking a film when it was still in its roadshow run. at that stage it only had 2 shows a day anyway so what was the point? making a film 15mins. shorter say seems bizarre if they still only had 2 shows a day.

RogerA
RogerA on October 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm

To answer your question Bigjoe most films that were cut were cut to allow more shows per day. A few because the filmmakers felt it was too long. A Star is Born was butchered to allow more shows. The road show version of Mad World was just too long for a comedy so it was cut. The general release prints were cut even more. It was not unusual for the general release print to be quite different from the roadshow print.

chspringer
chspringer on October 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm

The Criterion.com pages show the release date of Mad World as January 21, 2014. The set will contain 4K transfers of both the general release version and a reconstructed 197 minute version.

ChasSmith
ChasSmith on October 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm

http://www.criterion.com/films/28579-it-s-a-mad-mad-mad-mad-world

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on October 27, 2013 at 5:03 pm

to Peter A.–

thanks for the info about roadshow run of IAMMMMW. you seem quite knowledgeable so I have a question for you. in the prime roadshow period of Oct. 1955 thru Dec. 1972 it was common practice to tweak a film after it finished its initial roadshow run and opened on a popular prices continuous performance run at another theater. this was done in many cases by simply deleting the overture, intermission and exit music. then when a film went to neighborhood runs around NYC they would actually tweak the film itself to get in more performances per day. this is where my question comes in- what in God’s name was the point of tweaking a film when it was still in its quite popular roadshow run? there were only 2 shows a day anyway. this was also done to “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Cleopatra”. makes absolutely no sense to me.

also on this page a fellow poster noted that this coming January 2014 the Criterion Collection was going to release a Blu-ray of the film in the longest version available that approximates the original roadshow cut. Amazon will often list an upcoming blu-ray disc long before the release date, sometimes 3 to 4 months. but they have no listing for a Criterion Collection blu-ray disc of IAMMMMW at all let alone one with a January date.