Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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HowardBHaas on October 10, 2007 at 1:07 pm


I checked, but wasn’t at “2001” on the same day in November that you reported seeing it at the Uptown. I was there on another day.

Under the relatively new AMC operation, the DC Uptown isn’t showing classics, 35 or 70mm. They’d likely need to bring back the union projectionists for presentation of classics. In addition to the platter that the union projectionist hated to see arrive in the booth during the prior Loews tenure, the Uptown has the projectors. I believe AMC operates the Seatle venue, so maybe they should learn from Seattle!

For that matter, the two side projection booths are still there, though sealed up. The original Cinerama screen has been replaced, but if the current screen isn’t suitable, a new Cinerama screen….and Cinerama could return to the Uptown if an operator was willing.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 10, 2007 at 12:35 pm

You’re so right, Howard. The Uptown is another great place to see “2001” in Cinerama. Maybe they’ll show it again there too someday? It’s a lot closer than Seattle (I’m in NJ). I saw it there in November 2001 and, from the front row, it really was the ultimate trip!

HowardBHaas on October 10, 2007 at 12:20 pm

I agree with Bill’s comments.Seeing a gorgeous 70 mm 6 track print of “2001” at the Uptown in Washington DC with its huge curved Cinerama sized screen was one of the best moviegoing experiences I’ve ever had! On a huge curved screen, “2001” is an incredible experience.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 10, 2007 at 12:06 pm

I might make the trip to Seattle myself for “2001”. That was meant to be seen on a gigantic curved Cinerama screen. It’s an entirely different experience from seeing it in flat 70mm. I was hoping either Seattle or the Dome would someday show it again.

JSA on October 10, 2007 at 9:52 am

Well, guess I’m heading to Seattle. The Cinerama Theater there will showcase a 70 mm series through 2008 that includes “2001”, “Tron” and “Lawrence of Arabia”.


exit on October 10, 2007 at 1:49 am

I remember hearing about how ArcLight moves platter footage between the Dome and the plex in a big box… with some kind of magnetic closure… and that it didn’t occur to them that transporting an expensive 70 mag print of Lawrence in that magnetic box wasn’t a good idea. I hear it pretty much ruined the soundtrack.

And remember that the curved screen is not to blame for the horizon sag at the dome, it’s their refusal to put a standard booth in the back of the mezz where a straight-on throw would eliminate the sag and brighten the picture… heaven forbid they give up 39 seats under the main booth that no one wants to sit in anyway… Even with the upstairs booth, 35mm scope looked better there when they had the sense not to try to fill the whole screen. Bring the botttom masking up and the side masking in at least. Oh yeah, andinstead of using a properly anchored louvered screen to avoid cross reflection, they put in a low-gain sheet screen, so the bad picture is a combination of an inferior screen, bad throw angle, and blowing up 35mm far too big to give a bright sharp picture on that screen. 2 or 3 4K digital projectors running together would increase brightness and sharpness, and they could be digitally rectified for the curve.

If you want to make the Dome more of a showplace, get rid of the blue lights, make sure all the ring lights go on and off at the same time, explain to them that the curtain is there to ensure that we never see a blank screen, and schedlue regular “event” screenings so that anyone visiting could see at least one Cinerama and/or 70mm screening whenever they visit. And are you SURE they don’t have at least two reel to reel projectors up there?

KramSacul on October 10, 2007 at 1:42 am

Until the projection angle is fixed I can’t imagine sitting thru any 35mm, 70mm, 2k, 4k, film in the Dome. Just no.

How good can Digibeta look on a theater-sized screen? I would’ve asked for my money back but it sounds like it was passable.

JSA on October 10, 2007 at 12:26 am

Chris: I would venture to say that many times the “lust for greed” doesn’t even pay off. Which makes such indulgence even more puzzling. Just a few weeks ago you could not find a seat for a 70 MM screening of “Baraka” at the Aero, and “Lawrence of Arabia” plays there to capacity crowds. Go figure…


exit on October 9, 2007 at 1:11 pm

I heartily agree, Chris, but seeing the way ArcLight operates, I have little hope for it.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on October 9, 2007 at 12:56 pm

I have a better question: Why not borrow a page from the Ziegfield and run classics in the Dome instead of crap like “The Heartbreak Kid” during off-season? January – April & September – October are the times when Hollywood puts out crap. Why indulge their lust for greed by showing their crap during these down months?!

exit on October 9, 2007 at 11:42 am

And what happened to all the Cinerama merchandise? Certainly it sold better than all the ArcLight stuff.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on October 5, 2007 at 11:31 pm

Howard: They announced the cancellation of “The Shawshank Redemption” long before the event. Those who bought tickets either got refunds or got tickets to one of the other movies.

lgk697386 on October 5, 2007 at 5:28 pm

Roadshow, thanks for the clarification. I could swear there was an overture on the DVD, but I am sure you are right. We essentially had the overture for about 90 minutes prior to the screening as they played the soundtrack on a loop for the early arrivals. I heard that, in the Rocky room, “Gonna Fly Now” was played ad nauseum.

William on October 5, 2007 at 5:13 pm

In the old Dome booth panel they had five aspect settings to choose from: Flat (1.85) / Scope (2.35) / 70MM (1:85 masking) / 70MM (Full width) / Cinerama (full screen). So people who saw films there from 1963 till the late 1970’s could have seen a film on the full screen. When they put Xenon lamphouses they only used four of those buttons on that panel. Pacific’s projection department disconnected the Cinerama button from the panel. The full screen was still there but the operator could not open it the full Cinerama width. The D-150 type houses did the same thing too.

exit on October 5, 2007 at 5:04 pm

LenK: Sound of Music never had an overture. I agree the presentation was awkward, as if the operators had no idea what an intermission was, and just ran it like any other reel change, maybe from a platter. Again someone whould have told them, either actually have an intermission break or just changeover from the actone fadeout to the act 2 fade in.

The last real roadshow I paid to see was Fiddler on the Roof at NYC’s Rivoli in 72. They had 3 shows that day (prob a Sat) 2-5-8. I was at the 5… At the end of Act I the picture faded out, then the fade in to Act II came on imediately. It was done quite smoothly but even as a kid, I knew they skipped the intermission to allow more walk-in time for the 8pm show. Having that in mind, the professional union projectionist most likely threaded the second act reel past the blank entr'acte, and did an early changeover before the intermission title.

from much personal experience with them, I doubt there are any management staff at the ArcLignt who know what a roadshow or intermission is.

exit on October 5, 2007 at 4:49 pm

Since we were talking about how a print looks to a viewer, that’s what I meant about the cue marks.

The Dome used to cover 2/3 to ¾ of the screen for 35mm, and wisely reserved the full screen size for 70mm.

Since ArcLight now insists on using the full size of the Dome’s screen for every format, 35mm will look dim, and grainy or soft. 70mm will be a much brighter and sharper image.

In other words, 70mm would look much better, so you would probably see the difference.

lgk697386 on October 5, 2007 at 4:44 pm

I was at the AFI event and saw “The Sound of Music.” They did not do an overture. We had the same intermission problem. As soon as the intermission went up on the screen, people start to leave. But, they went straight to the blank screen entr'acte. Most people in the audience didn’t understand what was happening. They thought they were missing part of the film. Very confusing and it dampened what should have been a wonderful night. No exit music either. All of it exists on the DVD.
BTW, in our auditorium, Julie Andrews was introduced by George Stevens Jr. In the audience was the girl who played Liesl as well as the widow of Robert Wise.

William on October 5, 2007 at 4:20 pm

All cue scribes for cue makers and cues are round, it’s the lens that makes them oval. So a round cue printed on a Scope print will be oval. When you look at it on a bench it’s round. For 70MM there round and scribed on to the print at the lab.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 5, 2007 at 4:05 pm

70mm: perfectly round marks in upper right corner of the screen
35mm: oval marks

Is that right?

William on October 5, 2007 at 3:54 pm

“You can tell if it’s a 70 print by the shape of the changeover cue marks.”


Please tell more.

exit on October 5, 2007 at 3:39 pm

You can tell if it’s a 70 print by the shape of the changeover cue marks.

HowardBHaas on October 5, 2007 at 3:19 pm

(1) Somebody might want to ask the AFI if 35 or 70 mm print of Spartacus was shown. I hope there’s still a good 70 mm print available.

(2) People bought tickets and were looking forward to seeing it, but weren’t shown The Shawshank Redemption? Why didn’t they just borrow one of the celebrities from another auditorium to give an introduction?

Regardless, sounds like a great event.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on October 5, 2007 at 10:04 am

Roadshow: They DID close the curtain when the Intermission card came on.

Bill: Kirk just gave Kubrick the normal “great director” accolades. Dalton Trumbo was truly & literally the focus of Kirk’s remarks.

BTW: Said remarks are now available at the LA Times Calendar section (

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 5, 2007 at 9:41 am

Chris: Did Kirk have anything to say, nice or otherwise, about Stanley Kubrick?

exit on October 4, 2007 at 6:59 pm

One would think with an organization such as AFI, care would have been taken to either present the intermission properly or cue a changeover before the title came on. Someone should have known better… I wonder if the same thing didn’t happen with the other roadshow feature they were running…