Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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RogerA on January 10, 2017 at 1:22 am

I just went to see La La Land in cinema 10 at the Arclight. After one hour I couldn’t stand it any more and left. It might have been enjoyable if the quality of the picture wasn’t so poor. Poor is an understatement it was unwatchable. The big joke at the beginning was the CinemaScope logo! A CinemaScope picture was bright and sharp. Not dim and fuzzy. Digital just looks like $hit. I know you people don’t get it. Maybe your vision isn’t what it used to be. Maybe you just don’t remember. The fact is when you blow up a low quality video it looks bad unless you are sitting in the back row of the theater. And at this point I don’t care if it is 2k 4k or 8k. 24FPS 48FPS 60FPS 120FPS (anything over 60 is a waste by the way). It doesn’t seem to matter. Digital looks great on my small screen. Looks great on a large screen TV. But when digital it is projected on a large screen it just looks bad. The bigger the screen the worse it looks. I walked out of Star Wars at an AMC because the presentation was horrid. Management apologized and refunded my money. So Chris “the days of film are over” well if that is true then most of the theaters will soon follow. The real sin is they had two film projectors in Cinema 10 and supposedly this was shot on film. But of course they probably went to digital to do the edit so there goes all the goodness of film.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on December 9, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Answering Roger’s question: When Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened in December 2015, The Dome touted their new laser projection system…thereby putting the nail in the coffin in regards to film. They DO have a 70MM equipped auditorium in the regular ArcLight complex. But the days of film in The Dome look to be over.

So…no. They don’t care. They have followed the wave of change and new technology. I’ll be leaving LA for good in 2017 but I’m thankful that I was able to see The Dome utilized in its full and complete glory. I’ve seen 70MM, 3 strip Cinerama and the recent 120 FPS experiment that was “Billy Flynn’s Long Halftime Walk” here. I will always cherish my memories of this theatre.

Flix70 on December 8, 2016 at 4:37 pm

Hey, I’d prefer to see Cinerama in three-strip projection, too, but, I’m not going to completely write off the format because they’re exhibiting it digitally.

Cinerama’s too important historically to just be swept under the rug completely (I’ve been a film journalist for over 25 years, so I know a little about it, too). These films still deserve to bee seen on the largest screen possible. Granted, three-strip projection is ideal, but we, unfortunately, have to take what we can get it this digital age, whether we like it or not.

I can tell you I’d sure prefer to see them on the Dome’s concave screen, in any format, in their “old-style seats,” instead of in my living room.

Sure, Seattle Cinerama and Aero get the significance of film over digital, they’re not a corporation like Decurion, which owns Pacific & Arclight. But as long as palaces like the Dome still stand, I’ll take whatever they exhibit for as long as I can. Because one day they’ll be gone and all we’ll be left with is our living room.

RogerA on December 6, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Well adapt to the fact that film is the new vinyl!

I am a IMDB listed Director of photography so I do know a little about this.

For ten years Cinerama ran films that were just well done home movies. Boring. The three camera movies are only worth watching in the three projector format. The Seattle Cinerama does it. Some people just don’t get it film, when done right, looks better than digital! The resolution of film is much higher than digital. As for presentation; Star Wars at the Chinese in 70mm on Norelcos with 13.6 carbon arcs was brighter and sharper than the laser projection they have now. Three projector Cinerama was super sharp and super bright. I saw a a three projector presentation of How the West Was Won at the Dome. I sat in the Cinerama Zone. I was impressed. Yea there were the lines but it was clear and bright. It was also interesting to see the resolution drop when 65mm ultra-panavision footage was used. It was the first time I noticed grain. But the three camera footage show on three projectors is stunning.

The Dome management has a history of just not quite getting the point. Years ago they did a 25 year re-premier of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. The only print they could find was a 35mm anamorphic with optical sound that belonged to an archive and a pan and scan print used for television broadcast. They ran the archive print for the re-premier and the pan and scan print for a week. There were so many complaints and pissed off people the manager locked himself in the office and gave orders to refund anyone who complained. If the cheap bastards had just had the lab make a new print they could have run that for weeks with no complaints. Even now a 70mm print of Mad World continues to run in theaters.

I was even asked by someone while at the re-premier if these old negatives were even worth saving. Some people just don’t get it. Like that young executive that trashed years of old video instead of saving it.

If I am going to sit in a theater with old style seats it has to something special. I would have paid a few bucks to see that short film that was shot in three strip Cinerama. I can watch video at home or in a small theater with lounge chairs and drink service. Why haven’t they run a good Ultra Panavision print of The Hateful Eight at the Dome? Are they afraid it will look better than the video? Or have they just given up on film?

The people who run the Aero get it.

Flix70 on December 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Instead of dissing the projection method, let’s be happy Cinerama is still being exhibited at all, in any format. Technology changes, we adapt and move on.

stevenj on December 6, 2016 at 12:37 am

Hi bigjoe59 – Perhaps this is it? Listed as Fox Criterion:

Fox Criterion

RogerA on December 5, 2016 at 9:56 pm

Cinerama Extravaganza what a laugh both of those showings are digital not Cinerama; unless they are using three digital projectors.

bigjoe59 on December 5, 2016 at 8:32 pm

Hello From NYC-

i was reading about early sound film and the book stated the 1st feature length sound western was In Old Arizona starring Warner Baxter. it said the film opened at the Criterion Theater. i can find no theater on the L.A. page that was called the Criterion.

Flix70 on December 5, 2016 at 5:21 pm

Arclight Cinemas presents Cinerama Extravaganza at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood December 6 and December 7 at 7:30 p.m. Experience the U.S. premieres of the newly restored editions of CINERAMA’S RUSSIAN ADVENTURE (1966) and THE BEST OF CINERAMA (1963) at the historic Cinerama Dome.

CINERAMA’S RUSSIAN ADVENTURE screens Tue., Dec 6, with THE BEST OF CINERAMA screening Wed., Dec. 7.

patryan6019 on November 15, 2016 at 9:03 am

bigjoe59…The rationale beyond the director observing audience reaction (which couldn’t really be done until it was actually in the theatre) was the evening showing(especially during the work week) pushing closer and closer to midnight and even beyond.

bigjoe59 on November 14, 2016 at 9:42 pm


to patryan6019 i thank for your replies to my posts. in fact your reply prompts another question. i live in NYC and after a film’s roadshow run it moved to another first run theater and was made shorter by simply cutting out the overture, intermission and exit music. it was at the point a film moved to neighborhood theaters around NYC that they actually tweaked the film. which is where my question comes in. if a film opened on a 2 performance a day roadshow run what was the rationale behind cutting it so early. it was still going to be shown only twice a day.

patryan6019 on November 14, 2016 at 12:58 am

bigjoe59 and vindanpar…They all had programs and Lawrence was cut by 20 mins after opening in 6 cities.

vindanpar on November 13, 2016 at 11:55 pm

I thought that Lawrence was cut by Lean shortly after its original roadshow run had begun.

I believe there is some anecdote about Selznik saying to Lean They’re saying it’s too long but do not cut it.

bigjoe59 on November 13, 2016 at 9:30 pm

Hello From NYC-

i apologize if i have already asked this question. of all the films the Dome played on a roadshow engagement were there any that did not have a souvenir program?

RogerA on October 27, 2016 at 12:22 am

It’s sad that the Somerville Theater in Massachusetts can run reel to reel 70mm all formats on pristine Todd-AO projectors and then there is the Dome a theater that was designed to run 70mm. They can’t run reel to reel. I think they may still be able to run 70mm on a platter.

Flix70 on October 25, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Seattle Cinerama has a laser projector too, doesn’t seem to hinder their showings of 70mm films.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on October 25, 2016 at 4:20 am

The Dome is running some spiffy 6K laser projector so it’s days of running 70MM film are all but done.

Flix70 on October 24, 2016 at 9:35 pm

“Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” will screen in 70mm @ Archlight beginning 11/17 (at least though opening weekend). Oddly, though, no showings are in the Dome, at least not as of this post.

Strange since Seattle Cinerama is already selling tickets to their 70mm screenings through the first week of release.

bigjoe59 on September 18, 2016 at 10:24 pm

Hello From NYC-

i saw The Greatest Story ever Told twice during its 42 week roadshow engagement “in Cinerama” at the Warner Cinerama(Bway & 47). now though i enjoyed the film I have no idea which cut I saw. the cut on the blu-ray disc is 3hrs. 19mins..

so what cut did the Dome show? did it ever show
the longer i think it was 3 hr. 45min. cut? or did
it only show the 3hr. 19min. cut?

PeterApruzzese on July 16, 2016 at 1:13 am

No, the old VHS and LaserDisc Special Editions were an attempt at reconstructing the Roadshow version but were not complete and the additional scenes were in very rough shape and, in some cases, contained a distorted/squeezed picture. While also not fully complete, the Criterion is the closest to the original Roadshow cut and runs almost 15 minutes longer than those editions.

bigjoe59 on July 15, 2016 at 10:41 pm

to Peter A.–

thanks for the info. it was normal to tweak a
longer roadshow film when it went to neighborhood
theaters but to tweak it while it was still in
its roadshow engagement seems bizarre, doesn’t it?
they still only had two shows a day.

another question you might be able to answer. in the mid to late 90s when VHS was till the dominant home video format MGM/UA Home Video created a vhs series MGM/UA Screen Epics. it was composed of all the big roadshow films from both companies. the slip case for the vhs tapes were redesigned and a prominent series logo was atop each cover. this is where my question comes in. if i am not mistaken the cut of IAMMMMW used for this series was the original roadshow cut. so couldn’t they use whatever element they used for the vhs series for a blu-ray disc?

PeterApruzzese on July 13, 2016 at 10:31 pm

BigJoe – I have a copy of the final cutting notes dated January 10, 1964. They have specific instructions for the projectionist where the cuts are to be made to the print they are running (the roadshow theatres would later be sent new prints after the negative was cut). So you can assume the longer cut ran until that time and no later.

The Criterion Blu-ray that contains the Roadshow cut was made from the best surviving elements (and stills) to recreate it. It’s all there is. Watching it, you can see why most of those scenes were cut. IMO, the shorter version is superior.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on July 13, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Thx 4 the tip on Lawrence. Seeing it in The Dome is one of my bucket list items. Glad to cross it off.

bigjoe59 on July 12, 2016 at 8:55 pm


i was rather disappointed by the recent Criterion Collection blu-ray disc of the restored roadshow cut of Its A Mad Mad Mad Mad World. while it may have been the full roadshow cut the various elements used were far from in prime shape. which is where my question comes in.

it is my understanding that like its NYC engagement
at the Warner Cinerama IAMMMMW was tweaked while it was still in its roadshow run at the Dome. in other
words if you saw the film at the beginning of its
roadshow run it was a slightly different cut than
if you saw it at the end. so for how long was the
original 3hr. 12min. cut used at the Dome?

Flix70 on July 8, 2016 at 7:54 pm

“Lawrence of Arabia” will get a one-shot screening at the Dome Sunday, August 28 @ 3PM as part of Arclight Presents…Presentation is 4K DCP. Seats are going fast.