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I said it before and I’ll say it again… the day they opened Sherman Oaks they pushed aside what had made the Hollywood location so great and became more focused on creating a “chain” rather than maintaining a respectable brand. They took something that was unique and worth the additional surcharge and dumbed it down to go into the neighborhood multiplex business. Just take a look at their Facebook page and you’ll see they’re so busy creating dumb polls, doing trivia, and giving away T-shirts that they don’t have time to actually attend to someone with a grievance or see that their presentations are up to the standards that they, themselves, originally employed.
There used to be nothing to complain about when you saw an Arclight show and now they’re almost as bad as going to an AMC or Regal theater with texting audiences or poor projection or sound. I complained about the awful Transformers shows back in June and after ignoring my complaints on several occasions, I told them I wouldn’t be back for at least the rest of the summer to see anything else there and I held my ground. I’ve not been back there since June. It’s nothing they’ll feel, but I’m not going to reward someone who blatantly screws over paying customers (word was that they didn’t fix the Dome projectors showing Transformers 3 for AT LEAST a week). Arclight used to be something special, now it’s more or less the same as any other chain and that’s sad.
With all due respect… this isn’t YOUR Facebook. The discussion here doesn’t need to fit the requirements of what YOU think should and shouldn’t be discussed. While you feel the purpose of Cinema Treasures is for paying recognition and remembrances of theaters, some of us don’t feel like simply posting eulogies (which is what you posted and are advocating). We had to do so far too often for our liking.
The Chinese and the Arclight exist within their own ecosystem (The El Capitan exists outside of this because of their Disney exclusivity), so what one does affects the other. That’s why people often discuss what’s happening where. And, by the way… the people making those comments are generally people still patronizing the Chinese helping to keep its door open. This site shouldn’t be devoted only to memories of theaters we’ve lost or are losing, but also to the day to day success and struggles of them as well. And I KNOW Cinema Treasures would agree with me.
Makes sense. Just odd that they don’t have it listed yet. I just hope the Chinese doesn’t end up with Conan 3D.
Hollywood Blvd looks like a Ghost Ship in the photo.
I don’t know, while the Chinese has been impressively going up and up in quality, Arclight is slowly going down and becoming more and more like any other chain out there. People complained about how awful looking the Transformers 3 3D shows in the Dome were for a solid week before they said they took care of it. That’s completely unacceptable for a theater that prides themselves on being a presentation first destination and charges a premium for it. They’ve gotten a big ego lately (some of it well deserved) but it’s causing them to get lazy and sloppy and without a lot of interest in how happy their customers really are. The Harry Potter show at the Chinese was, all around, the best presentation/experience I’ve had in a long time. Other than the lack of reserved seating and the need to show that pre-show, it’s bested anything Arclight’s done all year. I told Arclight after the Transformers 3 fiasco that I wouldn’t be seeing anything else there the rest of this summer and I intend to stick to that.
And I don’t necessarily agree that all these bookings were lined up by Mann before they cleared out. The last Potter opened at the Dome and I can’t think of any reason why Arclight wouldn’t have fought to get 7.2 as well. I think the new owners ARE being more aggressive and the fact that the Chinese played two big studio movies a week apart is a good sign (especially considering how little interest Mann had in booking the theater when they DID run it). X-Men: First Class… maybe. but not 3 new movies in 6 weeks. That wasn’t Mann’s style the last few years.
By the way… still no Cowboys & Aliens showtimes for Hollywood, despite full weekend showtimes already up at the other 3 Arclights. Brad, when you say you were at Arclight and they are getting Cowboys & Aliens, did they say so to you or did you just see a trailer before whatever you saw?
That’s too bad because I’m kind of fighting with Arclight right now and would like to see the Chinese keep fighting (although I’m seeing it earlier in the week at the Aero, so I can still skip seeing anything else at Arclight the rest of the summer).
It was Immortals, Apollo 18, Sherlock Holmes, Dark Knight Rises and (in 3D) Three Musketeers. Other than Sherlock Holmes, I wasn’t really impressed with the trailer selection (don’t think Dark Knight Rises is a great teaser). My guess is that we’re going to see Cowboys and Aliens at the Chinese in a few weeks because Arclight still hasn’t posted any showtimes for Hollywood. That could obviously change, but between X-Men: First Class, Zookeeper, and Harry Potter all within about a month of each other, it seems like the new owners are being really aggressive with the bookings finally. There were also Potter costumes on display in the lobby, so they’re definitely going all-out to try and make the theater work again.
Harry Potter was rocking for the midnight show tonight. The line to get in stretched around Hollywood Blvd and down Orange hours before the show was to start. This was the Chinese of old. The theater was packed a good hour before showtime (they let us in at 11) and the crowd was hardcore fans. The 3D looked great and when we left it looked like there was a line outside for what I can only assume was an additional 3am show. It was good to see the Chinese looking like the Chinese again.
I also noticed that Arclight isn’t yet showing any Hollywood times for Cowboys and Aliens, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chinese might be making a play for that one as well. I certainly hope that to be the case… I’m pretty disillusioned with Arclight these days. In any case, it looks like the new owners and whoever is running things at the Chinese now is making a serious effort to get that theater back on its feet.
That’s impressive. When I suggested that to the management at the Cinerama Dome here in LA, they said the studio would never allow that. As I thought… they lied to me. Kudos to the Ziegfeld.
I agree, except the theaters and studios aren’t giving us the choice. If you want to see Harry Potter 7.2, great news… It’s showing at Grauman’s and The Village in Westwood, except BOTH theaters are showing it in 3D. So if you want to see it in the best theater possible, you’re forced into seeing it 3D; dark, gimmicky, extra surcharge 3D. Same with Transformers. If you want to see it in The Dome, you’re forced into 3D. I asked why they can’t designate a late showtime for 2D presentation and the manager said the studios wouldn’t allow it. I don’t buy that for a second, except to say the studio and theater knows they’d almost certainly sell out a 2D showtime in the Dome faster than 3D and they don’t want to have to acknowledge that they’ve been extorting movie-goers. 3D is a form of extortion… You want to see it in IMAX- only in 3D. You want to go to The Dome, The Chinese, The Village- only in 3D and only if you pay extra.
I thought Super 8 looked good. Nice 35mm film print. The problem is that ever since Arclight took over Sherman Oaks and then added Pasadena and Beach Cities, their attention to detail and dedication to quality has radically diminished. They seem to be spreading themselves too thin. They’ve been showing 35mm in there for the last week and a half, so they’ve had plenty of time to get the room ready for T3 without other digital presentations getting in the way, but from what the manager said, they really only spent 3 hours to get the projectors set for 3D on Transformers. They certainly (and I told this directly to the manager last night) have NO BUSINESS charging a premium for a mediocre presentation. And in this case, they’re charging a DOUBLE premium for a poor presentation (Arclight charges topped with 3D charges). The fact that anyone who works to set up their projection in the Dome thought that what they showed last night was “good enough” is insulting. They should have been handing out refunds to everyone in that auditorium last night. The upside is that I know someone working with Michael Bay right now and I texted them to try and get word to Bay that the Dome really botched the 3D, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they got a very LOUD phone call today, which may actually force them to correct the problem.
Transformers 3 in The Dome was a disaster. That screen has no business showing 3D anything in there. Half the screen was out of focus/misaligned and it was terribly distracting. I told one of the managers that they better start getting reacquainted with quality presentation because they’ve really been dropping the ball a lot lately. Certainly not the Arclight that most people came to appreciate and depend on.
The Chinese is for tourists and premieres because that’s what Mann set their sights on. I know I would go there whenever I could but the class of moviegoer Mann targeted over the past 4 or 5 years has been less than desirable. That’s why you go to Arclight. Movie lovers willing to pay a slightly higher price to see movies well shown. I heard from someone that the Hero Complex Superman screening they had at the 6 on Saturday was botched with that 3D lens dimming the 2D presentation (and that was with Richard Donner in house). He commented when he came out to do q&a how horribly dark the movie was. (Apparently this was very embarrassing and they took the filter off for Superman II, but I can’t see that happening at Arclight.)
The Chinese had become the world’s greatest dollar theater (both in the quality of films shown and with the quality of the people paying to see said films). I’m hoping the new management has higher standards and a bit more self-esteem.
Great job Mike, but is no one else bothered by the fact that the site’s new formatting makes this next to impossible to read? It looks like code from The Matrix. I know Mike didn’t work as hard as he did and create this to look the way it does. So why does it… look the way it does?
Ugh, we we’re just talking about The National and that horrible empty lot tonight. I don’t generally wish bad upon someone, but I have to hope that the developer/owner that destroyed The National the way they did got some financial karmic retribution. It definitely seemed like they tore that thing down as fast as they did almost to fend off any additional preservation efforts. And now, here we are three years later and NOTHING has been done with land deemed so important and valuable they had to destroy a local favorite to get at it. To think, if the building would have been allowed to survive an extra year or two, Regency might have picked it up along with the Village and Bruin (maybe).
Westwood is most certainly dying, but it appears to be self-inflicted.
Then it’s already being run better than it was by Mann.
Oh really? I walked out for (literally) 60 seconds right at midnight so I obviously missed it.
Agreed. Hopefully the new owners are more aggressive in their bookings than Mann was (who I think just didn’t care any longer).
But separate from the bookings, the thing they have the most control over (and the thing Mann REALLY let lapse) is creating a better experience overall. Arclight’s motto is “Where Movie Lovers Belong.” The last few years, The Chinese’s seemed to be “You’re Probably Not Doing Anything Else, Right.” They need more of the former and less of the latter. Movie lovers are loyal. Tourists… not so much.
That’s nice to hear Segask. They didn’t do that for the Thursday midnight show. Although they also didn’t have a pre-show video presentation. Hopefully the new owners are taking a cue from the Arclight playbook and are going to attempt to class the place up (which seems odd to say considering it’s the world-famous Chinese). The sad truth is, in addition to the horrible bookings from the last few years, The Chinese has been attracting (intentional or not) a “lower class” of movie-goer. Too many talkers, teens, cell phoners… you know, tourists. I can go to a Saturday night 8:00 show in the Dome and almost always have a great experience. Saturday at The Chinese is an almost guaranteed recipe for a disruptive disaster. I would absolutely rather see Harry Potter DH2 at The Chinese over The Dome if I knew the audience could keep it together. I think there are others out there who have all but abandoned The Chinese because the environment there has become so low-class in the last few years.
Now if they could also add on-line reserved seating- that would be a whole new world of awesome.
A decent sized, happy crowd for the midnight X-Men show. Was good to see a line on Hollywood Blvd for the first time in I don’t remember how long.
Let us not ignore the fact that the sale also includes the adjacent 6-plex. I can’t imagine taking over both Grauman’s AND the 6-plex if you only want to convert Grauman’s to a nightclub. Perhaps they’ll convert the 6-plex to a nightclub and I wouldn’t loose a moment’s sleep if they did.
Also… Grauman’s is a cultural landmark so I’m not sure how easily or extensively it could be converted into a nightclub. Obviously they COULD do it, I just don’t know what additional hoops and accommodations would have to be gone through to make it actually happen and if it would be worth it or not to the new owners. Nightclubs in Hollywood are about as stable and longstanding as most of the marriages in this town.
A major problem with the Chinese is that Mann has no interest in catering to the hardcore moviegoer anymore. Frankly, I don’t want the knuckleheads milling around Hollywood Blvd to start buying tickets to the Chinese. The tourists can’t (and won’t) keep the Chinese afloat. I want Mann to start utilizing the Chinese as a competitor to Arclight Hollywood and The El Capitan (which is what it really is). Mann’s so busy trying to get out of the movie business that their only plan of attack is to pull in a few stragglers off the street. They’re just lazy now and it’s the reason they’re on the ropes with the Chinese. They need to look at what makes the El Capitan, the Dome and the additional Arclight theaters so appealing to locals that the locals will travel from all over the metro area and the Valley to see films there. I’ve already got my midnight tickets to Tron at the El Capitan on the 16th of December. The Chinese has become more of an impulse buy. I’ll see something there now, but I probably won’t decide until the day (often times because they won’t even tell you what’s playing there until a few days beforehand). With Due Date, I’ll probably hit that over at the Village because the Chinese will probably end up being about 70% tourists who had nothing better to do. Mann has been working hard to relinquish the Chinese’s ‘event’ identity.It’s sad because I love the Chinese, but I no longer love “going” to the Chinese.
It’s funny, but that May 2010 pic that monika just posted looks almost exactly like the 1981 pic posted on April 27, 09 by Lost Memory.
The fire at the Continental happened during the run of Return of the Jedi in 83. The Cooper was the only theater in Denver to open both Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. Return of the Jedi opened at both the Cooper and Continental.
That’s more like it-