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The Royal is like watching a movie projected in a hallway.
I just don’t understand why, if you’re going to spend that kind of money on renovating that theater, you wouldn’t at least consider restoring the original screen downstairs (something that might actually appeal to film fans). I doubt, however, that the new operator even has any knowledge of what the Avco used to be. They’re moving in to basically do what drove people away in the first place; twinning what’s left and carving it up even more. I can’t imagine wanting to see anything in a theater with only 150 seats, and that’s the BIG auditorium. I agree with what Greg Laemmle said in that article with regard to the companies involved being more interested in being restaurateurs and bartenders than film exhibitors. Sorry, but the Avco ended up in about the worst hands it could have. I had initially held out hope that we may get someone in there who really remembered how important this theater was historically in Los Angeles and what it really could have been again, but instead we got another slash and burn “entrepreneur” to make this theater even less desirable than it has been for nearly 20 years.
Countdown to bankruptcy/re-closure in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
Was at the Arclight tonight to see M:I 4 and noticed a sizeable improvement in the digital projection in the Dome. I asked around after the show and my suspicions were confirmed… The Dome actually recently installed a newer 4k projector to replace the older NEC 2k they’ve been using for a few years. While it didn’t solve the geometric and cross wash issues the Dome has always had, it seemed noticeably brighter and much more detailed without all the chromatic aberration that frequently accompanied the older NECs. I was impressed. I doubt it will address the issues of 3D in the Dome, but I was pleasantly surprised at how great the 2D image from this new projector looked on that big screen.
Well, Cinépolis doesn’t really strike me as “A really high-end movie theater” and “a really great movie theater and a reason to come back.”
And while I won’t hold my breath for a restoration of the big screen, there wouldn’t be a better time than now and there wouldn’t be a better way to make an impression for a new theater occupying the space.
This stood out…
Property manager Hope Hunter said the owners plan to bring in a new theater chain next year. ”A really high-end movie theater will be taking its place,” Hunter said. “We’re going to provide Westwood with a really great movie theater and a reason to come back.”
How awesome would it be if the new chain decided to restore the Avco’s original big screen? Has to be easier than splitting it was.
Pretty much packed for Raiders of the Lost Ark tonight. Fairly impressive considering the rain today.
Interestingly, Arclight is no longer listing Twilight: Breaking Dawn 1 as playing in Hollywood (they had it up for sale for a few days and now it’s no longer there the last day or two). Could be a temporary glitch or…
While I certainly wouldn’t see any Twilight at Grauman’s (or Arclight for that matter) it would be good to see this play at The Chinese if only to sell a lot of tickets for them.
Grauman’s is now reserved seating. Kind of excited by that, although it means the end of an era for long lines on Hollywood Blvd (although you could argue that Mann’s running the theater into the ground the past several years killed long lines on the Blvd).
Interestingly… The Chinese 6 (under the new owners) has implemented reserved seating for all auditoriums. I wonder if that means that Grauman’s could be next. Would be a great thing for seeing movies there (assuming that there are good one booked).
Wow, so now Arclight is withholding 2D showtimes in favor of forcing more 3D. Conan is opening this weekend and is getting 5 Dome showtimes in 3D, but they’re only offering 3 2D showtimes (at 1, 7, and midnight) on the weekends and only 2 (TWO) 2D shows during the week. Arclight Pasadena gets 6 3D showtimes of Fright Night everyday and 0 (zero, ZERO) 2D showtimes.
As people have, more and more, started choosing 2D showtimes over mediocre and overpriced 3D options Arclight has answered back… “If you won’t choose the overpriced, mediocre presentation on your own, we’ll just remove any other options.” Bravo Arclight. Do you actually care AT ALL about your customers anymore or is it just about how many extra dollars you can squeeze out per seat now?
I actually said that same thing a long time ago. Mann built a great 80s/90s complex, except they built it in 2001. 6 adjacent theaters wasn’t enough in the current exhibition climate and only a few months later Arclight added 14 screens to the nearby Dome. Arclight’s booking power over The Chinese actually often has less to do with ‘chain vs non-chain’ and about how many seats/weeks Arclight can offer studios that The Chinese just doesn’t have the capacity for. The Chinese doesn’t have the move-over space/power to one-up Arclight a lot of time. For example, Arclight Sherman Oaks is now currently showing Harry Potter 7.2 on one screen with less than 100 seats per showtime. The Chinese, by comparison, still has it on 3 of the 6 adjacent screens (2 of them still 3D) and well over 100 seats per show. That’s more than likely what they had to offer Warner to book HP 7.2 back in mid-July.
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.