Showing 76 - 100 of 181 comments
I know it’s blasphemous, but I’m not HATIN' it so far.
I think the booking rules are going to be to one of the biggest questions that needs to be answered. Don’t forget… even with the IMAX overhaul, the Chinese still has the same problem that got them into a competitive disadvantage. Outside of the main screen, they just don’t have the seat count to compete with Arclight. Arclight can open a summer tentpole in the Dome (and 3 other screens) and then move that Dome show out the next week to replace it with something else. It’s like a funnel over there and there are 15 screens that make up that funnel. By the time ‘42’ leaves there in about 4 weeks it’ll have probably seen 5 different sized theaters from about 1000 seats total first week to about 70/80 in week 4. The Chinese doesn’t have that funnel. They still won’t have the move-over screens to ensure they get every big movie.
I think the only way this works (and in an ideal world, this is the way to do it) is the Chinese is able to book “IMAX Experience” films independent of the Arclight and El Capitan. I made the point last week that I think there’s a strong case to be made that the “IMAX Experience” versions are like totally different films because they aren’t something that Arclight or El Capitan can show. They’re always listed differently on Fandango, Movie Tickets.com, and are listed separately with AMC and Regal Theaters. Arclight and El Capitan can still book the standard versions and the Chinese 6 would compete for those films as well. But most IMAX runs are only for a week or two anyway and it isn’t like the IMAX version gets ‘moved-over’ to a smaller theater or nearby IMAX when a new IMAX Experience opens. They all show Jurassic for 2 weeks, then get rid of it for Oblivion (which will play for 2 weeks) until Iron Man 3 on May 3rd plays for 2 weeks before Star Trek moves in where it’ll only get a week before Fast and Furious 6 on May 24th. This is pretty standard across all multiplex IMAX.
IF Arclight and the Chinese are allowed to co-book IMAX versus standard, this could have a really great side effect (if Arclight is smart). I’m someone who is pretty averse to 3D. I think it’s a FAR bigger distraction than it is an immersion. The thing that REALLY irritates me with 3D is the way the chains have been using their biggest and best theaters to pimp 3D at the exclusion of those who don’t want or can’t enjoy 3D. Want to see Star Trek in the Dome… better like 3D. Add to that that the Dome 3D is probably the worst in the country and it becomes infuriating that one of my favorite theaters is totally off limits unless I want to A) put up with 3D and B) put up with AWFUL 3D. BUT… If the Chinese is getting Amazing Spider-Man 2 in IMAX 3D and Arclight is getting it in standard, Arclight would be IDIOTS to try and pit the Dome 3D against IMAX 3D just a few blocks away. It may actually force them to try and regain a bit of their dignity and position themselves as the “best place to see these blockbusters in 2D,” which is something people have been complaining and begging for, only to have Arclight turn a deaf ear. In short… it may force Arclight to actually have to try and care again.
Zuni, the 1,162 seating capacity is what is listed right here on this page.
RogerA, I also read that they are planning to show occasional Chinese films (to tie the theater to it’s “sponsor” and also play off the Chinese name), so that suggests to me that they plan on showing not just IMAX stuff. But my jaw would drop if they didn’t show both Catching Fire AND The Hobbit in IMAX this Thanksgiving/Christmas.
The more I’ve thought about it, the more curious I am about the potential upsides.
First off, Zubi… to be fair, the current seating in Grauman’s is actually 1,162, so a new seat count of 986 isn’t exactly a major slash in seats.
But the truth is that the Chinese is dying. They can no longer book the “A” titles and when they do, they’re stuck playing it for so long that they’re a ghost town for weeks at a time (The Hobbit is a good example). They need some way to bring in titles again and fill seats, otherwise it WILL turn into a dance club. And let’s be honest… this ISN’T the first time the Chinese has been renovated to increase the screen size. It’s just the first time most of us can remember and instead of going horizontal, this time it’s going vertical. I would love to see them use some top/bottom masking so that when they aren’t showing in full IMAX, they can return to the screen shape they’ve always had. Don’t know if that’s possible.
The real question is going to be whether or not the studios are going to consider “The IMAX Experience” films to be different than the standard DCP/3D/35mm engagements. If they do (and I don’t see a reason they can’t) that would mean that the Chinese can book films simultaneously with the Arclight and even the El Capitan. Just imagine the Dome playing something like Man of Steel in standard 4k and (god help us) their patented god-awful 3D, while a few blocks away the Chinese is playing Man of Steel: An IMAX 3D Experience (even though I know the new Chinese won’t be re-opened by June for MOS). Will the studios allow the IMAX version to play at the Chinese at the same time as the standard version at the Dome? Technically it’s not a movie the Dome can play, so you’re not double booking in the same territory. Now Pacific is absolutely not going to want this to happen and is going to fight it, but it could make things interesting and Arclight might actually have to step it up again in the presentation department. I feel they’ve gotten waaaaayyy too complacent, especially after losing what competition the Chinese used to offer when still a Mann theater.
Add in some reserved seating and I’m certainly game to check it out. Would probably beat going to Universal City or The Rave.
The big question is… HOW? They’re saying the 3rd largest screen IMAX has. How is that possible unless they dig and go underground? What kind of destruction will that cause? Most of me is mortified, but part of me is very curious.
That’s probably very true Michael. I think most balconies are closed during slow periods/showtimes. It keeps the theater staff from having to clean the theater between shows on 2 different levels when attendance is low and staffing light.
It’s amazing to me that we spent the last 25 or so years destroying all of these majestic, giant screen palaces only to now see all of the chains trying to rebuild and rebrand new giant screens (RPX, EXT, XD) to get audiences back. Did we tear down all these amazing houses only to see them rebuilt, but not quite as well?
Yeah, the balcony remained opened (at least for big movies) to the end. I sat up there only once, for Die Hard 2 in July 1990. I worked for United Artists late 80s/early 90s and we had a couple company meetings at the Cooper. Was lucky enough to see early screenings of Total Recall (which never actually played at the Cooper, it opened at the Continental) and Black Rain. First trip to the Cooper was Return of the Jedi in ‘83. Quite an experience for a 12 year old. It was a gem of a theater and a crime that it’s gone.
Aliens in the Dome last night was fantastic!! Looked and sounded tremendous and the theater was just about at capacity. Batman and Back to the Future are getting similarly full. Hopefully these packed screenings remind Arclight/Pacific that the Dome has value beyond being a 3D dump bin.
The great thing about the Chinese is that they don’t NEED stadium seating. The screen is big enough that you rarely, if ever, have someone blocking you. This whole thing smells like a disaster. And yeah, the name will certainly go back to Grauman’s Chinese at some point, but the bigger question is… what about the actual theater (especially if they’re doing a remodel). After all, would we want the kind of seating that is now at the Egyptian?
You guys are missing my point because you can’t see past your blind hatred of Twilight. It isn’t about what’s not playing in the Dome, it’s about what is. Chris, have you seen any 3D in the Dome? It’s terrible. That huge curved screen is horrible for 3d, but Arclight doesn’t care (again, despite numerous complaints from viewers). Prometheus used 2 projectors for 3D and the entire right and left quarters of the screen were completely misaligned and impossible to watch (and this also happened with every 3D film to play in there since Avatar). To finally fix the problem, they removed one of the projectors and Amazing Spiderman (while eliminating the ghosting/misalignment) was so dark it was equally unwatchable. I watched most of the movie with the glasses off because it was the lesser of two evils.
Chris, with your hatred of “Lie-Max” can you not see my frustration in a theater that talks all about how presentation quality is their primary goal, yet doesn’t care that the quality of 3D in the Dome is probably one of the worst in the country, yet they continue to force 3D over 2D because fools like me are so in love with the Dome that they keep hoping this time will be different. So yes… Life of Pi: DOME WORTHY. Life of Pi 3D: NOT EVEN CLOSE. But you can’t charge $3.50 extra per seat with the enticement of seeing something at the Dome if you just show 2D.
I’d actually suggested many times to them that the Dome offer 1 or 2 2D showings of film on opening weekends for people who love the Dome but hate 3D in there (even if it’s the late show Saturday night). They steadfastly refuse. They claim it’s because the studios won’t allow them to, despite the fact that theaters like the Ziegfeld in NY and Grauman’s have done exactly that. No, it’s really because they know people will actually flock to the 2D over the 3D and they don’t want to give people what they really want.
Trust me, I love Arclight. I’ve been a member since they re-opened in 2002. I’ve seen more films there than any other theater, but I miss that Arclight. The new Arclight is more concerned with branding itself and becoming a chain with retro-fitted shoe-boxes that don’t really follow the high standards set by Hollywood. They’d rather do pointless Facebook polls about popcorn preferences than actually addressing customer grievances. That’s not the Arclight I fell in love with, though.
BTW, if you want to see Arclight’s incompetence in action (as well as their continued abuse of the Dome as a 3D trash receptacle/extortion tool), they’ve now placed Life of Pi in their in 3D only. They’ve also given it a longer Dome run than either Skyfall or Twilight had. I’m not exactly a Twilight fan, but why in the world a theater would pull the #1 or #2 movie out now from their premiere house to make way for the #6 opener speaks to their desire to cram 3D in there every chance they get (despite numerous complaints from many). I get wanting to diversify the programming in there, but why are they not opening Hitchcock, considering it’s an exclusive with only 2 other theaters in town? Oh, right… cause that’s not in 3D.
Arclight’s become a joke that only cares about squeezing a few extra dollars out of people.
Because Arclight isn’t what they were 10 years ago when they started. At the birth of Arclight, they were about premium presentations and being a place where movie fans could congregate. Now (and ever since they opened all of the other Arc"LIGHTS" (Sherman Oaks, Pasadena, Beach Cities, La Jolla), they’ve become nothing more than a slightly upscale chain. While they have a historic screen in the Cinerama Dome, they instead insist on using it to extort 3D surcharges (when 3D looks TERRIBLE in there) and would rather run Resident Evil:Retribution 3D for 40 people on a Monday night than try and run something unique and worthy of that screen. I saw a special 35mm screening of The Fly in the Dome a few years ago with Cronenberg doing a Q&A afterwards (on, I think, a Tuesday night) and it was sold out (or nearly). But now, anytime they show Raiders or Ghostbusters or E.T., they show it in one of the standard auditoriums. Occasionally they do good work and have a Cinerama marathon (which, from what I could tell, was EXTREMELY successful) or the run of Kubrick movies they did not too terribly long ago, but for the most part they’ve been abusing what that screen could/should really be.
Agreed Flix70. Reserved seats in the Dome are the best thing ever. I have 2 specific locations I like to sit and reserved seating insures I have the seats I want without having to wait (sometimes hours) to get them. When we went to Grauman’s for the final Harry Potter (and this was before they moved to reserved seating there) we arrived around 9:30 for the midnight show and were already down Hollywood Blvd and around Orange. When we were finally let in, there was row after row of great seats covered with long Harry Potter scarves because 2 or 3 people were staking claim to nearly entire rows for friends that hadn’t arrived yet. My friend and I (who, again, both arrived 2+ hours early were relegated to the back corner, second from last row. I’ve NEVER, in the 100+ times I’ve been to the Arclight, had a bad seat there. Not once. To me, that’s why reserved seating is so great.
I’m on their email list and heard NOTHING about a screening of Roger Rabbit. That really depresses me because I would have liked to be there. I just went back through all of my email “mailers” and not a single mention of Rollback Thursday or Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
But the problem is that it doesn’t really live on… at least not in the way that it was know and loved for. I saw Empire Strikes Back here in the early summer of 1980 and it shaped my life. Not just the movie but this particular theater and the experience it housed. It created my love of movies and the movie-going experience, influenced me to work in the theater business and, now, the movie business, and is one of the single strongest memories I have from my childhood. So from the sounds of it, they’re pretty much gutting the place to turn 4 screens to 6, add a kitchen, and generally create glorified living rooms (with screens that I’m sure will be about as cinematic as most living rooms). Then again, AMC pretty much killed any magic the AVCO had when they butchered the premiere screen downstairs. All I know is that the iPic version of the AVCO will be about as impressive and transformative a theater as that dirt lot that sits where the National used to be.
Wow!! 480 seats spread across 6 screens! And sorry, I don’t want servers summoned into the theater at the push of a button. People talking during movies is bad enough, now we have to get ready for people ordering food and drinks during the show? The biggest problem with theaters today is that people act like they are in their living rooms. Now a chain is going out of its way to totally recreate that environment. I guarantee you that when it comes to picking a theater, iPic a different one.
Monday evening Ben Hur added in the Dome for all those that couldn’t get away on Mother’s Day.
Actually, tickets are available now.
FINALLY!!! I was wondering how long it would take Arclight to remember they had the Cinerama Dome (which is actually equipped to show great classic films rather than simply being a 3D surcharge machine, which it’s terrible at). After all of the recent Arclight Presents sell outs maybe they’re getting wise again. Too bad it took them beyond Raiders and The Exorcist to realize it. I will definitely be there in full force.
“Only 400?” For a movie that just made $150M in 3 days, over 400 for the late show on opening night sadly indicates most people have abandoned this theater. I remember going to the 10:30pm opening night show of Daredevil at the Village 9 years ago and it was nearly sold out (and that movie only made $45m opening weekend). The Village SHOULD HAVE been sold out. Just a few years ago it would have been.
If I’m not mistaken, it was fall of 1993 that the main house was twinned to create a totally useless 4-plex.
They should have a least tried to grab up Phantom Menace in 2D. If Arclight has no interest in offering to their customers, the Chinese should be allowed to have it. I am surprised that the studios are letting Arclight dump so much product on The Chinese so quickly. Man on a Ledge goes to the Chinese after only 2 weeks and it looks like Universal is releasing Arclight of their engagement of Big Miracle after only 1 week. I wonder if The Chinese is eager and happy to take these films off Arclight’s hands and that’s why Arclight’s able to move them out so fast. Seems incredibly sad to see the once great and mighty Chinese picking through Arclight’s trash just to get a nibble of something.
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…