Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas

6360 Sunset Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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mfuhlendorf on February 9, 2007 at 2:30 am


I’ve always wanted to plan my first visit to Hollywood according to the schedule of the Cinerama Dome (I live in Brazil). It’s been a dream of mine to see a movie in 3-strip Cinerama at least once, since I’m too young to have seen those in Brazil.

A friend of mine is there now, and he told me people at the theater (employees) told him it was not going to show Cinerama 3-strip films anymore, and that it would be demolished this year! I think he’s pulling my leg, but if there’s any truth in this I’d really like to know… It’d be shameful to the history of cinema.


Max M. Fuhlendorf
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 18, 2007 at 4:19 pm

You’re right, JSA. That’s a pilgrimage I would really love to make. I’m surprised it hasn’t played there for more than 11 years.

JSA on January 18, 2007 at 12:32 pm

Not that it matters much, but a 70 mm print of “2001” also screened at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach on October 1996.

Bill: You, EdSolero, andreco and the other NY area CT members that have “2001” in high regard should make the “pilgrimage” to LA next time it screens at the Dome!


Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 17, 2007 at 4:14 pm

Oh wait – for the 7th time at the Dome. 8th time in L.A., though.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 17, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Wow, Michael – another first-rate job. I really hope the Cinerama Dome plays “2001” again soon, for the 8th time!

moviebuff82 on January 17, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Will there be an Arclight-like theater in the New Jersey area? The Rockaway theater that just opened doesn’t look at all like the theater in California!!! Probably the new Xanadu 26 theater should be like the Arclight.

JSA on January 17, 2007 at 2:13 pm


Thanks for posting the link! As always, great information!
I’m going to repeat myself, but I think a single-strip Cinerama retrospective at the Dome would be a cool event. But other that “2001”, “It’s a Mad, Mad… World” & “Grand Prix”, what other titles have available prints?


Coate on January 17, 2007 at 1:12 pm

Here’s a link to a list of the Cinerama presentations at this theatre (and other Cinerama venues in Los Angeles).

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on December 26, 2006 at 4:32 pm

Saw it on 12/16. Absolutely stunning!

DavidM on December 16, 2006 at 6:31 am

Has anyone seen Dreamgirls at the Dome yet?

William on November 9, 2006 at 9:11 am

There doing the same thing at the Ziegfeld Theatre in NYC for “Dreamgirls”. They said it was going to be digital projection.

It opens everywhere on December 25th at popular prices.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on November 9, 2006 at 8:32 am

They’re slightly stepping things up at the Dome with the upcoming Premiere engagement of “Dreamgirls” starting December 15th. They’re doing it Broadway/Roadshow style. $25 bucks a person gets you a seat, a souvenir program, and access to “Dreamgirls” merchandise.

I’ll be there on Saturday December 16. Should be a blast!

JSA on November 3, 2006 at 1:29 pm

I saw HTWWW last November. For that particular show, attendance was not that great. I agree that they should put a few years between 3-strip Cinerama shows. In my opinion, a single-strip Cinerama retrospective is in order, if good prints are available. Hopefully not “Krakatoa: East of Java”!

Chris: My sentiments exactly…


William on October 31, 2006 at 9:43 am

How well did they do the last time they ran them? Maybe they are just putting alittle more time between the last runs of them.

Manwithnoname on October 31, 2006 at 9:21 am

This is the first time since Arclight opened that the Dome has not had at least a couple of Cinerama screenings in the Fall.

William on October 31, 2006 at 7:25 am

The Ziegfeld is back to their standard fare of Hollywood films.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on October 31, 2006 at 6:51 am

Another ho-hum Fall at the Dome. No Cinerama. No 70MM Special Engagements. Just digitally projected Hollywood mediocrity. The management at the Ziegfeld in New York got a clue. Why can’t Pacific/Arclight?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 10, 2006 at 3:36 am

Here’s another ad from December 1959 featuring L.A. area drive-ins: 39 of them! (wow)

View link

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 1, 2006 at 6:26 am

On closer inspection of the ad, there weren’t midnight shows every night – only Fridays and Saturdays. Still, that’s pretty cool – I would’ve loved being able to stagger out of the Dome at 3 AM onto Sunset Blvd. after seeing “Mad, Mad World”.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 1, 2006 at 5:37 am

And…of all those drive-ins listed in the “Palm Springs Weekend” ad, the Vineland is the last man standing!

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 31, 2006 at 7:24 pm

… and a midnight show every night! Those really were the good old days.

JSA on August 31, 2006 at 6:08 pm


Thanks for the posting! Ten sold out evening shows!

What really gets me is that “Cleopatra” was playing in Todd-AO less than a mile away at the Pantages !!


Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 31, 2006 at 3:33 pm

From the Los Angeles Times, November 1963: the premiere of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and of the Dome itself. Get a load of that celebrity guest list:

View link

Coate on July 29, 2006 at 7:29 pm

Regarding the June 7 screenings of “Lawrence Of Arabia” and “The King And I” mentioned a few posts back, that event also included a birthday party/roast/tribute to Tomlinson Holman, best known as the developer of the THX Sound System. For those who may have an interest, here is a link to some pics:

View link

exit on July 28, 2006 at 11:31 pm

The ArcLight complex is loaded with flaws (many are easily correctable) and it doesn’t even begin to live up to its own hype.

However I wouldn’t fault the Dome’s design for the inferior picture problems. It is entirely possible to have a brighter picture without any geometric distortion on a curved screen, but Pacific/ArcLight chose not to make the necessary adjustments. Instead, they used cheap workarounds… The bottom masking is actually curved UP on the ends to try to hide the keystoning, which doesn’t really work, and there is still a dip in the horizon line. They also chose a low-gain screen material to lessen cross-reflection. As a result, the picture is indeed much softer and dimmer than it could be, and darker curtains on the walls don’t hide that fact. The picture is distorted even with digital projection, (which one would think should have some capacity to adjust for the curve).

So many details in the Dome and the adjoining houses could have been much better with some thoughtful showmanship and finesse, but sadly, the ArcLight decision-makers are utterly clueless to that kind of thing. There aren’t many people around who know how to do it well, and the ones in charge don’t like to listen to them.

It is amazing that the ArcLight promotes its zero decor in their ads, and that they got someone at the LA times to say they had the best screens and best popcorn. I personally don’t find sitting in a “black box” a plus, I have seen seams on several of the screens, and I’ve gotten sick from the popcorn, which is rarely even warm, and often filled with broken pieces and unpopped kernels.

I much prefer the presentation and atmosphere at the El Capitan… not perfect, but there is at least is an attempt at showmanship, and I always have a better time there.