Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas

6360 Sunset Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on August 24, 2005 at 6:46 pm

Out in Philadelphia, a former Cinerama theatre is being restored. the RKO stanley Warner Boyd Theatre, which was also known as Regal Entertainment Group’s United artists Sameric 4 Theatre. This cinerama house (it was one of the first cinerama theatres on the east coast, along with the RKO Stanley Warner’s Warner Cinerama & Penthouse Theatre.

Sameric’s auditorium #1 was the former Boyd Theatre, which had all incarations of Cinerama until it was moved in the late 1960’s to William Goldman’s Randolph Theatre (which closed in 1971 with Tora! Tora! Tora! as the last film).

It would be great if a cinerama style theatre was built in Philadelphia, that uses cinerama, imax, 70mm, 35mm and digital formats.

Manwithnoname on August 15, 2005 at 7:33 am

Chris, I agree. Recently “T2”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Gandhi” and others that cry out for that huge screen have played during Arclight’s AFI series but always in one of the smaller houses. However, when the L.A. Conservancy had their annual meeting and no film was shown where was it? The Dome. Go figure.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on July 22, 2005 at 9:37 am

HTWWW is coming back? Great. Maybe I’ll take some friends who’ve never been here.

To piggyback on Bill Huelbig’s comments, the American Cinematheque is running their yearly 70MM festival in the wrong theatre! With all due respect to the Egyptian, the Dome is THE PLACE to experience the true glory of 70MM projection!

I think the Dome should be running festivals and classics during the not so busy season. There’s no reason why this auditorium should be showing anything “fluffy” in the slow months. January-April and September-October are the perfect times for the Dome to go retro and show classics worthy to fit on that glorious screen.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 22, 2005 at 9:29 am

I’m waiting patiently (or trying to) for the announcement of the dates for the rumored Fall 2005 engagement of “How the West Was Won”. Wouldn’t it be great if they had a Cinerama festival (3-strip as well as 70mm) and showed “2001” at the same time?

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on July 22, 2005 at 6:34 am

Yeah…but not in this decade…and not since it’s reopening.

Coate on July 21, 2005 at 9:59 pm

The Dome has shown “2001”…on several occasions.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on July 21, 2005 at 6:56 pm

First time I went here was to see T2 on opening day in 70MM and CDS. One of the greatest movie experiences of my life!

Now if they’d only get permission to show 2001 in here!

mattepntr on July 16, 2005 at 3:46 pm

Yes, the Dome had Cinema Digital Sound installed in the early 90’s, and what a great system that was! I saw “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” there in 70mm and CDS. This was an expensive format, and faded with the advent of the much cheaper Dolby Digital and DTS formats.

But Cinema Digital Sound was MUCH higher quality, the best sound I’ve ever heard in a movie theater, ever.

Manwithnoname on June 30, 2005 at 10:00 am

Enough with the spam already.

Coate on June 29, 2005 at 9:19 pm

The Cinerama Dome was among the handful of theaters that was equipped with Cinema Digital Sound (CDS), the 1990-1991 precursor to the contemporary digital sound formats.

JodarMovieFan on June 29, 2005 at 5:56 pm

I second Doug23’s comment and responses to the previous bickering! Celebrate the fact you have the choicest venues to experience movies. The BEST! If you were in Washington DC, your choice is a decent looking art deco structure that can boast bad sound and lousy projection (Loews Uptown), or a smaller suburban multiplex.

dia920 on June 29, 2005 at 1:01 pm

Yes Doug, I agree with you whole-heartedly. While I argued in favor of Arclight, my overall point was that each has its own attractions, and Arclight should not be put down for having a different aesthetic. Both types are enjoyable, and favoring one over another is merely a matter of taste.

deleted user
[Deleted] on June 29, 2005 at 4:03 am

Universal presents KING KONG. World Premiere Monday, 12 December 2005 Ziegfeld Theatre, New York City. Regular performances start Wednesday, 14 December 2005 at the Ziegfeld Theatre, New York and the Cinerama Dome, Hollywood, CA.

Doug23 on June 28, 2005 at 1:29 pm

Considering you have both the Arclight and the Chinese/El Capitan experiences available within a couple of miles of each other, I see no reason to argue. How many people outside of Los Angeles are thinking they wish they had the same sort of option? For what it’s worth, the best picture/sound quality is in the Arclight, and the best Old Hollywood experience is the Chinese type. (I say type as I would be hard pressed to choose between a few different palaces, but would probably go with the Chinese).

JimRankin on June 17, 2005 at 8:54 pm

Daniel is entitled to his opinion, and no doubt Arclight is the ne plus ultra of projection, but I must stand by the conviction that if whatever is on the screen is so weak that the audience is drawn to look about at the auditorium, then it shouldn’t have been on the screen in the first place, and the audience was then well served to have had something else to look at.

dia920 on June 17, 2005 at 8:43 pm

I’ve been reading the arguments regarding gaudy opulence vs. cheap minimalism in theaters. I personally enjoy the baroque beauty of our historic filmhouses, as they remind us of the Golden Age of Hollywood. They are the places to take the kids or out-of-towners who are surely as awestruck as we are at the grandeur of them. BUT, for those who wish to see the FILM, Arclight is King. The black-box format dispenses with the flash and drama of glittery wall fixtures and points only to the screen. Rather than speaking to me of cheapness (to the contrary, a friend who worked on the construction of the auditoriums assures me that no expense was spared, and anyone familiar with the stage or cinema knows that flashy rarely equals expensive) they speak to me of concern for a focus on the experience of sight and sound. Even the finest painting can be overwhelmed by an overly loud frame, and Arclight obviously understands that bright, brassy fixtures belong only in suburban multiplexes and in Wal-Mart at Christmastime.

I just finished watching Star Wars Episode III at the Dome (for the fourth time there), and the digital projection and rich, powerful sound were flawless from the first frame to the last. The quality of film presentation at Arclight is without rival, in my experience. For the Hollywood buff, the after-film treats are in the lobby, where gems of movie craft, usually related to the Dome feature, are cleanly and respectfully displayed. No, I don’t work for Arclight or Pacific Theaters—I just like them that much. And while there is surely something to be said for the older, more opulent venues, if you feel that Arclight is “too cheap” to wear anything other than black, then stick to your local mall, and stop annoying me with your criticisms.

Manwithnoname on June 15, 2005 at 3:13 pm

“Ben-Hur” played the Dome in July of 2000 as part of the special festivities just before it closed for renovation. Alas, it was a 35mm print but a new one and Charlton Heston appeared in person. “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Terminator 2” both played during those 3 days in 70mm.

PeterJohn on June 15, 2005 at 2:20 pm

One film that I have never heard mentioned in regards to playing at the Cinerama Dome is BEN-HUR. Has this ever played there? I would love to see this once again on the big screen. I should think it would be absolutely magnificent. To anyone who can shed some light on this, thank you.


Peter John

MallRat73 on June 5, 2005 at 1:54 am

Anyone remember any films featuring the Cinerama Dome? The sequel to the first (and best) ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ shot the climax on the roof. The film ‘The Junk Man’ was one of writer/director/star H.B. Halicki’s last films.
‘The Big Picture’ starring Kevin Bacon had him filming a very cheesy music video featuring life-size PEZ dispensers. This segment was filmed directly across Sunset with just the top 10 feet or so of the Dome showing in the background.

billyraccoon on June 4, 2005 at 10:18 pm


Thank you sooooo much for the information. This isssue has been driving me crazy since the Dome was redone and I kept reading and hearing the claims. Your site filled in all the details and jogged my memory cells – It was a “Re-Premier”, Six Track Stereo and promoted with “Back To Entertain a New Generation”. I was that new generation. I was only 20 yrs old.

One final question, if I may impose? What accounted for the mismatched color and registration? Did they transfer all three image strips to 70mm film for the showing? It was after all those two things (flaws) that led me to believe I saw 3-strip Cinerama.

Thanks again, I appreciate you taking the time to help me. I am happy to say “I stand corrected.” Now I can’t wait till the Dome runs it again – so I can actually see – that which I thought I saw -but didn’t – LOL

Coate on June 4, 2005 at 9:00 pm


The engagement of “This Is Cinerama” at the Dome you are referring to was a 70mm presentation, not a 3-strip Cinerama. Its Dome run began Feb. 15, 1973 and ran for about three months.

Any statements or article references to the Dome not running 3-strip Cinerama until a couple of years ago remain correct.

View link

billyraccoon on June 4, 2005 at 6:34 pm

In the late 60’s or early 70’s, after the success of “2001 A Space Odyssey” at the Warner Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. in 70mm “Cinerama”, the Dome on Sunset Blvd. ran a special engagement of “This Is Cinerama”. It remember it well. What it was like to get tickets for a family of 5, the hours we spent in line taking turns standing and what an event it really was.

I also remember the faded condition of some of the 3 “panels” and how they didn’t always match the one next to it and how the registration wasn’t always the best, especially the water sking scene in Florida. But despite it all, it was truly an event. The Rolller Coaster sequence opening to three panels after Lowell Thomas introduces the film on the one center panel alone was worth every moment spent in line and every dollar we paid. The ads boasted the 3-strip projector showing as well as a newly restored multi-channel stereo soundtrack.

Now here’s the reason for my post. “Not until the Dome’s two-year restoration was completed in December 2002 did the venue show a film — a reissue of 1962’s "How the West Was Won” — in Cinerama.“ This is simply not true!

Because their press release and subsequent news coverage was so wide spread, the re-creation of history (or honest error?) is being quoted by everyone as truth.

If anyone can provide me with information regarding this event, I would surely appreciate hearing from you. I plan to go to the Los Angeles Times research library and search their microfilm archives to get copies of the articles and ads. However, without a date or year this is one very huge undertaking.

I want to present this proof to Pacific Theatres management so they can set the record straight and correct the misleading story they are busy telling people. Then hopefully this falsehood can stop being perpetuated. I know rewriting history is popular, especially when it can be used as hype. Cinerama is bigger than that, it deserves good historical documentation, not hype.