Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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socal09 on March 15, 2006 at 12:21 pm

Just attended a screening for the first time at the ArcLight. Fantastic multiplex theatre. Assigned seating, ushers in the theatres actually guiding people to their seats, very confortable seats and great sound and picture quality. Decor is somewhat minimal. Too bad the movie, Ask the Dust, was a big beautiful bore.

JSA on March 8, 2006 at 6:22 pm


Thank you for the Columbia Pictures 75th Anniversary info.


William on March 8, 2006 at 4:22 am

The screen at was installed at the Dome was 86 feet by 32 feet with a 126 degree curve. The louvered screen at the Warner Cinerama was 76 feet by 28 feet with a 146 degree curve. If you go back stage and look at the front lip of the stage behind the current screen you can see the original curve that was cut into the stage for the Cinerama screen.

StanMalone on March 8, 2006 at 2:26 am

While bigger is certainly better when talking about the screen size, assuming the proper light and focus are there of course, it is the ratio of the dimensions that are the key. Anyone who was lucky enough to make it to the Neon Movies in Dayton during their Cinerama days can attest to this. I doubt if the place held 300 seats, and the screen was no bigger than one you would see at some megaplex throwaway house. However, it was a ribbon screen, the curve was perfect, and the relation of height to width was exactly right. And, the projection booths, which were located in the back corners of the auditorium and in the lobby, were level with the center of the screen. I always sat on the fourth or fifth row and had as great a movie going experience as if I had sat at the equivalent seat at the Dome or Seattle, which I hope to do some day.

haineshisway on March 7, 2006 at 8:30 pm

Sorry, but as Dave Strohmaier, the fellow who made the documentary on Cinerama, will be happy to tell you, while the screen may in fact be huge, it was NOT as tall as the Cinerama screen at the Warner Cinerama or any other of the original Cinerama screens.

Coate on March 7, 2006 at 7:08 pm

The Columbia Pictures 75th Anniversary festival was held during February 1999.

As to the comment re “the Dome was never designed to house a true Cinerama screen” — I don’t believe this comment is correct. The Dome WAS designed to be a 3-strip Cinerama house. It wasn’t until very close to its completion that a decision was made to install the non-slatted screen and only 70mm projection. United Artists, the studio that produced the Dome’s debut attraction, “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World,” wrestled throughout its production as to how best to release it, and this is well-documented in the industry trades. UA’s original plan was to release the film in 3-strip.

And to say the Dome doesn’t have a tall enough screen — come on! The screen is huge.

haineshisway on February 15, 2006 at 4:20 pm

I’ve been going to the Dome since it first opened with Mad World. One thing that hasn’t been pointed out and should be is that one of the reasons their current three-panel Cinerama isn’t quite the real deal was their inability to install a proper slatted Cinerama screen. Hence, the projection is not as bright as it should be. The other lesser problem is that the screen really isn’t tall enough – the Dome was never designed to house a true Cinerama screen. I saw Seven Wonders of The World, HTWWW and Brothers Grimm, all at the Warner Cinerama on Hollywood Blvd. and it was a higher screen (and maybe even a bit wider) – I’ve never seen anything like it before or since, and the image was incredibly bright and beautiful thanks to the louvered screen.

JSA on February 15, 2006 at 3:28 pm

I got the above dates from the program that was handed during the engagements (I’ve been doing some spring cleaning!). I recall a later date for Columbia’s 75th Anniversary, but can’t exactly remember when. I just hope they bring back those films, right where they belong!


HowardBHaas on February 15, 2006 at 3:01 pm

I see a comment above about Philadelphia’s Boyd, a former 3 strip Cinerama house, being restored. It won’t have the orchestra booths to project Cinerama, but the historic movie palace will survive!
We found some Cinerama sound equipment tossed into old storage space. There was an old, not too exciting Windjammer poster, and I’m not sure if it was tossed. It was on the floor and not too clean. And, a ticket price sign for This is Cinerama, which we have for exhibit of the Boyd’s history.

HowardBHaas on February 15, 2006 at 2:56 pm

I have an ad from New York Times for Columbia Pictures 75th Anniversary Film Fetival, with my own note that it played the Dome. This series was more recent than above. On other side, a revie of Message in a Bottle.
Lawrence of Arabia (70mm!)
Dr. Strangelove and Easy Rider
It Happened One Night and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Bridge of the River Kwai
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Tootsie
Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind -DTS (Definitive Director’s Cut)
From Here to Eternity and On the Waterfront
Taxi Driver

JSA on February 15, 2006 at 1:44 pm

From May 20 until June 16 1994, The Cinerama Dome presented a “Columbia Classic Film Retrospective”, advertised as “The way they were made to be seen”. The films screened included “Bridge on the River Kwai”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Guns of Navarone” and “Tommy”. I had the chance to see “Kwai”and “Navarone”. They sounded and looked majestic on the giant screen. I don’t believe that a retrospective such as this has been presented in recent years. The last one I recall was done right before the renovation.

It’s about time for the Dome to host another event like this…


Manwithnoname on October 31, 2005 at 12:18 pm

Tomorrow night, Arclight is presenting 2 sold out showings of “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”. Go figure. Paul Reubens in person must have been the draw.

Manwithnoname on October 31, 2005 at 12:00 pm

I was at the early show Saturday and it wasn’t anywhere near being full. In fact, it was disappointing in terms of attendance but (except from a buzz in one of the Dome’s speakers which may have been in the soundtrack) the presentation was awesome. Interviews were done with some audience members and we participated in a matte shot which will be used in the new DVD of the film to be released in 2007. “Cinerama Adventure” will be an extra on the DVD and the picture for HTWWW will use the curved “smilebox” technology. We also got a tour of the projection booth and an envelope containing a film clip from This is Cinerama which was a piece of film from each of the three panels and a fourth which was the mag soundtrack. The Dome has run Cinerama every October since 2002.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on October 31, 2005 at 9:10 am

I said it before…I’ll say it again. The real crowds and $$$’s are waiting for Arclight to steal the annual “Great Big 70MM Festival” from the American Cinematheque/Egyptian Theatre and to bring it to the Dome where 70MM belongs!

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on October 31, 2005 at 9:07 am

When I went to HTWWW at the Dome in 2003 the joint was packed like sardines on a Sunday afternoon. Maybe the crowds are scarce because of the fact that this film has already played in the Dome fairly recently. Could it be that LA area audiences are hungry for other classic films (like “2001”) to play in the Dome as opposed to reruns such as this?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 31, 2005 at 9:05 am

It was sad to see that the Friday and Saturday night shows did not sell out, especially when compared to the overflow crowds in 2003, but I hope this doesn’t deter Arclight from showing the film every couple of years or so. The Cinerama faithful will come from all over, just to experience it one more time. As I said to one of the ushers, entering the Dome to see “How the West Was Won” was like walking into a church.

Bill Kallay and Manwithnoname are right – if there’s any way you can get there before the engagement ends, you won’t be disappointed. In fact you won’t believe your eyes. Cinerama can turn a simple shot of Debbie Reynolds and Carroll Baker standing among a bunch of trees on a riverbank into a truly beautiful, awe-inspiring sight. Don’t even get me started on what it can do for the action sequences.

Manwithnoname on October 28, 2005 at 9:18 am

Today “How the West Was Won” opens and shows twice. Today there are zero print ads (in the Times), no comments by any writer and more space is given by Arclight to the listings of “Saw II” than for this special presentation. Lots of seats still available for all 12 shows even in the center. What a waste.

moviebluedog on October 28, 2005 at 6:29 am

If you live on the West Coast and can attend one these screenings of HTWWW, please do. You haven’t seen this film in its proper presentation until you’ve seen it in true Cinerama. The picture (or pictures) shining on the large Dome screen are clear and bright, and the sound is good, warm analog sound.

John Sittig and his crew put on a spectacular show, and a lot of effort goes into these special engagements. They deserve an audience and deserve applause for their efforts. Sittig has been at the forefront of many special engagements at the Dome of Cinerama and Super Cinerama shows. It doesn’t get any better than this.

The films that audiences see in their local shoebox megaplex are such a far cry from the epic quality of HTWWW. Before I saw it at the Dome in 2003, I had only seen it on LaserDisc and wondered what was so special about it. I found it boring and stagey. BUT, when seen in Cinerama, what a difference! This is a true film with showmanship in mind and shouldn’t be missed!

Manwithnoname on October 28, 2005 at 4:51 am

Ticket sales must be dragging as the engagement of HTTWW was just cut back by a day and now ends 11/02. I just checked and so far the center section has not even sold out for today’s shows. Either support these showings or they will go away.

Manwithnoname on October 6, 2005 at 10:59 am

“How The West Was Won” in it’s original 3-strip Cinerama format returns to the Dome for one week only (10/28-11/03). Tickets on sale now and I have mine in the sweet spot. See you there!

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.