Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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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.

segask on June 15, 2006 at 6:37 pm

does anyone know how many subwoofers the Dome has?

segask on June 10, 2006 at 5:07 pm

a number of people have said that the Dome has the finest presentation of any theater in L.A. I don’t see how you can possibly say that. According to the Arclight website the screen is 86 feet by 32 feet.

86/32 = 2.69. This is ok, I guess, for those tiny handful of Cinerama movies that were ever made, but for all first run films in 2.40 or 1.85 the image gets badly distorted on the sides. In the center area of the screen the geometry is ok, but out towards the sides it is stretched and looks awful. In Revenge of the Sith for example, there is a shot of a planet in space a little off center. The part of the planet in the middle of the picture looked circular, but the part towards the side looked elliptical, and the planet looked like an egg.

And its so deeply curved (and not louvered) that it reflects on itself and can look washed out if something bright is on one side and something dark is on the other side.

And there are still sound imaging problems caused by sound reflections off the domed shape of the ceiling, even thought they covered it with acoustic panels during the remodel a few years ago.

Pacific/Arclight probably has the best projection and sound equipment money can buy in the Dome, but unfortunately for showing regular first run films, the auditorium suffers from really serious design flaws. Best presentation of any theater in L.A.? LOL! Far from it!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 8, 2006 at 3:38 am

The architecture firm responsible for designing the 14 screens which now accompany Welton Beckett & Associates' original Cinerama Dome are Gensler Architects, a massive diversified global company with offices in 28 cities and over 2000 employees and an equal number of clients.

JSA on June 2, 2006 at 2:48 pm

More bad news for me: They have to do that the week I’m out of town on a business trip…