Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas

6360 Sunset Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Showing 151 - 175 of 1,137 comments

RussM on September 18, 2012 at 7:21 am

The upcoming Cinerama Film Festival has showings scheduled with a gap of about 40 minutes between each film. Does anyone know how they will handle persons staying for more than one show ? Will it be necessary to exit the building, and re-enter ?

RogerA on September 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I bought my ticket for “The Master” a couple of weeks ago and there were plenty of open seats but the last time I checked most of the seats for the Saturday 4:45 show were sold. It looks like it will do big biz this weekend at the Arclight!

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on September 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Yes, early reports were correct — there was one installed in #3.

CSWalczak on September 13, 2012 at 2:23 am

The site indicates that two 70mm prints of “The Master” are being shipped to the Dome, and the schedule of showings for Friday, the 14th, shows that not all of the showings are in the Dome, so it would appear that at least one other screen at the Arclight has been or is equipped for 70mm. Can anyone confirm?

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on September 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm

For the Midnight screening specifically, yes… but sell-outs for this type of LA/NY exclusive are not at all rare. See: MOONRISE KINGDOM’s first week at the ArcLight. P-T-A has built a following that is close to Wes Anderson’s in terms of devotion. THERE WILL BE BLOOD sold out the two biggest auditoriums inside consistently for a week (albeit during the holidays).

silver on September 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Wow. I just looked at the ticket page on Arclight’s website.

The 1st screening of ‘The Master’ in 70mm in the Cinerama Dome this Thursday night at MIDNIGHT is SOLD OUT.

It’s kind of amazing for a non-superhero type film to be able to do that. My impression is that ‘The Master’ is more of an art house type film. And especially since it will be screening in The Dome in 70mm for the next 7 days, one of which I will be at.

jsittig on September 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Yes, The Master will play in 70mm in the Dome.

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on August 31, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Theatre 3 has 416 seats. It and its upstairs twin #10 are the two largest auditoria in the Arclight part of the complex.

RogerA on August 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I heard about this new film called The Master Filmed with a 65mm negative. It is coming to the Dome. I’m surprised I got a good seat. I expect it will be a 70mm print. That would look good on that screen.

Flix70 on August 31, 2012 at 3:26 pm

The Dome is screening Michael Anderson’s “Logan’s Run” on Saturday, Sept. 8 @ 8PM. Apparently it’s a brand new digital restoration. Man, it would be fun to see that film on the big screen again after 36 years. Link below.

CSWalczak on August 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm

If they are putting 70mm capability into Auditorium #3, it may be as a moveover site, as the Dome will be hosting the Cinerama event beginning on the 28th, and this might require a day or two of preparation.

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on August 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm

It IS showing in the Dome in 70mm. Tickets are already onsale.

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on August 30, 2012 at 12:21 pm

They were wrong about the Village engagement and now, with the Dome pre-selling in 70mm, I think they’re wrong about auditorium #3.

Mikeoaklandpark on August 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm

WHy would they not show it in the main theater with the huge curved screen?

CinemarkFan on August 30, 2012 at 12:03 pm

As you know, advance tickets are on sale for “The Master” in 70mm. A source said that a DP70 will be installed in ArcLight’s auditorium #3.

That said, does anyone know the seating capacity of #3? And how large is the screen?

bigjoe59 on August 30, 2012 at 11:45 am

to Howard B.–

thanks for your reply. eventhough i live in NYC i am quite aware of Grauman’s Chinese and the El Capitan(Paramount)theaters. i last visited L.A. the spring of 2004. to which i know these two theaters held many exclusive first run engagements in their heyday so if you lived in L.A. you had to go to these theaters. but in the 1955 – 1972 period i mentioned in my original post i wasn’t aware these two theaters held reserved seat engagements as did the other 4 theaters mentioned in said post.

CSWalczak on August 22, 2012 at 5:42 am

BigJoe59, let me refer you to this excellent resource compiled by Michael Coate and William Kallay; it is a comprehensive listing of 70mm films exhibited in Los Angeles from 1955 through 2012. It does not include three-panel Cinerama showings (see the resource I cited in my 08-14-2012 comment for those) or reserved-seat 35mm roadshow engagements (except when a 70mm engagement could not be verified), but it will give you additional information regarding theaters in L.A. that had roadshow engagements over the last sixty years or so. There is a similar database for Orange County.

HowardBHaas on August 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Bigjoe59, you are not doing your homework very well as you aren’t even mentioning the Chinese and El Capitan (then Paramount)on Hollywood Blvd!! others esp in Westwood Village (esp Fox Village and Bruin), Beverly Hills, and so forth.

bigjoe59 on August 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Hello from NYC-

i thank my fellow posters from L.A.for info about the Dome’s single lens “Cinerama” engagements. i have a new question for you.

as i see it the heyday so to speak of reserved seat or to use the proper term roadshow engagements was the Oct. 1955 opening of “Oklahoma” thru the Dec. 1972 opening of “Man of La Mancha” after which the studios dropped the use of said policy. now in the immediate Hollywood area there was the Cinerama Dome and up on Hollywood Blvd. the Pantages, the Warmer Hollywood known on this site as the Pacific 1,2,3 and the Egyptian for a total of four theaters. but during the aforementioned approx. 17 year period the studios released a number of their “big” films on roadshow engagements so i should think more than four theaters were needed.

so this is my question- during the 17 year period mentioned above what other theaters in the L.A. area were regularly used by the studios for exclusive roadshow engagements other than the four in the immediate Hollywood area?

Manwithnoname on August 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm

“Mad World” was shot with a single camera in Ultra Panavision and was 90% completed before Kramer was approached to release it as the first single-lens Cinerama release. He did not “propose” the film to open the Dome. The Dome was built in 16 weeks to be ready by the film’s already scheduled opening date.

Flix70 on August 16, 2012 at 10:22 am

Jsittig: Any chance the Dome will screen Lawrence of Arabia this fall for its 50th anniv?

CSWalczak on August 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Here is another piece of information that would help to support the idea that the determination to abandon three-strip Cinerama was made in 1962: according to the IMDB, filming of “The Greatest Story Ever Told” in three-strip was ordered stopped by United Artists after thirty days of filming in 1962. (The film actually would not be released – in Ultra Panavision 70 at the Dome – until 1965 due to many problems in the making of the film). As I noted earlier, filming in three-strip on “Mad World”, also a UA film, also apparently stopped in 1962.

CSWalczak on August 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm

BigJoe59, this link will take you to Michael Coate’s carefuly-researched chronology of Cinerama exhibition in Los Angeles; as you will see, both the Cinerama Dome and the Warner Hollywood were used for initial runs of 70mm Cinerama films.

The Dome was able to be built so quickly for two reasons. First, Cinerama Inc. intended to build hundreds of these theaters around the world and had developed a prototype design before Pacific Theaters decided to construct the first one, Secondly, some parts of the building were prefabricated, such as the ceiling hexagonal ceiling sections.

Perhaps John Sittig could tell you at what point the decision was made not to install the three projectors and soundtrack processor at the Dome. Online sources indicate that construction of the Dome was announced in April, 1963. Since “Mad World" opened at the Dome on November 7, 1963, actual construction probably started in July, 1963 (though preparation of the site probably started before). The final decision not install the equipment may have been after the premiere of “Mad World” once it was clear the film was a success.

One other point that may have a bearing on the question: The Dome never installed the original deep curve Cinerama screen of about 146 degrees. The one installed at the Dome originally had a shallower arc, I think of about 123 degrees. (At least it was a strip screen then; that single sheet one they have now which has the same shallower arc cannot hold a candle to the authentic deep curve strip-screen at the Cinerama Theater in Seattle, but it is better than that abominable flat screen that was installed for the opening of “Evita” before the Dome’s renovation).

The decision to install the shallower screen probably was due to the fact that the Dome’s owners knew that 35mm films and films in other widescreen processes would be shown at the Dome in coming years, and that showing films other than three-strip Cinerama on a deeply curved screen resulted in a somewhat distorted image. (I know; I saw “In Search of the Castaways” on the deeply curved Cinerama screen at the Palace in Cleveland, and was very odd to see it projected this way). The decision not install the deeply curved screen may have been a useful compromise at the time, but I suppose it may have been evidence that some people at Pacific Theaters knew that three-panel Cinerama was on its way out.

The agreement between MGM and Cinerama, Inc. to produce two films in three-panel Cinerama appears to have been struck in 1958. I have not been able to find a start date for principal photography for “Brothers Grimm” but it probably was late 1960 or early 1961 and probably had a long shooting schedule as George Pal insisted on filming in Europe on authentic locations.The film had its world premiere in the United States on 08-07-1962. Principal photography on “HTWWW” began of May 26, 1961. “HTWWW” premiered in London, on November 1, 1962 and in the U.S. on February 20, 1963 at the Warner Hollywood (where it would play for 93 weeks). After that, the Warner Hollywood would only play 70mm Cinerama films.

I do not know when the decision was made to switch filming “Mad World” from three-strip to 70mm Ultra Panavision, but it was probably in 1962 soon after the beginning of filming, as I have found a note that Kramer needed to do substantial filming in the summer of 1962 as that was when many of the large and famous cast would be available for location work. It should be kept in mind that in addition to 166 days of filming, “Mad World” would be in post-production for quite some time for the numerous effects shots; in addition, I have read that there was much work that had to be done in getting the projection as close to perfect using 70mm equipment; also the printing of the release print involved what was called “rectificaton” to reduced the image distortion on a curved screen, a process which appears to never to have been used before.

Complicating matters further, one source indicates that Cinerama itself was in development of a single lens process when the decision was made use the already-established Ultra Panavision lenses and 70mm film.

So when was the decision made? My guess would be sometime in 1962, but it may not have been so much a decision – at that point – to abandon three-strip as it was a decision to see what the reaction was to the 70mm version. It seems more likely that the decision to finally abandon three-strip was only actually made after it became clear that 1) 70mm was at least to some extent useful in making a Cinerama production (“HTWWW” basically proved that) and that 2) the moviegoers (well, at least some of them) would still go to roadshow 70mm Cinerama productions in large numbers (as proved by “Mad World” and “2001”). However, it only took a few turkeys such as “Custer of the West” and “Krakatoa” to show that advertising a film as “presented in Cinerama” was no assurance of success. But I think it is possible that had additional three-strip Cinerama films been made after 1962, that the Dome might have installed the requisite projectors or maintained the Warner Hollywood as three-strip venue.

I am not sure that you will actually be able to find a an actual date for abandonment of Cinerama. More likely, it simply just passed away from disuse over time when no director or studio chose to use it or spend the money to film with it. Much as I and others are passionate about it, it was admittedly a difficult to use and expensive process to use on narrative films especially. It is perhaps similar to asking on what day was decided to essentially stop using B&W film except for occasional artistic reasons.

I am sorry for the length of this, but I do not think your question really has a simple answer.

jsittig on August 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm

The Dome was built in 16 weeks. Working double shifts.In fact, we will be playing a short on the building of the Dome where the sign on the construction site was changed every week,,,in 16 weeks,…in 15 weeks etc. MAD WORLD had a 166 day shooting schedule so it was in production way before they broke ground on the Dome. Some of the single strip 70mm Cinerama films played at the Warner Hollywood…Hallelujah Trail, Circus World, 2001: A Space Odyssey (Not sure about Custer of The West…it did not play at the Dome. Yes we will be playing the police calls at intermission. Hope that answers everything.

bigjoe59 on August 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Hello Again From NYC To My Fellow Posters
In L.A..–

i thank my fellow posters in L.A. for answering my many inquiries about the Cinerama Dome. a new two part question-

*since the Dome was rather technologically advanced for 1963 i assumed the period from groundbreaking to the opening night of “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World” was at the least a year if not more. yet a fellow poster replied that the period of time from the ground breaking to the opening night of IAMMMMW was only 18 weeks. is that true? it seems like an awfully short period of time in which to build a fairly large theater. the reason i bring up how long it took to build the theater is simple. i am trying to determine if the decision to abandon the 3-Strip Cinerama process in favor of the single lens version was made before the groundbreaking or after construction of the theater had begun.

*now if my count is correct there were 10 single lens Cinerama films. “Its A Mad Mad Mad Mad World” from Nov.‘63 being the 1st and “Krakatoa-East of Java” from July'69 being the last. to which a question- did all 10 single lens Cinerama films play the Dome or did some play whatever old time movie palace in the Hollywood area that had been converted to show the original 3-Strip process?