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Ross, I rarely sign in and post anymore but I am still on this site almost daily. All I can say is…BRAVO! It’s about time.
I still own a VHS letterboxed copy of an extended version of “IAMMMMW” from MGM/UA in 1995. It inserts deleted sequences that are now a special features supplement into the film and the running time is 182 minutes. Apparently a 70mm complete print was discovered which contained the footage. It is easy to see the difference in picture quality especially since the inserted scenes are rectified for a curved screen and not as sharp. I have not watched this in a long time and I believe this version is missing the overture. When I saw the film at the Dome’s 40th anniversary in 70mm it was the general release version but with police calls during intermission. The current Blu-Ray is exactly the same minus the calls.
IAMMMMW is the general release version at 154 minutes.
After reading dozens of comments about bookings at the Chinese, Dome and El Capitan there has been nothing about the special anniversary screenings at the Dome on Sunday October 27. At 12:40pm will be “How the West Was Won” in 3-strip Cinerama and at 5pm “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” in digital. Still plenty of good seats for “HTWWW” but “Mad World” is filling fast. I didn’t know about it until I received an email from Arclight. I have a good seat for “West”.
Oops! I just saw the interior pics and there is not much left anyway.
Looks like this theater is being converted into an Urban Outfitters store. There is a sign up, the parts of the marquee holding the lettering is removed and the front is walled off. Just driving by I can’t tell the extent of what is being done. Unlike the Olympic I hope more than the marquee remains.
Now that I see Bill is still reading this I can’t resist. Bill, I’m sure you remember me. I used to sleep in the lobby waiting for the prints to be delivered so I could carry them upstairs to the booth. I also occasionally would provide an 8-track tape (God, I’m old) once in a while as intermission music and even a one-sheet or two from my collection for kiddie shows (Ghost and Mr. Chicken). You came back to your office one night and found me with another employee rolling joints in your office! No worries, I would have fired me too! After UA I worked for GCC and Mann. On my 21st birthday I took you down the mall for a drink and wasn’t even carded. Yes, I remember climbing on the killer marquee which, by the way, still stands and is being used as a sign for something else. I am proud to say my name appears in the acknowledgements in the Cinema Treasures book. I am doing well today and wax nostalgic when I see the theater and the mall in “Jackie Brown”.
LawMann, The original Cinema 3 (furthest back from the street) did have 70mm capability but may have been installed later. It seems likely that the 70mm equipment was moved over after Cinema 2 was twinned. The first film I remember being in 70mm was “The Mission” which was released in 1986.
All of the above mentioned screenings are digital.
In addition, if you reserve online and are an Arclight member ticket are $1 less. Additionally,with rare exception prices are not increased for rare screenings. During the recent Cinerama festival regular prices prevailed. I saw 3-strip Cinerama for less than $13 and also got my favorite seat. I do qualify for the senior discount now but even without that what a bargain for what you get.
Having now attended 4 films at the Cinerama festival here is a quick rundown: “Brothers Grimm” was a decent looking print and the only known 3-strip in existence. Apparently not easy to run as there were technical difficulties but that can happen and I do not fault anyone. In attendance were Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno and George Chakiris. “Search for Paradise” could have been great and was flawlessly presented. However, even though in 3-strip the print was pink which spoiled much of the grandeur. There was a song running through the film that was quite annoying and the search itself just wasn’t very thrilling. In attendance were members of composer Dimitri Tiomkin’s family. “Seven Wonders of the World” was to be digital for act 1 and 3-strip for act 2. Instead of 3-strip there was another video version spliced into the restored scenes which were blurry and headache inducing. John Sittig announced someone pretty much made a video of the film while it was running. I still enjoyed it more than “Search” however. Finally “South Seas Adventure” which was fully restored digital and looked much better than I expected. The scenes of Hawaii in the 1950s were fascinating and you can glimpse the marquee of the now demolished Waikiki Theater with “Pride and the Passion” playing. In attendance were Ramini who had a featured role and member’s of producer Dudley’s family. I was witness to the passing of the old and the wave of the future all in these 4 screenings. What a great lesson in film history and I am \glad I was a part of it. I am equally glad these films are being preserved in any format.
“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.
BRADE48, I couldn’t agree more. I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie that wasn’t playing at Arclight Hollywood and almost always the Dome. While you do get the occasional blockhead, there just seems to be more people actually interested in enjoying the film they came to see instead of eating, talking and shining their cell phone beacons. I will drive the 30 miles to see a film there rather than anywhere else. If the Dome ever closed it’s doors I doubt I would ever again see a film in a theater. Wait, come to think of it, I’m NOT seeing FILM am I?
Tinseltoes: Nice post. The theaters were managed by Loew’s before General Cinema and the page needs to be updated. This was the second building built which was nice until it was twinned. I also didn’t realize that cinema 2 was originally equipped for 70mm. I don’t remember any films playing in that format in this house but they certainly did in the cinema 3 building. Interesting to me that the oldest of the three buildings was the last to be demolished.
As it appears, the 3-strip films are “HTWWW”, “Brothers Grimm”, “This is Cinerama” and “Search for Paradise” as well as the newly produced film “In the Picture”. “Mad World” is 70mm. Everything else is digital.
Sorry, I failed to mention that the faded 3-strip print is “Search for Paradise”. Again, I prefer that over a digital version. RogerA: I saw “Windjammer” at the Dome in digital a while back and while I thought it looked pretty good it just isn’t the same as true Cinerama. BTW: “This is Cinerama” and “Windjammer” will both be released on Blu-Ray the Tuesday before the festival. I hope, in the interest of historical accuracy, the join lines are not hidden like they were for “HTWWW”. That’s part of the experience!
There seems to be some confusion at least on one of the shows. Although not mentioned on the Arclight website, In70mm reports that while the print for the Saturday show is indeed 3-strip they report it as having “color faded to Magenta”. Additionally, for the second show, they list it as being 3-strip and then label it as a digital presentation on the right. Personally, I would rather see a red 3-strip presentation than a video version but if it is in fact badly faded the Arclight website should say so for those who care.
Tickets are already going fast. I have mine for “Brothers Grimm” and “Search for Paradise” in back-to-back 3-strip showings. This will be the first 3-strip showings for both at the Dome as far as I know. Going to be a great Saturday!
This theater is now, among other things, a BevMo.
The first films to play this theater were “Life of Riley” and a Bowery Boys comedy. In person on opening night were Rosemary DeCamp, Huntz Hall and Gabriel Dell. When it was opened by the same owners as the Torrance Theater it was trumpeted for it’s modern air conditioning. stadium seating and crying rooms. Later, a new screen was installed for the presentation of 3-D films the first of which being “Man in the Dark”.
The first film to play this theater was “Toys in the Attic” and a sneak preview. In attendance were Chuck Connors, Chill Wills and George Peppard among others. This house, the Rolling Hills Theater and the FOX Palos Verdes all opened about the same time.
If this keeps up they will no doubt raise the age for a senior citizen discount or eliminate it altogether.
To ChasSmith: I also moved away from the South Bay after growing up there and after 20 years returned last year. I am now planning to move out again. Torrance and the general South Bay area have deteriorated dramatically. It’s really too bad but I guess it’s true that you can’t go home again.
Saying simply “Thank You” to Ken doesn’t seem enough. The amazing contributions by this individual cannot be overvalued.
I can also confirm this theater has been demolished. First the building and the street marquee within the past couple of months. Status should be changed.