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Great shot, Richie_T. Looks like late ‘74 or early '75. Where’d you find it?
Make that theaters 2 and 3 by the end of April.
I actually just spoke with someone at the Newport who said the big screen will be closed until June or July. Apparently theaters 3 and 4 will be done by the end of April. She thought it was strange that they did the stadium theaters first, too. She offered that they probably wanted the smaller theaters done first because they take less time.
Still, how do you not have your biggest theater available for the start of the summer movie season? Especially when you’re removing 50 percent of the seats in the small theaters.
Richie_T: I notice that the three stadiums theaters are now listed as having reclining seats and reserved seating. They were closed when I visited on March 16, the big screen was still open. Were you able to look inside the stadium theaters? I find it odd that they renovated the stadium theaters first and not the big screen. We’re a month away from the start of the summer movie season. Is the big screen really going to be ready for The Avengers May 1?
There are special screenings at the Egyptian, Cinerama Dome and a handful of other classic venues in the area. You’d think someone would make a comment or two, on any page. Instead we get posts on juice bars. I’m envious of you guys who live in L.A. and have the opportunity to catch these classic films at the only movie palaces still standing. If you really love film and the venues that show them, seek out these special screenings and share your experiences.
Thanks for the info on the “1941” screening, Coate. Getting anybody to comment on special screenings these days is like pulling teeth. Spielberg didn’t make a surprise appearance Sunday? I did read your Digital Bits article and enjoyed it. Keep ‘em coming.
So no one was at the “1941” screening this past Sunday?
The Final Cut.
Looks like both Blade Runner and Apocalypse Now will get one-shot screenings at the Dome this month as part of Arclight Presents…Crew Picks: Blade Runner on Wed., 3/18 and Apocalypse on Wed., 3/11. Tickets on sale now. Apocalypse is listed as a digital presentation with Blade Runner screening in 35mm.
Actually caught “Unbroken” on the big screen over the weekend (I figured it was most likely the last time I’d see a film here in its original configuration). Asked about the pending renovation and was told things would get started next month, beginning with the big-screen auditorium and then the smaller theaters after that. Apparently the big screen will become one of Regal’s proprietary RPX theaters, not IMAX. RPX features reclining seats, giant screen, dual digital projection, immersive sound, etc. Basically like IMAX without the licensing fees. The employee I spoke with said the big screen would be closed for 2-4 months during renovation. My guess is they’ll have it ready for “Avengers 2” on May 1.
I drove by this theater last week – it’s still called the Festival Cinemas. No mention of Regal anywhere on the building. There’s definitely an ‘80s vibe to the place.
Actually caught “Gone Girl” here a couple of weeks back, my first visit in over 20 years. Still a very nice theater with plenty of leg room. I visited on a Thursday and the matinee ticket was only $4. The cashier said “it’s a special price today.” Works for me.
What’s the issue with the projectionist?
A 50 percent reduction in seating with both sloped and stadium seating, not to mention IMAX? My beloved Big Newport is truly dead.
Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” will screen in 70mm at the Dome starting Tue., Nov. 4. Tickets on sale now.
You sure about that stat, RobertAlex? Regal signed a deal with Sony back in 2009 to equip all of its theaters with 4K projection over the next 3-5 years. It’s pretty mind-boggling to think they haven’t updated their premier auditorium in OC by now, especially since they promote 4K projection on most of their smaller screens before the start of each movie.
Hey, Regal, if your listening: It would have been nice to see the Ghostbusters re-release on the big screen this week. The Cinerama Dome in Hollywood had it.
Anybody catch Ghostbusters in the Dome over the weekend?
I can remember seeing both King Kong (1976) and Future World here as a kid.
Anybody catch “JFK” in the Dome this past Tuesday night? If so, do tell.
Good stories, Imissoldanaheim. I hear you, going to the movies just isn’t the same as when we were kids. The Cinedome, Big Newport, South Coast Plaza, they were palaces that made the great flicks even better. At least we have our memories.
Avoided the Big Newport this weekend and caught the 10AM Star Trek Into Darkness at the AMC Tustin. Very nice presentation; especially in 3D. For fun, checked the showtimes for Trek at the Big Newport. First show wasn’t until 1:15 PM. Why such a late start for a major release on opening weekend? So they could show Pain and Gain at 10:30 AM, silly.
Seriously? A four-week-old film gets the first big-screen showing on a Saturday? Unless Regal was hosting a screening for fitness professionals that morning, that film has absolutely no business on the big screen after four weeks.
Both films have virtually the same running times so that shouldn’t have played into their thinking. I mean is it possible Regal actually thought Pain and Gain would do better on the big screen at that time over Star Trek opening weekend? If so, I’d really like to meet their focus groups.
With each passing week, Regal makes it easier to avoid the Big Newport all together. Kind of sad. I guess I’ll just have to remember the good times, when Edwards used to run things.
I’ve been a loyal patron of the Big Newport for over 30 years now. For my money, there just isn’t a better place to see an “event” film in OC than in the massive, velvet-draped main auditorium. That said, Regal really needs to stop tinkering with the showtimes for films on the big screen. I checked the paper for Iron Man 3 on Friday and the first showing was at 10 AM. Ok, so the wife and I get up early on Sat morning with the intent of catching the first show and while grabbing some breakfast out I by chance glance at the showtimes again and they’ve changed to 10:30 AM. The 10AM is now on one of the smaller screens. This is the second time in a year, that I know of, where the times for the big screen have changed within 24 hours. Sure, the times stay the same, but the screens sure don’t.
Regal needs to understand that the big screen is a bit of an institution in Orange County and that people actually do make the trek from all over the region to see a movie there. In the old days, you looked at the showtimes for the big screen on Friday and knew your movie would be playing at those times at least until the following Thursday. You didn’t have to check back daily to see if the times had changed.
Even Regal’s staff members weren’t sure what showtime was on the big screen this past Saturday morning. And the marquee hanging over the lobby doors wasn’t helping matters either: it listed the first show on the big screen at 10AM, not the 10:30 posted in Saturday’s paper.
I was hoping to catch Star Trek, Man of Steel and The Lone Ranger on the big screen this summer but I’m thinking the AMC in Tustin is looking like a better choice. At least there I don’t have to keep checking showtimes on a daily basis.
Can’t say I remember a hotel by the Cinedome. There’s been a Motel 6 across the street since as long as I can remember, along with a Dennys.
AFI Night at the Movies returns to Arclight April 24. Highlights include: Blade Runner, Pulp Fiction and The Thing. As usual one of the 13 films screens in the Dome: this year it’s In The Heat of the Night, introduced by Sidney Poitier.