Century Plaza Cinemas
2040 Avenue of the Stars,
2040 Avenue of the Stars,Los Angeles, CA 90067
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Saw PLATOON here in early ‘87 during the “Plitt Century Plaza” era. It was in the main house and having moved to CA from Long Island just a few months before, I’d never experienced such a theater. Massive screen…high-backed reclining chairs…it was something! I was staying across the street that weekend at the Century Plaza Hotel.
This reopened as the Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas on August 21st, 1987. Grand opening ad uploaded.
Century Plaza Cinemas reopening Fri, Aug 21, 1987 – 75 · The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) · Newspapers.com
Just uploaded grand opening ad
This was where I saw The Phantom Menace. Man was that a disappointing day. The main auditorium was classic. The last few movies I saw there were X Files, Private Parts and lastly, Apocalypse Now Redux in August of 2001. It was a proper way to say goodbye.
Extracted from 70mm in Los Angeles, here is a list of the 70mm presentations held at the Century Plaza. (Sorry, I don’t have the duration data for most of these or the screen designation. But if anyone wants that info, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to research now that you’re armed with the relevant titles and start dates.)
1972-10-31 … The Great Waltz
1973-04-27 … Gone With the Wind (3 weeks)
1973-05-23 … Tom Sawyer
1973-06-01 … Doctor Zhivago
1973-06-13 … Gone With the Wind (1 week)
1973-06-20 … Camelot
1973-09-21 … The Sound of Music (2 weeks)
1974-06-19 … The Sound of Music
1975-11-21 … Jesus Christ Superstar
1976-01-30 … Lucky Lady
1976-03-30 … Dersu Uzala (FILMEX/U.S. premiere screening)
1976-07-28 … Gone With the Wind
1976-09-29 … 2001: A Space Odyssey
1977-03-21 … Nights and Days (one screening at FILMEX)
1977-06-14 … Metamorphoses (trade screening)
1977-07-06 … Star Wars (61 weeks)
1978-05-19 … Close Encounters of the Third Kind
1978-08-25 … The Sound of Music
1979-10-05 … The Deer Hunter
1979-11-07 … The Rose (FILMEX/west coast premiere screening)
1979-12-20 … The Black Hole
1980-09-25 … Divine Madness
1980-11-20 … Heaven’s Gate (engagement canceled)
1980-12-17 … The Jazz Singer (world premiere screening)
1981-03-27 … The Black Hole / Sleeping Beauty
1981-04-24 … Heaven’s Gate
1981-05-22 … Sleeping Beauty
1981-07-31 … The Empire Strikes Back
1982-01-22 … Raiders of the Lost Ark
1982-05-21 … Poltergeist (sneak preview screening)
1982-06-04 … Poltergeist
1982-08-13 … Tron
1982-10-22 … Annie
1982-10-22 … Superman II
1982-10-29 … 2001: A Space Odyssey (1 week)
1982-11-10 … Pink Floyd: The Wall
1982-12-07 … Gandhi (24 weeks)
1983-09-09 … 2001: A Space Odyssey
1983-09-09 … Gandhi
1983-10-07 … Staying Alive
1983-10-15 … The Right Stuff (sneak preview screening)
1983-10-21 … The Right Stuff (#1: 8 weeks)
1983-10-21 … The Right Stuff (#2: 2 weeks)
1984-05-18 … The Right Stuff
1984-07-13 … The Last Starfighter
1984-08-31 … Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (7 weeks)
1984-09-13 … Amadeus (HPS-4000)
1984-09-28 … The Bear
1984-10-12 … Ghostbusters (1 week, HPS-4000)
1984-10-19 … The Razor’s Edge (HPS-4000)
1984-11-21 … Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (HPS-4000)
1985-05-17 … The Cotton Club
1985-07-03 … The Emerald Forest (HPS-4000)
1985-08-02 … The Black Cauldron
1985-11-08 … Bring on the Night (2 weeks; HPS-4000)
1985-11-22 … White Nights (3 weeks; HPS-4000)
1985-12-10 … Out of Africa (world premiere screening)
1985-12-11 … A Chorus Line (HPS-4000)
1986-03-07 … Back to the Future (HPS-4000)
1986-04-18 … The Money Pit (HPS-4000)
1986-06-03 … SpaceCamp (world premiere screening)
1986-11-14 … The Mission (HPS-4000)
1986-11-26 … The Nutcracker
1987-06-24 … Spaceballs (THX)
1987-11-06 … Cry Freedom (2 weeks, THX)
1987-11-06 … Cry Freedom (5 weeks; HPS-4000)
1987-11-19 … The Last Emperor (THX)
1988-02-12 … Shoot to Kill (HPS-4000)
1988-08-12 … The Last Temptation of Christ (70mm from Week #4; THX)
1989-01-27 … Tucker: The Man and his Dream (HPS-4000)
1989-02-12 … Lawrence of Arabia (re-premiere screening)
1989-02-15 … Lawrence of Arabia (17 weeks; THX)
1989-02-24 … Lawrence of Arabia (2 weeks; HPS-4000)
1989-10-06 … West Side Story (THX)
1989-11-17 … Black Rain (THX)
1989-12-14 … Glory (THX)
1989-12-20 … Born on the Fourth of July (THX)
1990-06-14 … Dick Tracy (west coast premiere screening)
1990-06-22 … Lawrence of Arabia (THX)
1990-06-29 … The Hunt for Red October (HPS-4000)
1990-08-24 … The Sound of Music (THX)
1991-03-01 … The Doors (THX)
1991-04-26 … Spartacus (THX)
1991-07-01 … Terminator 2: Judgment Day (world premiere screening)
1991-12-08 … Hook (world premiere screening)
1992-05-16 … Far and Away (sneak preview screening)
1992-05-22 … Alien 3 (HPS-4000)
1992-05-22 … Far and Away (THX)
1992-09-25 … The Last of the Mohicans (THX)
1993-07-02 … Cliffhanger (HPS-4000)
1993-10-08 … Gettysburg (HPS-4000)
1993-10-08 … Short Cuts (THX)
1994-07-15 … True Lies (THX)
1994-09-23 … My Fair Lady (THX)
1996-10-14 … Vertigo (re-premiere screening)
When I worked for Cineplex Odeon in 1991-1993, this was the seating for the Century Plaza Cinemas:
3 and 4: 198 each
Theatres 1 and 2 were 70mm capable. Theatre 1 was THX certified. Theatres 2, 3 and 4 had the HPS-4000 sound system.
I saw American Psycho here in 2000, it was amazing. The place was a ghost town though, even the employees looked bored.
It was in such an odd location, I remember getting lost in the office building when I’d go there.
The main auditorium was the site of HPS-4000 with the first ever 4-way speakers in Cinema. The system had the acoustic power equivalent to 10 Symphony Orchestras and was hailed by many film makers as the finest they had ever heard. The picture of the main auditorium shown here was taken upon the completion of the HPS-4000 sound.
Here are two very detailed articles about the awesome system that once was.(PDF required for the second one)
The ultimate system?
Mighty sound of Century Plaza
I saw Star Wars, 2001, Sound of Music, and I believe The Black Hole in 70mm on the large/main 1,400 seat screen here. Man, if I’d only know what that truly meant at the time!
I just watched Oh God Book 2 and they go to this theater, but only the outside. No interior shots, but there is an exterior shot of “ABC Entertainment Center.”
Early in 2002 I got a postcard from the company that owned the ABC Entertainment Center (which included this theatre), announcing they were going to tear everything down and replace it with a new office building and a park. Whenever I went there after that, it was more special because of knowing that it might be the last time. And one day, sadly, it was.
This was one of the best theatres in L.A. when PLITT operated it. The large auditorium was fantastic. I went to the first showing of Jaws opening day June 20, 1975 at this theatre. Like the AVCO Westwood, it was ruined when they cut up the main theatre into smaller.
This was one of the best theatres ever! beautiful screens sound, overall quality a real cut above. And it felt fancy. I saw The Matrix there, Born On The Fourth Of July—with Ron Kovic, who the movie was based on actually there. Saw The Green Mile, Apocalypse Now Redux. This really was one of the best theatres, especially the main one.
I guess the akas on this one were never updated. There were some comments on this issue back in October 2007.
I saw some films at the other theater in Century City but not this one. Not exactly an A-list destination for Saturday nights.
Zip code 90067
Agreed. I only saw the Century Plaza as a Cineplex Odeon quad, but the National will always be my favorite LA theatre for presentation.
this was a fantastic theater. remember seeing many movies there when i was in high school.
As another sidenote to my just posted message, I especially miss the passing of Mann’s National in Westwood. My favorite movie house after the Plitt Century City. Very sad every time I’m in Westwood and see it as a fenced-off weed strewn vacant lot. Oh the memories!
As much as I love Grauman’s main, the actual Dome, and the Village, nothing will ever compare to the Plitt Twin. Star Wars, Ghandi, The Right Stuff, Poltergeist, all on 70mm 6-track Dolby with reclining seats and a yard or two of legroom will never be restored. Cineplex/Odeon absolutely destroyed modern movie-going. Even other houses like the original Egyptian, Fox Venice etc… are sorely missed in these days.
Oops! I was referring to Lost Memory… Not to belabor the whole parking issue that bugs him, but I’m in Santa Monica, and most of the side streets are restricted parking. That doesn’t leave many options if you want to go to the NuWilshire (before it closed) or the Aero. It really forced them back into what they started as — neighborhood theaters.
i don’t think the issue with the movie theater was lack of parking – it was that the parking at the abc entertainment complex was pricey during the day. for a long time the century city mall parking was free (and then after that i think just a dollar for something like 4 hours parking) – so of course those of us that didn’t want to spend the extra $, just walked over from one mall to another.
don, i don’t know if the LM you are referring to is me or Lost Memory? if it’s me – i grew up in the valley and west hollywood and currently live in encino. pretty much any movie theater in the valley is a cinch to park at (and totally free) compared to anything “over the hill” in the city. but lack of parking doesn’t seem to stop people from going to the cheapie or independent theaters around town (the fairfax springs to mind).
I never had trouble parking at Century City when I used to live in Santa Monica. I’d just walk over to the cinema from the mall garage. This cinema was also easy to reach by bicycle from Santa Monica.
LM, I don’t know where you’re located, but here in LA, the car is king. If you can’t drive there and park easily, a lot of people just won’t go. Many great neighborhood theaters suffer for this reason.
Maybe there should be a button that says “Rhetorical Question-Do Not Answer”.