Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas

6360 Sunset Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas

Viewing: Photo | Street View

A geodesic dome built for the Cinerama format, this mini-Epcot like structure is a wonder of 1960’s showmanship. Featuring an enormous curved screen and ample seating underneath the large dome, the Cinerama Dome is famous for blending first run films with the occassional revival classic. The Cinerama Dome opened November 7, 1963 with 937 seats and the World Premiere in 70mm of “Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”. Additional 70mm films included the West Coast premiere of “The Greatest Story Ever Told” on February 17, 1965, the World Premiere of “The Battle of the Bulge” on December 16, 1965 and the World Premiere of “Ice Station Zebra” on October 23, 1968. In 1999, The Dome exhibited an exclusive week long showing of the original “Blade Runner” answer print.

The Cinerama Dome was recently renovated by Pacific Theatres and the theater is now able to exhibit 3-strip Cinerama features — something it never did even when it first opened. The Cinerama Dome and the Seattle Cinerama are currently the only theaters in the US equipped to show 3-strip Cinerama prints. In 2002, the restored “This Is Cinerama” was shown in 3-strip Cinerama, the first time it had been screened at the Cinerama Dome. The original 3-strip Cinerama version of “How The West Was Won” was shown in February 2003 and October 2005.

A new 14-screen luxury theater, ArcLight Cinemas, now adjoins the original Cinerama Dome and offers first-run commercial, art, revival, and other specialty films. A unique movie lover’s paradise.

Recent comments (view all 1,154 comments)

RogerA on November 1, 2013 at 3:59 am

The cut footage was tossed in the trash like so many other things. Prints have faded. There is an an age old phrase and that was faded by Deluxe. The future use of the original negative and footage wasn’t envisioned in the twentieth century. I remember screenings in Hollywood where I met with people in control of this media and they questioned the reason for keeping these old films and negatives. Many a print has been run through a band-saw or used as slug in sound editing. Millions of feet went to be recycled. Some footage has survived and much has not. Cuts were made by the filmmakers and cuts were made by the studio.

Once a film was in general release there was little reason for the studio to cut it. The long films were a problem. Some theaters ran two shows a day some ran three but these long films couldn’t be run more than three times a day. An early show shortly after noon then a mid day show and an evening show. Managers anxious to cut theater payroll and reduce hours (union projectionists didn’t work cheap) may have trimmed some general release prints as much as possible by cutting the intermission (that takes fifteen minutes at least) but once a film was in general release I don’t know of any case where the film once in general release was officially cut by the filmmaker or the studio. Of course these films were butchered for television and could have been cut for re-release. Many a film was butchered for television. Yes, the powers that were in charge figured that once a film was televised that was the end of its useful life.

Star Wars ran almost twenty four hours a day in Los Angeles and other major cities when it was released and many a projectionist sent their kids to Harvard on the overtime pay. Managers were glad to pay the overtime. While Cleopatra bankrupted many a theater. It was a grand and glorious time.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Bigjoe59… The decision to cut “2001” was made by Kubrick, himself, who thought that the film could use a bit of tightening, as well as one or two inserts to connect the monolith with the idea to use the animal bone as a weapon. Similarly, with “The Shining” (which came some years after the age of roadshows), Kubrick decided to excise the film’s original coda, as unecessarily explanatory. In both cases, Kubrick having complete control over the way he intended his films to be shown, the trims were either destroyed or locked away in some personal vault.

If the Kubrick Estate is in possession of this material, it is possible that these will one day find their way into the market, but, thus far, Kubrick’s curators have been very faithful to preserving the presentation of his work in strict accordance with his wishes. I don’t think longer cuts will ever be in order, but I could envision the trims making it into an “extras” feature on future DVD/Blu-Ray releases. It would also be great to see the abandoned pie-fight sequence from Dr Strangelove, while we’re at it…

RogerA on November 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm

After the initial release two scenes in A Clockwork Orange were replaced in order for the X rating to be reduced to an R rating. Kubrick would not let anyone view the original version once the change was made.

bigjoe59 on November 2, 2013 at 1:34 am

to RogerA-

again thanks for your reply. a quick two part follow up question.

*since IAMMMMW has a direct link to this theater having been its premiere attraction I have a question for you. with the Criterion Blu-ray coming out in January would you prefer the longest version possible with actual footage approximating the original roadshow cut or do you not mind stills taking the place of lost footage.

*at the end of your last post you said-“while Cleopatra bankrupted many a theater it was a grand and glorious time”. how did Cleopatra bankrupt many a theater? in played its roadshow run in L.A. and Manhattan for just over year. I can’t imagine a premiere 1st run theater keeping a roadshow engagement for a year let alone over a year if it wasn’t doing reasonable business. also I wish people would stop referring to the film as a flop, bomb etc…… as corny
and hokey as it is its still one of the best historical epics in film history. the only reason people have referred to it as flop, bomb etc… is because it cost to frigging much for the dollar value of the day, in this case June 1963.

RogerA on November 2, 2013 at 4:39 am

to bigjoe

It would be interesting to see an as close to possible roadshow version of Mad World. Stills in place of footage that is missing may annoy some people so I suppose both versions would be best. I assume the sound as well as the picture is missing. They did make some three projector prints of Mad World those should be close to road show length if any survived. As long the whole Ultra-Panavision frame is shown that is a given but the longest version available would be fine by me.

The 65mm negative for Cleopatra should be in pretty good shape. The Rivoli in New York paid a million dollars in advance to book Cleopatra. A large up front advance was required to play the film. The Rivoli did make its money back and the film had a long roadshow run at that theater. Many people traveled to New York City just to see Cleopatra. Theaters in smaller cities payed a smaller advance and many of those theaters did not make their advance back. The general audience did not appreciate the film. Cleopatra was a run away production there were huge cost over runs and producing a movie in Todd-AO was expensive prints were expensive; Fox was strapped for cash because of Cleopatra. It took years to get most of their money back. Of course Cleopatra was followed by Sound of Music and that was an instant hit and a cash cow in roadshow and in general release. What almost put Fox into bankruptcy was Star, Doctor Doolittle and Hello Dolly these three Todd-AO films did not do well at the box office. Easy Rider was shot in 16mm by anyone who could hold a camera and out grossed Hello Dolly. Viet Nam had made the country cynical. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was designed to roadshow but the public taste had changed it did not do well. While some theaters did well with a popular movie that movie may have been in four channel magnetic, or even mono optical others would get into financial trouble with a 70mm show like Chitty. The inflation of the 70’s and the increase in the cost of energy put many of these big roadshow theaters out of business. There was a roadshow theater in Boston called the Astor it was a Todd-AO theater and it lost money for years in the late 60’s and early 70’s. There now stands a multiplex run by AMC on the same site taking up the same area as the one theater once did.

RogerA on November 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm

My mistake the Rivoli payed an advance of $1,250,000 to get Cleopatra

Coate on November 7, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Happy 50th anniversary to the Cinerama Dome, which opened for business fifty years ago today.

Mark_L on November 8, 2013 at 1:19 am

I remember Jerry Lewis promoting the Dome on his short-lived ABC variety show from 1963.

Flix70 on November 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Anybody catch “JFK” in the Dome this past Tuesday night? If so, do tell.

RogerA on December 29, 2013 at 12:15 am

I went to The Wolf of Wall Street. Great seats, (I booked early) sound was perfect, excellent presentation. I don’t mind the curved screen and the picture quality was excellent.

The movie that’s for you to decide.

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