Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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alisonwriter on July 10, 2018 at 10:25 pm

Hi there, I’m working on a project about the Cinerama Dome and would like to interview former (and current) employees—projectionists, managers, ushers, ticket sellers, janitors, etc. No on-camera required. alisonnastasi (at) gmail

edlambert on July 9, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Well! My dream has always been to operate a cinema that presents films in the way the director wanted them shown. Thus, the full height of my screen would always be the “1,” and there would always be enough screen for everything from the 1.37 to the 2.76—with sufficient curvature in the screen so that the throw of the projector would be the same distance both to the center of the screen and to the sides. No, I wouldn’t have curvature along the top and bottom. That looks funny. Here’s hoping, too, that the engineering of lenses will soon be able to accommodate deeper curvature so that projector or projection room glass does not require the matting that actually eliminates some of the image. Perfect squares or circles from top to bottom and side to side when the test strip is projected.

PeterApruzzese on July 9, 2018 at 10:28 am

RogerA – the new 35mm print of “2001” that I ran back in 2004 was pillarboxed on the sides to preserve the 2.20:1 aspect ratio. The current 2K DCP of “2001” is also pillarboxed, presumably the new 4K will do the same.

RogerA on July 9, 2018 at 8:28 am

To change aspect ratio from one medium to another i.e. film to digital, 70mm to 35mm, then the image is either cropped or letter boxed. Many movies these days are released in several different formats and aspect ratios. The camera original source material is often different formats. It is always cropped to make it fit.

Gone With The Wind was released in 70mm and those prints were cropped the original is 1.33:1 and the 70mm prints were 1:85 matted.

The Ten Commandments was shot in VitaVision so the 70mm prints were cropped.

2001 of course was shot on 65mm film for a 70mm release print (2.5mm extra space on each outer edge for sound tracks) The 70mm prints are not cropped but the 35mm version is cropped a little on the top and bottom and is much shorter than the roadshow version. The digital version is either cropped or letter boxed probably the latter.

AMC and other chains crop 20% or more in the projectors. If a theater does not have movable masking or the masking is limited they will crop the image to fit the screen. It is standard procedure in most multiplexes to crop the image to make it fit the screen or letter box it. Very few theaters bother to run a film in the exact proper aspect ratio that is why the Arclight in Hollywood is a favorite among the film crowd.

MarkNYLA on July 9, 2018 at 7:30 am

2001 is being presented in the Dome on 70mm in it’s correct aspect ratio of 2.20:1, as it was photographed. There is NO stretching or cropping. Period. Full stop.

edlambert on July 9, 2018 at 6:02 am

Roger, but you said that digital presentation is at 2.39:1. That can only mean that the digital presentation stretches the negative or crops it, thereby achieving the same effect.The aspect ratio can be changed in only one of these two ways.

RogerA on July 8, 2018 at 7:35 pm

2001 was shot on 65mm with spherical lenses so there was no compression. The aspect ratio of the negative is 2.20:1 The 70mm prints are 2.20:1 There is no stretching or cropping. Some of 2001 was shot in Todd-AO and that was 2.2:1

edlambert on July 8, 2018 at 5:51 pm

Roger, that must mean that either the original image was stretched (which wouldn’t be that much of a stretch) or that the frames were cropped to produce the same ratio. Either way, it seems, there was either distortion or loss of image. The mathematics of ratio permit nothing else. No?

RogerA on July 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm

2001 was and is 70mm 2.2:1 2.39 is digital scope

HowardBHaas on July 8, 2018 at 11:22 am

what does that mean? are you saying 2001 was projected in 2.39 scope?

RogerA on July 8, 2018 at 9:43 am

I went to 2001 in the Dome it was full frame non anamorphic 70mm. Yes they have adjustable masking to accommodate several different aspect ratios.

edlambert on July 8, 2018 at 9:31 am

What evidence is there that Arclight was not running “2001” in the correct aspect ratio? If the venue (the Dome?) ran the film, the use of mattes on the screen—and not much matting would be needed—could easily accommodate the different ratios. Perhaps you have more information you could share with us.

RogerA on July 8, 2018 at 9:12 am

Hi Jim,

The Arclight does have projectionists; union projectionists. Most shows are digital cinema. The film shows are on a platter so no changeovers. Not much for them to do except make sure everything runs right.

The Egyptian sometimes runs film and they have a projectionist. They don’t have a platter so film is shown reel to reel. No automation. They have full time projectionists

AMC is the company that has managers do everything and have little or no technical support as do most chains. Most theaters have digital projectors only and are fully automated. So the ARCLIGHT in Hollywood is about as good as it gets.

If you are ever in Boston check out the Somerville Theatre. The main house has two 35/70 projectors they run a fair amount of film and have a projectionist.

JimPerry on July 7, 2018 at 8:54 pm

After reading some of the newer comments, here’s my “2 cents”: In regards to “The Hateful Eight” / “Star Wars” first-run situation that occurred with the Cinerama Dome, the blame lies with Disney. After 2 or 3 weeks of the “Star Wars” film playing in the Dome (and doing its business), “The Hateful Eight” was supposed the Dome’s next attraction (it’s been said that one of the reasons why Quentin Tarantino shot the movie in the old Ultra Panavision 70 format was that “It’s the kind of movie that was made for a theatre like the Dome”.) Unfortunately, the folks who run Disney “pitched a bitch” & threatened Arclight / Pacific Theatres with a lawsuit (something to the effect of “If you move our Star Wars film out of the Dome & into one of your smaller cinemas, we’re gonna sue your asses off for breach of contract!”) Instead of siding with Tarantino, Arclight / Pacific “PUSSIES” its way out of the situation & sides with Disney. (Honestly, if I was the owner of the Dome, I would’ve told Disney to “F..K OFF AND TAKE YOUR STAR WARS MOVIE & SHOVE IT IT UP YOUR ASS! AND BY THE WAY, WE WILL NEVER PLAY ANOTHER DISNEY MOVIE AGAIN!!!” But that’s just me & my opinion.)

In regards to the recent re-release of “2001”, apparently Arclight is not running the film in its correct aspect ratio – Stanley Kubrick shot the film in Super Panavision 70, which has a smaller aspect ratio of 2.20:1. (Ultra Panavision 70 movies, like “The Hateful Eight”, have a wider aspect ratio of 2.75:1.)

Which brings me to the point: If Arcligtht / Pacific TRULY CARES about pleasing their customers & presentations, maybe they should start getting their sh.t together & STOP being another AMC-like movie-theatre business. Meaning: COOL IT with “the manager / assistant mgr.– operator thing” – it seems that the movie theatre biz has gone DOWNHILL for the past 40 / 50 / maybe 60 years. It’s my understanding that it all started with AMC & the multiplex idea – it was a good idea, at first. Then AMC (and companies like it) got greedy & LAZY, all in the name of “making profits”. In other words, BRING BACK THE PROJECTIONIST! (I’m not saying “bring back the union projectionist”. BUT what I am saying is – if you run a movie theatre, you have to treat the projection booth like its “the heart of the operation”. Meaning: NO MORE “BUTTON PUSHERS”! (A “button pusher” is a “manager / operator” or a “assistant manager / operator” who presses “the start button” on a projector & then goes downstairs to worry about, either the snack bar, or the box office, or both. “The button pusher” does the job of 3 people & makes a bit more than minimum wage – if he or she is lucky on that.) Anyway, if things DON’T CHANGE within this business, then sometime, in the near future, there WON’T BE any more movie theatres, like the Cinerama Dome – any more movie theatres, PERIOD! (Something tells me it’s gonna eventually happen. The question is: Sooner or later?)

silver on June 13, 2018 at 4:08 pm

I just checked Arclight’s website & they’ve just extended 2001 in the Cinerama Dome for yet another week! 4 or 5 shows daily. It must be doing good business. That’s awesome. At the moment, you have your pick of virtually any reserved seat in the Dome on the just-added week!

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 13, 2018 at 11:39 am

For three out of the past four weeks, the highest grossing movie in the US based on per-screen average has been “2001”. If only Stanley were still alive to see this.

DavidZornig on June 13, 2018 at 11:33 am

June 2018 photo added credit Hector Acuna. Courtesy of the Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page. Cinerama Dome transformed into what it would have looked like in 1969, for a recent film production.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on June 11, 2018 at 9:59 am

Yes, Howard. They opened the curtain on the MGM logo after the overture and closed them at the intermission. Then they opened them again after the entrance music and closed them at the end of the credits. It was very professionally done.

HowardBHaas on June 11, 2018 at 4:20 am

Not projecting at 2 corners is how the Washington DC Uptown’s curved screen is doing things with digital films but when in the year 2001 they showed a then new print of 70mm, it filled the screen! Robert, did the Dome open & close curtains for this presentation?

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on June 10, 2018 at 9:38 pm

I just came from seeing it at the Dome. It had an overture, an intermission, and exit music. It looked great, except for their smiling screen. Why do the bottom corners of the screen curl up? Can’t they cut an aperture plate to fit the normal screen shape?

HowardBHaas on June 10, 2018 at 5:26 pm

There is only one version in a new 70mm print, of 2001 that’s being shown worldwide. It is the original roadshow version, which itself was 20 minutes shorter, cut by Kubrick himself, than the world premiere of the film at the DC Uptown. Those 20 minutes have not since been seen by anybody though most or all was found in storage in a cave.

bigjoe59 on June 10, 2018 at 12:55 pm


did the Dome screen the original 2hr 40min. cut of 2001? that’s what is implied by Roger A.’s use of the term “original roadshow version”.

RogerA on June 9, 2018 at 7:42 am

Never did the LSD thing but many have.

moviebuff82 on June 9, 2018 at 6:11 am

Did you take LSD while watching the movie? LOL….

RogerA on June 8, 2018 at 7:32 pm

Just saw 2001 in the Dome Original roadshow version it was great to see it on that screen