Cinedome Theatres

3001 W. Chapman Avenue,
Orange, CA 92868

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Century Theatres, Syufy Enterprises

Architects: Vincent G. Raney

Previous Names: Orange Cinedome

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News About This Theater

Cinedome Theatres

One of Orange County’s premiere theatres, particularly for 70mm presentations, during the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s. It was originally owned and operated by Syufy Enterprises, which later changed its name to Century Theaters, Inc. It opened with 2-screens in June 1969 and expanded with two more screens in November 1974. Two more screens were added on June 29, 1977. On November 11, 1986 another two screens were added. Three more screens were added on February 19, 1992.

I recall seeing “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “Hot Stuff”, “The Black Hole”, “TRON”, “Back to the Future”, “Total Recall”, and other films there.

A terrific theatre which closed on January 6, 1999. It never should have been closed or demolished, but it was, in favor of a modern multiplex built not far on the site of the former Stadium Drive-In.

Contributed by papibear

Recent comments (view all 57 comments)

rivest266
rivest266 on November 19, 2019 at 3:32 pm

1977 and 1992 grand opening ads posted.

Zubi
Zubi on November 26, 2019 at 6:57 pm

Cinedome-Orange did not open with four screens as indicated above. As shown in the grand opening ad in the photos section for this theatre, it opened in 1969 as an enormous twin, with, approximately-speaking, two 900-seat domed ampitheatre-seating auditoriums (neither of which was ever divided for the life of the complex). Each of these two original, giant domes was as big as or bigger than the Cinerama-Hollywood. In 1974 two large, conventional houses were added (one 600-seater, the other 400). In 1977 two medium-sized domes, again with ampitheatre seating, were added (each around 400-seats). In 1986 two more conventional houses were added (also around 400-seats each). Finally, three more domes were added in 1992. At just under 300-seats each, these last three were “small” only when compared to Cinedome’s other auditoriums (each would’ve made a nice main house in any normal multiplex of the time). The total capacity for this 11-plex was around 5600. Cinedome-Orange’s box office and snack bar grosses were staggering (among the highest in the country). Five of the houses had 70mm capability: Four 70 projectors were from the original twin (from the pre-platter/changeover era when each screen required two projectors) and one 70 projector was brought over from City Center (after it was acquired by Syufy/Century). 70 was run frequently—in both domed and conventional auditoriums (along with all of the latest digital sound formats of the time).

rivest266
rivest266 on November 27, 2019 at 1:56 pm

Expansions:

  • 1 screen June 17th, 1969

  • 2 screens June 18th, 1969

  • 3 screens November 7, 1974

  • 4 screens November 13th, 1974

  • 6 screens June 29th, 1977

  • 8 screens November 11th, 1986

  • 11 screens February 19th, 1992

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on May 8, 2021 at 3:21 pm

Please update, theatre closed January 6, 1999. It the later years it was discount theatre. Final display ad posted. It became a discount theatre November 21, 1997 when the Stadium 25 opened by Angels Stadium.

Flix70
Flix70 on June 12, 2021 at 4:18 pm

Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning 1981 classic “Raiders of the Lost Ark” opened at the Cinedome in 70mm 40 years ago today (June 12, 1981).

Widely considered the greatest action-adventure movie ever made, it became the highest-grossing film of 1981, introduced the world to Indiana Jones & spawned three sequels (with a fourth on the way), not to mention kept all us Star Wars fans busy between The Empire Strikes Back & Return of the Jedi.

I saw Raiders at the Cinedome with my dad & it’s one of the best memories I have of spending time with my old man.

Flix70
Flix70 on October 13, 2021 at 8:58 am

Film historian Michael Coate has just published an exhaustive Raiders of the Lost Ark 40th anniversary retrospective at https://thedigitalbits.com/columns/history-legacy-showmanship/raiders-of-the-lost-ark-40th

Great job as usual, Michael.

MSC77
MSC77 on December 30, 2021 at 4:18 pm

Thank you, Flix70!

MSC77
MSC77 on December 30, 2021 at 4:21 pm

Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. Cinedome’s year-plus (and venue record) run is mentioned in the piece.

MSC77
MSC77 on December 31, 2021 at 7:11 pm

Here’s a clickable link to the RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK retrospective article that was mentioned a few comments ago.

I can’t be the only Cinema Treasures member who wishes the Cinema Treasures crew would “strongly encourage” commenters make their links clickable. It’s not difficult: Simply type out within brackets how you wish the link to read and then paste the URL within parenthesis that follow the brackets.

I skip right over comments that include an un-clickable link (and I bet most members do the same). So I imagine links to articles will get read more often if they’re clickable.

Happy New Year!

Flix70
Flix70 on January 4, 2022 at 8:50 am

Thanks for the tips on clickable links, Michael. I’ll try & remember the process.

I’d like to “strongly encourage” Cinema Treasures to make links clickable once you copy them, as most other websites do. Members shouldn’t have to write “code” every time they add a link.

Happy New Year!

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