Orange Century Cinedome 11

3001 W. Chapman Avenue,
Orange, CA 92868

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Cinedome-Orange (1993)

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 4-screens and 2 more screens were added on June 29, 1977. 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 that 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. The link has a ton of info on the Cinedome.

Contributed by papibear

Recent comments (view all 49 comments)

Bruce D
Bruce D on June 3, 2013 at 3:22 am

Miss this place….the two main theaters cannot be described…you really needed to experience it to understand how awesome those theaters were.

As a little kid I remember the first movie I saw there with my parents was Sounder and few year later Young Frankenstein. When I was old enough to drive I would drive from Long Beach to see movies there that I knew needed to be seen in a theater like this…Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Aliens, Jurassic Park…

dn6 on June 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I got to experience near the end-run of this awesome theatre during my college days. I remember on my days off or driving home from class, I would enter through the business complex in the back and park in the rear lot next to the dome where employees would park and leave/enter for their meal breaks. Occasionally, I could sneak into the theatre through the rear exit doors which were either left jarred open or the lock was still broken.

Some of my most favorite movies were seen during these times…Thelma & Louise, Terminator 2, People Under the Stairs, Star Trek VI…all of which were in 1991. Most of the movies I saw were during the same visit when one could still hop from screen to screen. The theatre more than made up for it from my constant visits to the concession stands and arcade games while waiting for the next feature to start. I truly miss this theatre. There will probably never be another one like it in OC thanks to the mega-scum small screen complexes that they keep building to please the masses and pack them in like sardines.

I, too, remember hearing the playful little blonde girl laughing and running around in the back of the theatre. She still haunts me to this day…

vmoyneur on April 16, 2014 at 8:58 pm

I was there before demolition started. I was able to get inside to get the remaining equipment. Later on the Superintendent showed up gave him a hundred bucks and he helped me get the rest. Love this theatre when it was just 2 screens. My first movie experience there was Oliver. I also have lots of pictures of it during demolition.

3Dforlife on April 19, 2016 at 12:18 pm

I was the manager of the theater that started the last set of movies ever run at the Cinedome. The last movie (played to an audience) was “The Siege” and played in theater 11. As I was started each film I would recall each film I saw in each theater before starting the film. All the prints that night were being moved over to The New Century 25. If not I had to break them down (take them apart) and they were going over to the The Block (AMC) or back to the studio. I would run a film as background noise as I was working so the very last film EVER run at the Cinedome was the re-issue of “The Wizard of Oz.”

I have great fond memory’s of the theater. I was also the manager who did all of the promotions for the theater in it’s final years. Yes I was the one who ran the Star Wars Special Edition promotion and even “The 11 Screen’s Of Scream’s.” Which we ran classic horror film’s on the big screen like Alien, Alien’s, Creepshow, Dead Alive, Cujo, Christine and more in 1998.

Just can’t believe that theater I grew up with is gone. The theatres were all big… The smallest screen was almost the size of most Mid-sized theaters now (290 seats.) One of the reasons it closed was they needed to do about 3 million is repairs and to add two more theaters. But they opted to build the Century 25 theaters and the area around it for 25 million. It’s sad they didn’t keep the Domes.

Well I ended up with about 200 seats from the theater, the Phone “recording” machine that gave the showtimes, several things from the concession stand, a few poster frames and posters of “Welcome to the Cinedome Theaters” and many more items. DAMN I MISS THE THEATER!

Richie_T on April 2, 2017 at 5:57 pm

My one and only visit was so memorable… Raiders of the Lost Ark, summer 1981. We almost didn’t make it on time because a tanker truck jackknifed on the freeway and exploded. We literally took our seats as the Paramount logo appeared on screen. The vast dome was packed. My 8 year old brain experienced its first dose of cinematic bliss. What a ride! It was the last time our family of four saw a movie together. Divorce happened shortly thereafter.

Flix70 on April 24, 2017 at 10:06 am

Seeing Raiders @ the Cinedome was pretty memorable for me, too. My parents had divorced a few years earlier and my dad took me to see it that first Sunday of release. We rarely saw movies together (my mom and I generally went Saturdays) so it was kind of cool seeing a big action flick sitting next my old man.

Just a wonderful, enveloping cinematic experience from start to finish. I remember lifting my feet off the dark ground during the Well of the Souls sequence because I was freaked by all the snakes.

Easily one of my best memories of spending time with my dad.

Coate on June 19, 2017 at 2:38 pm

The Cinedome was among just eleven theaters in the United States that installed the then-new Dolby Digital sound system for their engagement of “Batman Returns” which opened twenty-five years ago today. And here’s the link to a retrospective article that commemorates the occasion.

OCGirl on May 13, 2018 at 10:10 pm

I loved this theatre. I saw Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark, just to name of few. You had to see those kinds of movies at the Dome. I was heartbroken it was closed down and it was really hard to watch it be demolished.

Dave Tavres
Dave Tavres on April 9, 2019 at 9:58 pm

FYI – the link above (Related Websites – The Final Curtain For The Cinedome) is broken, but here’s an updated link to the same article –

rivest266 on November 19, 2019 at 3:32 pm

1977 and 1992 grand opening ads posted.

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