ArcLight, Cinerama Dome close curtains after 19 years


Yahir Martinez

Chronicle Reporter

Since 2002, people in the Hollywood area have had the ArcLight theater and Cinerama Dome as go-to movie theaters. Now 19 years later, ArcLight’s owner announced the closing of the popular theater.

From a statement released last Monday, all ArcLight and Pacific theaters in California, including the Cinerama Dome, will close due to huge losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, which left the theater without “a viable way forward.” In the statement released by Pacific Theatres, they thanked their employees and customers, “To our guests and members of the film industry who have made going to the movies such a magical experience over the years: our deepest thanks.”

Specifically in the Hollywood area, ArcLight has always been a go-to movie theater. There was always a special event going on for popular films. They might, for example, redesign the Cinerama Dome to include character outfits in the lobby, or have red carpets outside where some of the actors could be interviewed. 

The Cinerama Dome is based upon an idea of the geodesic dome developed by R. Buckminster Fuller. By using this idea, William R. Forman, founder of Pacific Theatres, decided to begin construction on the Cinerama dome in April 1963. With only 16 weeks as the time limit, the Cinerama Dome became the only concrete geodesic dome in the world. In November that same year, just in time for the first movie filmed in the new 70mm single strip Cinerama process, it premiered Stanley Kramer’s “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World”.

Students at Hollywood High are upset ArcLight is closing because it has provided so many unforgettable experiences. “Honestly it’s heartbreaking. I loved ArcLight. It was the closest theater to me and the caramel popcorn is the best,” said junior Luis Bautista-Santiago. He mentioned that he would always go to the theater with his girlfriend to just enjoy the experience and vibe of the theater after a long day of school. 

Some people think it’s a shame that a well-known theater like ArcLight would close after a year of not reopening. “It’s in a bunch of movies and a famous movie theaters like the Chinese Theater. Also, it brings a lot of tourists and since theaters are making a comeback after a year-long shutdown, it doesn’t make any sense to shut down such a popular place,” said SAS junior Crystal Abarca. 

This is upsetting for all students who attended before the pandemic, as well as those who never attended, who will no longer have the opportunity to make memories at the iconic Cinerama Dome and ArcLight theater.

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