EXCLUSIVE: A big upset to distributors before 2024 happens: The Cinerama Dome and adjacent former Arclight Cinemas won’t be reopening next year. Instead, mark your calendars for an anticipated Q2 2025 re-opening, Deadline hears.
The delay is largely due to the redesign that is going on in the space including restaurants and event space, etc and has nothing to do with 2024’s broken theatrical release calendar; left bare on several weekends due to the fallout from the dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes this year.
Since the Cinerama Dome and sister Arclight Cinema have shuttered, distributors have arthouse fare have cried that the Los Angeles market hasn’t been the same, particularly with the closure of The Landmark on Pico Blvd back in May 2022. This despite the fact that some of that arthouse business has segued over to AMC’s Burbank and Century City locales.
The Cinerama Dome shuttered in April 2021 as its parent company Pacific Theatres Exhibition which owned the high-end luxe Arclight Cinemas, went into Chapter 7 bankruptcy. From there, many of that exhibitor’s prime Arclight locations went to various rivals: Amazon took the Century City location, Regal snapped up the Sherman Oaks and Pasadena Arclights, with AMC taking the Pacific’s Grove, and Arclights in La Jolla and D.C. among others.
The Cinerama Dome was kept out of that bankruptcy and remains operated by Arclight’s former parent company Decurion which is controlled by the Forman family. The original developer of the property was William R. Forman; the venue opening back in November 1963.
When the Dome closed in April 2021, the decision seemed final with Decurion stating: “This was not the outcome anyone wanted, but despite a huge effort that exhausted all potential options, the company does not have a viable way forward. 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. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you.”
The Cinerama Dome houses the largest contoured motion picture screen in the world, measuring 32 feet high and 86 feet wide. The concrete geodesic dome is made up of 316 individual hexagonal and pentagonal shapes in 16 different sizes, with each of the pieces about 12 feet across and 7,500 pounds.