arclight cinemas closing

Arclight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres are closing down permanently. The beloved theater brands, considered an institution of the Los Angeles movie scene, are shutting down due to the financial toll brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Arclight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres will close down, their parent company Decurion has announced (via Variety). This will shutter the beloved Hollywood Arclight multiplex on Sunset Boulevard and its iconic 58-year old Cinerama Dome, which is a favorite of many filmmakers, even making a cameo in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The Hollywood Arclight is also one of the highest-grossing movie theaters in the nation, and closes just a few months before Los Angeles County expands movie theaters operations to 100% capacity.

“After shutting our doors more than a year ago, today we must share the difficult and sad news that Pacific will not be reopening its ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres locations,” the company said in a statement. “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.”

Here is the rest of the statement from Decurion:

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 all the Pacific and ArcLight employees who have devoted their professional lives to making our theaters the very best places in the world to see movies: we are grateful for your service and your dedication to our 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. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you.

Between the Pacific Theatres and Arclight brands, Decurion controlled more than 300 screens in California. There were 18 Pacific Theatres screens at the Glendale Americana and 14 at the Grove in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles — both major draws for the entertainment centers. Other locations were in Northridge, Sherman Oaks, Lakewood and Chatsworth. In addition to ArcLight’s central Hollywood location, the chain operates ArcLight Cinemas in Pasadena, Santa Monica, Culver City, El Segundo, La Jolla, Boston, Chicago and Maryland.

But, of course, the crown jewel of the Arclight brand was the Cinerama Dome at the Hollywood Arclight, the only concrete geodesic dome on Earth. Constructed in 1963, the theater is made up of 316 individual hexagonal and pentagonal shapes in 16 different sizes, with each piece measuring roughly 12 feet across and weighing around 7,500 pounds. Already, filmmakers and celebrities are mourning the loss of the Cinerama Dome, which screened so many classic film premieres and housed so many stars.

But perhaps not all hope is lost. A recent report on IndieWire stated that Pacific Theaters Exhibition had not paid $181,900 in March 2021 rent for its Culver City Arclight location and could owe on the order of $2.2 million for a full year. Another company could assume the leases, buy the brands, and re-open those theaters, after some tough negotiations with landlords. Maybe even Tarantino would come to the rescue of his beloved Cinerama Dome, if the crowdfunded campaigns don’t save it first.

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