Hollywood’s theatrical business may be slowly rebounding, but for some exhibitors the past year has been a disaster. Pacific Theaters, which operates some 300 screens in California, including beloved ArcLight theaters and the historic Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, said Monday it would not reopen.
“It was not the outcome that everyone wanted, but despite a huge effort that exhausted all potential options, the company does not have a viable path forward,” said a representative from Pacific. Theaters in a written press release.
Pacific Theaters also operates multiplexes at The Grove and The Americana shopping malls in the Los Angeles area.
Los Angeles County recently increased its theatrical film production capacity to 50% after more than a year of closure, but many small chains have struggled to stay solvent.
ArcLight theaters were the favorites of many professionals and celebrities in the entertainment industry, with locations in Southern California. The ArcLight Hollywood was the first in the chain to open in 2002 with the then innovative concept of reserved seating and the ushers who presented each show. Latecomers were not admitted.
Many have taken to social media to express their dismay at the news. Love & Basketball director Gina Prince-Bythewood tweeted, “It’s so painful. The Arclight is my destination. Clean, good sound, assigned stadium seats, great popcorn, usher movie introductions. A true cinematic experience. “
“Parks and Recreation” comedian and actor Ben Schwartz wrote that the news was “really disappointing.” Schwartz added, “The Arclight Hollywood was my most favorite theater in the world to see movies. My movie house in Los Angeles. I saw my first movie in Los Angeles there when I moved here in 2009 and the last movie before the pandemic there.
“The Post” screenwriter Liz Hannah added on Twitter, “It’s really devastating. I know I’m not the only one who feels the Arclight has shaped so much of my experience and friendships in Los Angeles.
One of the biggest losses for moviegoers is the historic Cinerama Dome. The concrete geodesic dome on Sunset Boulevard is an official historic monument and a tourist attraction in itself, featured in films like “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” by Quentin Tarantino and sometimes decorated for more prestigious premieres. Located next to ArcLight Hollywood, it was commissioned in 1963 by Pacific Theaters founder William R. Forman as a cutting edge way to view movies using three projectors for its custom curved screen and is just the one of the three in the world to have the aptitude.
Some on Twitter have started offering suggestions to buyers. Tarantino bought the New Beverly Theater in Los Angeles and some suggested he buy the channel. “Veep” actor Timothy Simmons tweeted, “Brad Pitt buys arclight challenge.”
The company thanked its employees, guests and members of the film industry for these years of support. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you,” the statement continued.
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