Hollywood: Historic Cinerama Dome Theater Plans to Reopen in 2022

Screenings are expected resume at the historic theater, dark since March of 2020, and its owners, the Decurion Corporation have applied for a permit to sell alcoholic beverages there.

 

Hollywood’s historic Cinerama Dome theater has plans to reopen in 2022.

On Dec. 16, a public notice of an application to sell alcoholic beverages was posted outside the theater, with the business name listed as Cinerama. Studio distribution sources confirmed the theater, built in 1963 by the Decurion Corporation, is preparing to resume showings, after having been dark since March of 2020.

 

In April of 2021, Arclight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres–both owned by Decurion–announced they were closing Cinerama Dome for good and the Arclight multiplex theater beside it, along with 15 other locations decimated by the pandemic.

Decurion, real estate company which owns the land under the Dome, has since relinquished many of its Pacific Theatre and Arclight locations, including The Grove near West Hollywood and The Americana at Brand in Glendale, which are now operated by AMC Theaters.

Decurion has however maintained control of the Cinerama Dome despite overtures from other theater circuits.

It is not clear whether Decurion will reopen the Arclight multiplex at the Hollywood location as well; the company does not own that land.

Save ArcLight Cinemas, a movement launched by 22-year-old filmmaker and actor Ben Steinberg, was the first to share the news of the permit application on Twitter and Instagram.

The Dome had been a favorite site to stage premieres, and the announcement of its closure was greeted with emotional outcry from staff filmmakers and cinephiles, including Rian Johnson, Barry Jenkins, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Jon M. Chu, who Tweeted, “What sad news. I loved this theater. And I had my first premiere for my first movie Step Up 2 the Streets there. I snuck out of the movie early so I could cut a piece of the red carpet out and keep it. It sits on my desk. Man, this is hard to read.”

The theater, a concrete dome with a giant curved screen, opened timed to the release of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World in 1963.

In 1998, when Pacific Theatres’ plans to redevelop the land sparked a public outcry, Pacific signed an agreement with preservation groups to save the Dome and its marquee, which were together declared a Los Angeles historic-cultural monument.