Tuesday, April 13, 2021

RIP ArcLight and Pacific Theaters

Another casualty of you know who: ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theaters permanently closed. Included under the ArcLight/Pacific umbrella: the historic Cinerama Dome in Hollywood and the flagship ArcLight Hollywood.

There's been a lot of reaction to this news here in Southern California and from the entertainment industry, and nobody is happy about it. It also seems to have caught everyone completely by surprise. When I first saw it I was so shocked I thought it had to be a mistake. Unfortunately, it's true.

I'm not terribly worried about the Dome itself - it was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1998. I believe this gives it protected status and even if it doesn't I can't imagine a scenario where anyone would be allowed to knock it down. I'm pretty sure somewhere along the line some entity will resurrect it and get it back into the movie business. 

But the loss of the ArcLight/Pacific brand is a big one for Los Angeles. Most of the significant closures in the past year were classic and popular restaurants. These were businesses that should still be here. Their closures were due solely to loss of business because of the shutdown and not by any fault of their own. When I see states that didn't have California's strict COVID closure policies doing just fine...well, that just make this news even tougher to take.

Other local theaters that won't be reopening because of the closure include the Pacific Theaters at The Grove and ArcLights in Pasadena (Paseo Colorado), Sherman Oaks, El Segundo and Santa Monica. The ArcLight's website has already been scrapped with just the stark closing announcement.

But hey, at least The French Laundry seems to be thriving!

Hugs 😥

Update: There is now a petition to save the Cinerama Dome. Again, I don't think the structure itself is in danger, but a show of support isn't going to hurt its future prospects, so...

Update 4/14/21: The petition originally aimed for 2,500 signatures and blew right past that number. As I type this, they have crossed the 8,400 mark and are now aiming for 10k!

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