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Celebs Mourn the Closure of LA’s Iconic Arclight Cinemas and Pacific Theaters

This is a heartbreaker for every film-loving Angeleno.

cinerama dome

Like so many Angelenos, I had a very specific benchmark for post-COVID normalcy: seeing a film at the Arclight theater in Hollywood. The iconic home of the historic Cinerama Dome, the Arclight is a mecca for cinephiles the world over. It was truly a place for movie lovers, with excellent sound and screen quality and a commitment to a distraction-free experience.

It was a communal center for so many, where a trip to the movies would see you running into old friends, co-workers, and celebrities. The dome itself is a legendary Hollywood location, the site of countless film premieres since it opened in 1963, and was declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1998. It’s also been featured in several films and TV series, most recently in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

So it was uniquely devastating when parent company Decurion announced that they would be closing their Arclight Cinemas and their Pacific Theaters. The company released a statement saying, “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. 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.”

Decurion is essentially handing over the leases of the theaters back to their landlords, and so far it’s unclear if anyone will pick them up or negotiate to revive the theaters. Many speculate that this could be part of a lengthy lease negotiation with the property owners. It’s especially disheartening as the announcement comes after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced statewide re-openings set for June 15. Hopefully, someone will take over, considering that the Hollywood Arclight is one of the highest-grossing movie theaters in the country.

Many fans of the Arclight took to social media to express their sadness, including some of our favorite actors, writers, and directors:

I have so many memories of the Arclight, but one that sticks out was spending my 2008 birthday at a sold-out screening of The Dark Knight. The theater was packed to the gills, with many people in costume. There was a buzz in the air, one that was often found on a big weekend opening for a blockbuster. I honestly hope the theater finds a second life and reopens. If not, it may very well be my own Joker origin story.

(via Deadline, featured image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.