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HomeIndustry SectorFilmHollywood Laments the Closure of ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theaters

Hollywood Laments the Closure of ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theaters


The Cinerama Dome decorated for a Shrek premiere

Monday afternoon delivered some very sad news for California and Los Angeles film lovers, as Decurion Corp, the company that owned 300 ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theaters in California, has decided not to reopen their locations.

The theaters affected included a number of popular and usually-thriving ArcLight locations in Hollywood, but more importantly, the closure hits the historic Cinerama Dome Hollywood, which was built by Decurion in 1963 and later reconstructed in the 2000s, becoming one of the most popular places to premiere a movie in L.A., having opened with the premiere of the ensemble comedy, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Rumors had been bubbling on social media in the hours before the announcement, but it was made official when the company released the statement,

“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.

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.”

This announcement shouldn’t come as a big surprise as NATO (the National Association of Theater Owners) had warned many times over the past year that keeping theaters in New York City and California closed for an extended period of time and then limiting capacity would have a deep impact on the theatrical movie business.  California, and particularly L.A. County, was the very last location in the country to reopen movie theaters, and New York City movie theaters are still at 25% capacity or 50 people max.

With the Oscars airing in less than two weeks and the usual start of the summer movie season in May just a few weeks later, theater owners across the country have been hoping that their political leaders would allow movie theaters to allow enough customers to make the ventures profitable. Even so, cases of COVID-19 which led to the theater closures in the first place continue to build in certain states even as a vaccine continues to be rolled out. (This morning, it was announced that the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be temporarily halted due to a few cases of blood-clotting following the shot, and that’s nearly 9 million shots that won’t be given at the current speed.)

The tragic news of the permanent closures led to a number of filmmakers taking to social media to lament their favorite movie houses, including Barry Jenkins, Edgar Wright, Rian JohnsonJon M. ChuGina Price-Bythewood, who paid to their favorite movie houses in the chain. Others were hopeful that someone, a streamer or a wealthy filmmaker, might step forward and buy the historic theaters rather than outright shuttering them.

You can read some of the filmmakers’ laments  below:


Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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