LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – One of Los Angeles’ best-known movie theaters is closing for good, its owners said on Monday, prompting dismay on social media and concern for the fate of other theaters forced to close during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Pacific Theatres group said it would not be reopening its flagship ArcLight Hollywood, home to the Cinerama Dome on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard, and 15 other ArcLight and Pacific Theatres located in the global center of the movie industry.
“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,” the privately held company said in a statement.
“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,” the statement added.
Originally built in 1963, the Cinerama Dome has been the venue for numerous movie premieres and other red carpet events. It was declared a historic monument in 1998 and was featured in Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to the industry, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”.
“Difficult to process this news. Truly devastating,” tweeted “Lord of the Rings” actor Elijah Wood shortly after the news broke.
“What sad news. I loved this theater. And I had my first premiere for my first movie #StepUp2TheStreets there,” tweeted Jon M. Chu, director of “Crazy Rich Asians.”
Others on Twitter called on movie stars, like Brad Pitt or Tarantino, to buy the theater and save it from closure.
Monday’s announcement also means the permanent closure of a 14-screen theater at the upmarket Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles, and a 12-screen facility in the beach city of Santa Monica that opened some six years ago.
Los Angeles movie theaters, which make up the biggest movie-going market in the United States, were allowed to reopen at limited capacity in mid-March.
Governor Gavin Newsom said last week that capacity limits would be lifted by June 15 on all businesses, if vaccinations continue apace and hospital admissions remain stable.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Karishma Singh)