Today the very sad news was released that the ArcLight Theater in Hollywood has closed permanently. This seems completely inconceivable since it is a huge theater complex with the iconic Cinerama Dome as its crown jewel.
It is also unbelievable since the ArcLight has been the go-to place for entertainment for Ray and me and our friend David Bode for years. Before the pandemic and even after David moved to Palm Springs, we figured out how to rendezvous at the ArcLight for dinner and a movie. For years, this was our tradition. The ArcLight was a spot where we’d join countless other Friday or Saturday night moviegoers for the chance to dine at one of the many nearby restaurants (or the one inside the ArcLight complex) before heading off to see a newly-released film. Or sometimes, we’d see a golden oldie that was being featured in the Cinerama Dome, which was an experience all in itself. The dome opened in 1963 and was designed for widescreen Cinerama films. We saw many movies there, but the highlights were 2001: A Space Odyssey, Once Upon a Time in the West and, of course, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
The ArcLight is where we saw Keano Reeves several times just sitting outside with his motorcycle helmet on his lap. It’s where we rode in an elevator with Jane Fonda. It’s where we we listened to talks from famous producers and directors after we watched their films. It’s where we saw ZZ Top, That Little Ol’ Band from Texas in the Cinerama Dome and then listened to them, live and upfront, describe the process of making the documentary. It’s where we ran into other friends who also happened to be out on a Saturday at the movies.
I am sad about this end of an era.
Unexpected. Unwanted. Unfortunate.
Another casualty of Covid-19.
A sad turn of events indeed.