Can ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood be saved?


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An arc light, or arc lamp, is a source of lighting created when electricity flows between two carbon electrodes. The use of arc lamps declined in the 20th century, overtaken by incandescent lamps, but they have long been a common light source for movie projectors. Above all, this little detail is just a fun fact – something interesting to bring up at parties. But this week is a reminder that cinema history is long, even when our memories are short – and that news of ArcLight Cinema’s closure may bring back a flood of memories, even for people who don’t know. maybe not the namesake of the movie chain. .

The bloodletting began on Monday, when Decurion Corporation announced it would not reopen ArcLight cinemas and theaters in the Pacific it had had to close for Covid-19. “It was not the outcome that everyone wanted, but despite a huge effort that exhausted all potential options,” Decurion said in A declaration, “The company does not have a viable solution.” It was a blow, especially considering the theaters in California, where the chains operate. some 300 screens, were just starting to reopen. It was also a boost for Los Angeles moviegoers who had spent their lives heading to the ArcLight Hollywood site, home to the legendary Cinerama Dome, a landmark on the Sunset Strip since the 1960s. .

As the news spread, reactions quickly followed. The old guard director Gina Prince-Bythewood tweeted: “It’s so painful. The ArcLight was my destination… A real cinematic experience. »Lulu Wang, director of The farewell, remembers his meeting with Quentin Tarantino in the lobby. Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson lamented “that sucks”, while Moonlight Helmer Barry Jenkins just tweeted a very apt “FUCK”. Twitter film was clueless.

After the shock passed, many people began to search for answers. Some have suggested that a movie mogul – a Christopher Nolan or whatever – might step in to save the ArcLight. Others, noting that the so-called primordial consent decrees no longer prevent studios from owning theaters, have suggested that the Cinerama could be a crown jewel for a streamer like Amazon, Apple, or Netflix. There is only one problem with Netflix taking control of the multiplex: it fair purchased Grauman’s Egyptian Theater, another iconic Los Angeles theater that’s also about a mile from the company’s Hollywood home port. (Amazon and Apple, meanwhile, would certainly have the money, but neither has shown interest in physical locations like Netflix.)

It’s possible that a longtime movie mogul with deep pockets could step in and save the legendary geodesic dome, and everyone is speculating on who could pull it off. Many have suggested Quentin Tarantino. When he bought the New Beverly Cinema in 2010, he said“As long as I’m alive, and as long as I’m rich, the New Beverly will be here,” so he seemed like the kind of guy who could do it. Nolan, a strong proponent of large-format film screening, also seemed like a good bet. But so far no word has come that either is interested. Eventually someone started a Change.org petition stating that “we moviegoers are calling on Amazon, Walt Disney Studios, Apple, Netflix or someone else to save the Dome.” As of this writing, nearly 10,000 people have signed up.

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