Say goodbye to the Hollywood Cinerama Dome


Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit Hollywood’s Cinerama Dome is known for its space-age looking dome and its wide, curved screen. 60 years of movie-going there seems to be coming to The End.

Transcript GARCIA-NAVARRO: The first movie to play there – “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”


Once upon a time, if you wanted to go see a movie in Hollywood, there were few better places to go than the Cinerama Dome. When it was built in 1963, it was the first new movie palace there in decades. LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Lifelong Angelino Alison Martino, who catalogues the city’s history on the site Vintage Los Angeles, remembers her first trip to the dome. GARCIA-NAVARRO: It had a curved screen that would accommodate Cinerama movies projected with three different projectors, forming a super-wide image that slightly bends around the audience. And it was a strange shape – a geodesic dome. Sometimes that dome would be decorated for movie premieres. It became the moon for the Neil Armstrong movie “First Man.” It was appropriately green with ears for “Shrek 2.” Alas, as other movie theaters have announced they are reopening, the Cinerama Dome’s owner, ArcLight Cinemas, says it will now be shut for good.

MARTINO: …Which was kind of the perfect movie to see there – outer space, aliens (laughter). You know, and you’re sitting in this space-age theater, so it kind of looked like, you know, like a planet had landed in the middle of Sunset Boulevard. ALISON MARTINO: I have a very, very tender moment of seeing “E.T.” when I was about 11… (SOUNDBITE OF JOHN WILLIAMS’ “THEME FROM JURASSIC PARK”)

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