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These Iconic Movie Theaters Are Closing Down for Good

Fans and filmmakers are hoping someone will save these landmarks.

After a year in which the future of movie theaters has remained uncertain, some especially sad news was confirmed on Monday, Apr. 12. ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres are closing permanently. While there are some Pacific Theatres in other areas, these cinemas are primarily found in California and include some particularly iconic locations.

Pacific Theatres, which operates ArcLight Cinemas, shared the news in a statement on its website, explaining that it can not move forward after the losses experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"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 statement reads. "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."

Read on to find out more about the decision and to see how some members of the industry reacted. And for upsetting things that happened on the screen, check out The Saddest Movie Deaths of All Time.

The company thanked its employees and the many movie fans who've enjoyed their theaters.

ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood photographed in 2016
Alex Millauer /

"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," the statement says. "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."

For more on the last year in movies, check out The Worst Movie of 2020, According to Critics.

The beloved Cinerama Dome is among the theaters closing down.

The Cinerama Dome with doors and windows boarded up in November 2020
mikeledray /

The most iconic theater that will remain shuttered due to the closings is the Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Cinerama first opened in 1963 and was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark in 1998. The building has appeared in several films, including 2019's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and was also often used for premieres and events.

The ArcLight Cinemas locations were also beloved and include the original location, the ArcLight Hollywood, which is right by the Cinerama Dome. These cinemas were more upscale, serving wine and cocktails, and often hosted industry screenings and talks with filmmakers, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

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Filmmakers and fans spoke out about the closing.

Rian Johnson at the London Film Festival in 2019
Featureflash Photo Agency /

Numerous fans and those who work in the movie industry took to social media to share their memories of the theaters and their sadness that they are closing.

"Well this sucks," Knives Out director Rian Johnson tweeted. "Every single person who worked at the Arclight loved movies, and you felt it. Sending love to every usher, manager and projectionist who rocked that blue shirt and made it such a special place."

"Devastating. Too many losses to process," wrote The Farewell director Lulu Wang. "It's just too much… At some point when I'm less upset, I'll tell you guys a funny story about my first time meeting Quentin Tarantino in the lobby of Hollywood Arclight."

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote, "I'm so sad. I remember going to the Cinerama Dome to see Star Trek IV with my dad when I was little. So many memories since then."

"I am cynical," tweeted actor and writer Mindy Kaling. "I feel like the arclight's not really gone and some corporation has already bought it and this is part of a strategy to cause mourning and then they swoop in and save it and we love them and forget they're a corporation. I mean, that's how I would do it and I'm evil."

For more pandemic business casualties, check out This Popular Chain Is Closing Up to 75 Locations.

The news comes as more theaters are starting to reopen.

Guests standing in front of the Cinerama Dome in 2019
Michael Gordon /

With pandemic restrictions being lifted and people getting vaccinated, good news seemed to finally be on the horizon for theaters, many of which have suffered greatly in the past year. Some cinemas in California have already began to reopen, with theaters set to fully reopen on June 15. Additionally, Deadline reports that the ArcLight Hollywood had been one of the highest grossing theaters in the country pre-pandemic. It is still possible that the theaters will be able to reopen somehow under another owner, but as of now, the current company has them permanently closed.

Read about another suffering industry with This Beloved Store Is Closing 65 Locations.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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