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Cinerama Fest to Feature Wide Screen Originals


Cinerama is a 3-strip film experience, captured in a still here from the film This Is Cinerama, that will be featured this coming week at the Arclight Dome in Hollywood. Photo: This Is Cinerama courtesty of Arclight

If you’re a film buff, one of the benefits of living in Hancock Park is having the Cinerama Dome only a short drive north, on Sunset Blvd at Vine.  The Arclight Cinemas, which operates the 1963 Cinerama Dome as part of a vibrant hub of theater and dining, is offering a very special lineup for one week only – the Cinerama Fest.

Cinerama is a wide-screen format developed in the 1950s that uses three synchronized projectors to  project onto a curved screen, offering a full 126 degree film experience in the Dome’s theater. There were only a few Cinerama 3-strip movies ever made, and the Arclight is showing a number of them this weekend in the Dome, one of only two theaters in the world that can still play cinerama in its original 3-strip format.

Included in this weekend’s screenings are How the West Was Won (1962)  and It’s A Mad Mad World (1963), and a 2K Digital screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The full program can be viewed and tickets purchased via the Arclight website. 

The short films below, released by Arclight, offer some background into the festival, as well as the technology behind Cinerama. The full slate of short films explaining Cinerama, and showing some great vintage footage of the Dome when it opened, is available to view on YouTube.

Cinerama-Dome-in 1960s
An opening at the Cinerama Dome in the 1960s where glamour and film met on the red carpet. Image captured from the film: Behind the Curtain, Arclight Cinema.

The development of wide-screen Cinerama was in part a reaction to the advent of television, and the studios’ desire to draw people to the glamour and glitz of seeing film as a theatrical event.  Back in the day of Cinerama, people got dressed up to find their ‘reserved’ seats at the Dome. The Arclight is bringing the experience back, complete with its regular reserved seating and some shows including question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers. No indication, however, that they’re rolling out the red carpet for you if you wear your dinner jackets and furs. But it’s worth a try.

Arclight Cinemas, The Dome
6360 W Sunset Blvd
Sept 28 – Oct 4, 2012
See Arclight website for screening times and tickets.


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Julie Grist
Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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