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ArcLight Cinemas

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ArcLight Cinemas
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryMovie theater
FoundedMarch 22, 2002; 22 years ago (2002-03-22)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DefunctApril 12, 2021; 3 years ago (2021-04-12)
FatePermanently closed in April 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Number of locations
11 (at the time of closure)
Area served
United States (locations in California, Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland)
OwnerThe Decurion Corporation
WebsiteArchived official website at the Wayback Machine (archive index)

ArcLight Cinemas was an American movie theater chain that operated from 2002 to 2021. It was owned by The Decurion Corporation, which was also the parent company of Pacific Theatres. The ArcLight chain opened in 2002 as a single theater, the ArcLight Hollywood in Hollywood, Los Angeles, and later expanded to eleven locations in California, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois.

The chain has been credited for pioneering features such as assigned seating, reclining chairs, and in-house bars and restaurants that were later adopted by major theatre chains. Screenings at the ArcLight were usually introduced by an employee and visitors would not be admitted after the screening had started.[1]

ArcLight Cinemas closed temporarily in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 12, 2021, Pacific Theatres announced that the ArcLight and Pacific Theatres chains would permanently close, citing the lack of a viable path forward after the pandemic. Following the closure, most former ArcLight locations were acquired by other theater chains. The Decurion Corporation plans to reopen the former ArcLight Hollywood with the Cinerama Dome in 2025 as the Cinerama Hollywood.



ArcLight Hollywood

ArcLight Cinemas and the Cinerama Dome.

ArcLight Hollywood was the first theater in the ArcLight chain and was considered to be the flagship location. It opened on March 22, 2002 and was located at 6360 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California.[2] It featured 15 screens with stadium seating, and carried a THX certification for sound and picture presentation. The building was located adjacent to the Cinerama Dome. It was a subsidiary of The Decurion Corporation, which also owned Pacific Theatres.[2]

The courtyard entrance of the ArcLight Hollywood complex.

Tickets for all film showings used assigned seating. The only restriction was the inability to select a seat if it created a single seat space between an already reserved seat, to prevent orphan empty seats that could only be filled by a single individual.

The only promotional material shown before films were trailers.[2] At showtime, immediately before the trailers began, an usher would introduce the film to the audience and state the ArcLight's policies regarding quality assurance. Two ushers would remain in the theater for a few minutes after the film had begun, to ensure that the picture and sound quality were acceptable. The usher would also ask the audience to silence their cell phones and refrain from texting.[3] Seating was prohibited after a film had begun, in correlation with ArcLight's slogan, "Your Movie Time Uninterrupted."

In 2008, the ArcLight Hollywood and the ArcLight Sherman Oaks, which opened in 2007, introduced digital projection.[4] Each location had two houses with Kinoton 35mm projectors for archival and special presentations.[5]

The ArcLight routinely featured exhibits of props and costumes from the films it was screening, as well as local art including 5 different exhibitions from 2009-2020, by artist Clifford Bailey.[6]

Other locations


ArcLight Sherman Oaks opened November 16, 2007, at the Sherman Oaks Galleria, replacing the Galleria Pacific Theater. The grand opening took place on December 14, 2007.[7] A location in Pasadena at The Paseo opened on May 10, 2010.[8] In late 2010, Pacific Theaters refurbished an existing Pacific Theaters multiplex as an ArcLight in El Segundo.[9] The location opened as ArcLight Beach Cities on November 5, 2010.[10]

In November 2012, ArcLight La Jolla opened in San Diego, its first location outside of Los Angeles County. It was located at Westfield UTC, and was part of the mall's $180 million renovation.[11]

In October 2014, the first location outside California opened at Westfield Montgomery in Bethesda, Maryland.[12]

In 2015, ArcLight opened two locations in the Midwestern U.S., both in the Chicago metropolitan area in Illinois. The first theatre in Glenview opened in May 2015, followed by the second location in Chicago's Lincoln Park in November 2015. The Glenview location was previously occupied by Regal and extensively remodeled to the chain's standards, while the Chicago location was the chain's first theatre constructed in the Midwest.[13]

A location in Culver City, California, opened on May 1, 2015.[14] The ArcLight opened the first of two proposed locations in Santa Monica, California, in November 2015 in the newly remodeled Santa Monica Place.[15] In August 2017, the developer for the second ArcLight location announced that they were abandoning the deal, citing doubts about its profitability due to being in close proximity to the existing Santa Monica location. If completed, it would have featured the ArcLight's first IMAX screen.[16]

A location in Boston, Massachusetts, the first Northeastern U.S. location, opened at The Hub on Causeway on November 26, 2019.[17]

COVID-19 pandemic and closure


The ArcLight chain closed temporarily in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 12, 2021, Pacific Theatres announced that the ArcLight and Pacific Theatres chains would permanently close, citing the lack of a viable path forward after the pandemic. The parent company, The Decurion Corporation, said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times that, “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,” Pacific Theatres said in a statement. “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.”[18] After the announcement, the owner of Santa Monica Place evicted ArcLight from its location at the mall, claiming it owed nearly $369,000 in back rent.[19]

Planned Cinerama Hollywood reopening


In June 2022, it was announced that Decurion Corp. has plans to reopen the ArcLight Hollywood and Cinerama Dome and rename the complex as Cinerama Hollywood, which would include two bars and a restaurant at the location.[20][21] In September, it was reported that the cinema would not be reopening until at least 2024.[22] In November 2023, it was reported that the cinema's reopening had been delayed until the second quarter of 2025 due largely to the redesign happening in the space including the addition of restaurants and event space.[23]

Subsequent acquisitions of former ArcLight locations


On June 19, 2021, Regal Cinemas acquired the lease of the location of the former ArcLight at Sherman Oaks Galleria. Regal planned a $10 million renovation with the addition of IMAX, Regal RPX, ScreenX, & 4DX auditoriums.[24][25] The theater reopened in July 2021 as part of the Regal chain.[26] In January 2023, however, it was announced that the theater would close on February 15 unless the lease was renegotiated, but it continued to operate after the date had passed.[27][28] In May 2023, Regal reached a new lease agreement with the Galleria to continue operating the theater as part of their company.[29]

In November 2021, it was announced that Landmark Theaters had acquired the lease to The Glen Town Center's former ArcLight in Glenview, Illinois.[30] It reopened as part of the company's chain the following year.[31]

In December 2021, AMC Theatres announced that they had acquired the lease to the former ArcLight Chicago 14 in Lincoln Park, Chicago, which reopened as part of the AMC chain in April 2022.[32][33]

In February 2022, AMC reached a deal to acquire the leases to the former ArcLight at Westfield UTC mall in San Diego, California, and the former ArcLight at Westfield Montgomery in Bethesda, Maryland. The former reopened during that month, and the latter resumed business in March of that year.[34] In December 2022, it was announced that AMC acquired the lease to the former ArcLight located at The Hub on Causeway in Boston and it was reopened as part of the company's chain in November 2023.[35][36][37]

In July 2022, Amazon acquired the lease of the former Culver City, California location and planned to operate it as its first movie theatre.[38] It reopened as the Culver Theatre in December 2022.[39]

In April 2023, it was announced that Regal had acquired the lease to the former ArcLight theater at The Paseo in Pasadena, California.[40][41] It reopened as a Regal location in June 2023 with plans to add ScreenX and 4DX auditoriums.[42][43]

In November 2023, Cinema West Theaters announced that they would remodel the former ArcLight theater in El Segundo, California as the new "CinemaWest Beach Cities". It is slated to open in Summer 2024.[44]


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  2. ^ a b c The Los Angeles Times
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