Update: One of the few Dimension 150 Theaters left…..
PLEASANT HILL, CA — Yes, one at least remains, the Dome, undivided and intact, apart from the original screen. It’s the CineArts. I went to see Atonement this week and spoke with a manager. There is only one screen there, (he has been behind the present screen and there is no other, so likely the original is gone). There is only one projector in the dome and apparently no capacity to do 70mm, (I stayed through the credits and watched an employee carry a big reel, (platter size?) to another theater as they were showing it in two, and didn’t seem to have interlock between the two).
I specifically asked why the curtains weren’t used anymore. He said they weren’t automated, but they manually moved them depending on the screen size needed. If they were ‘motorized’, they don’t work anymore. (They did for Titanic, which played for weeks, but that was ten years ago.)
Of course, for the 4 PM show there were many folks there, proving that we will go see a great movie in a great location. But this is another movie house with a death sentence, (they still have a while on the lease). All in the Bay Area, with all the $$$$$$$ from you all know who, they make Gazillions off us, why aren’t they stepping up to save this resource?
Well, let me take my few turkeys to the food bank, George, step up and save this place.
Too bad Arclight/Pacific was one of the only ones who figured out how to build a shiny new complex while preserving the original flagship auditorium. There’d be a lot more Dimension 150 & Cinerama auditoriums alive and kicking nowadays.
The Continental (/theaters/13718/) in Denver is another (rare) success story of a giant D150 auditorium that was saved by a bunch of mini-plex auditoriums built along-side it.
Actually, this used to be Century Dome theater before it became an Art House Theater. There are two others almost like it in San Jose, California: Winchester 21 and 22 (formerly Century 21 and 22). They are unsplit and have huge screens also. This Cinearts Dome has 4 small auditoriums added to the back of the theater. While the dome has a huge screen that is about 75 feet wide, the 4 theaters in back have small screens. I saw a movie in a small theater in the back about a month ago. I recommend choosing the movie playing in the dome for the best experience. The Dome has amazing digital surround sound and you can feel the sound rumble through you.
This complex was built as the Century 21 Pleasant Hill and opened with Doctor Zhivago. In 1974 four screens were added behind the building and it began it’s run as Century 21-25 and then the Century Complex. Century rebranded this theatre as one of its CineArts Theatres, which Cinemark still operates the theatre as under their control. To this day, the employees still refer to the auditoriums as #21-#25. Photos can be seen at http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=2718 included a once proposed addition of two domes into the parking lot (assumedly before the 4-plex was added behind the dome).
21 (The Dome), #23 & #25 are equipped with Century JJ’s capable of 70mm. I believe there are 70mm rollers in cabinets back there that could allow them to switch to 70mm if needed. (Many older Century Theatres are still equipped for 70mm). As for them carrying the reels through, when I was familiar with the location, most of the film build-up and break-down was done in the back booth and films for the dome were transported either with clamps, or on 6000 foot reels to be built up on the Dome’s Christie AW-3. (Builds up slower than the Potts platters in back.)
All of the domes have curtains but they don’t close them. Century/Cinemark have no showmanship left. They can be closed from the booth like they did before automation came in. The San Jose Domes have smaller screens then when they first opened. They are just a little curved. But the Pleasant Dome has the best D-150 curved screen in the Bay Area. Go check it out. Call the phone number listed in the paper and make shure you are going the the LARGE theatre and not the showbox’s in the back.
Budyboy100: Please see the Happy 30th, Star Wars! page. I recently posted some info that answers a question of yours.
Reportably, the shopping center which surrounds the theater is being redone & there are plans to replace this theater with a new CineArts. They would be better off keeping the dome (C21), demolishing the shoebox smaller theaters, & rebuild around that.
I’m all for keeping the dome, but think about it by just reading this thread: Nobody wants to see a movie unless it’s in the dome.
So from a business perspective, if it were YOUR theatre, would you want to keep running a theatre where people refuse to see a movie unless it’s playing in ONE of your FIVE theatres? While I personally don’t prefer to see movies in the back theatres, #22 and #25 are actually decent houses. It boils down to the fact, that if you want to save the dome, see movies no matter where they play in the complex.