Built (in only 16 weeks!) in 1963, Pacific Theatres' Cinerama Dome opened with the "single-strip Cinerama" production of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." The Dome, the first and only theater of its kind in the world, has been host to over 50 years of premieres and blockbusters.
Still under the ownership of Pacific Theatres, the Dome was carefully refurbished and refreshed, reopening as part of ArcLight Hollywood in March 2002. The signature marquee and portico on Sunset Boulevard and the 316 hexagons in the geodesic dome were restored to their original dramatic presence. The Dome still seats more than 800 guests per showing and has maintained the historic loge seating - a favorite of moviegoers over the years.
Sight and Sound: The Dome's unique size, shape, and history requires and allows some interesting technical differences from the newer ArcLight Hollywood black-box auditoriums. Kinoton projectors, JBL speakers, and Dolby digital sound systems are used as they are in the multiplex. Currently, the Dome plays digital using two Christie CP 4230, 4K projectors and two GDC digital cinema servers. The Dome is also equipped with a different model Kinoton projector (FP75E) with DTS 6-channel and 6-track discrete magnetic sound allowing 70mm films to be screened. The original three-portal projection booth has been retained, and now houses three restored Cinerama projectors. The Dome can play 3-strip Cinerama with 7-channel Cinerama Stereophonic, 35mm Magnetic sound.
The Dome sound system was upgraded with 44 computer-placed surround speakers (previously eight), and the acoustics were completely redeveloped, including the installation of sound-absorbent materials in each of the hexagonal and pentagonal panels in the ceiling. The deeply curved (126 degree) screen was replaced to its original size and shape - all 32 by 86 feet of it! - providing movie lovers with 50 years of an exciting sense of being surrounded and becoming part of the moving picture.