Ask workers at the ArcLight Hollywood, and they will tell you how eagerly they waited for the reopening of the venue. But a couple of days back, misfortune struck when the official word came that the theater would close. Employees who have been with the place for a long time and have deep-rooted sentiments attached are still waiting for more details.
The News Hasn’t Sunk In Yet.
As one of the reputed ones of all time, Pacific Theatres decided to close all its locations permanently, including the ArcLight and Pacific. Almost a dozen theaters of Southern California were under it, including a handful in Chicago, Boston, and Washington DC.
Sadly, no clarification detailing the closure’s reasons came in clear terms or what the future has for the theatres. Social media wore a grief-stricken look, too, after the formal announcement.
Several cine-goers on Twitter and Facebook shared vivid memories of visiting these iconic venues in so many years. An ardent fan even went all the way before the ArcLight’s Hollywood location and kept a bouquet acknowledging the end of a chapter, an era.
What About The Fate Of Cinerama Dome?
The chief highlight of the ArcLight’s Hollywood Theater – the Cinerama Dome. And it is the ‘biggest prize’ that would have drawn the maximum interest from buyers interested in it. President of the Decurion, which is the parent company of the theater- Christopher Forman, might continue with the operations in the venue.
At least, that’s what is doing the rounds at present. It might be possible that he has enlisted few other investors or decided to relocate to a better place and something akin to a Hollywood-centric unit (than it is now). There are currently special screenings for the Oscars, awards voters, and several Q&A sessions from filmmakers hosted here. So, plans are that the business should thrive as usual. Unfortunately, the company’s response was nil when asked to comment.
Can Anyone Act As The Real Savior For Now?
Another lucrative offer will be if the Forman family decides to sell the theater. The number of potential buyers is countless! Not to forget, several companies have also made a beeline for the sale. Twitter stands testimony to a piece of optimistic news that Netflix would buy the theater. It would be no less than a highly praised rescue mission. And it would have an uncanny resemblance to the purchase of Paris Theatre in New York City or Egyptian at Los Angeles.
Whether ArcLight would be as attractive as the ones we spoke about or if the upkeep and maintenance would pose the real burden is a question. And most people say that the prospects look dim. In comparison, the core business of the sale of monthly subscriptions stays potent questions to ponder upon. But then there are saviors like Charles Cohen, a ‘deep-pocketed cinephile’ who might be the one, as he did with the Landmark Chain and Quad. Prospective buyers who are of the firm belief that institutional investors would give in to it stands largely mistaken. Financial markets look nowhere close to extending any capital for a business that looks dangerous. That too in pandemic times!
Some More Who Might Add Up To The List
Skepticism rests among industry insiders, too. And they have often discussed if a large chain like AMC or Regal/Cineworld would do justice to the Hollywood marvel. But to be honest- these companies are doing all they can to retain their solvency.
Hence, having that amount and spending on such a lavish buy seems out of the question! Even though Cinemark seems to have a better and ‘cleaner balance sheet.’ But who would care to overextend at a point when the box office sales are dipping and chances of revival look bleak?
The Alamo Drafthouse closure might be on the cards too, only and after it ‘reemerges from bankruptcy.’ The theater chain has taken a new equity investment from the affiliates of Fortress Investment Group and the Altamont Capital Partners. Besides, Tim League, the founder of Alamo, said in clear terms that the exhibitor is now keen on continuing to grow the ‘footprint.’
Certainly, dying a slow death does not look pleasing for the iconic Cinerama. Now who or what comes as the messiah is something to watch out for.