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Cinerama Dome

June 14, 1998

Re "Fighting to Preserve the Cinerama Dome," June 8: The members of the American Cinema Editors feel that any alteration to this unique theater would be a travesty. It was built as a showplace for Cinerama films, a uniquely American innovation that kept theater-going alive during the age of television. Because it so distinctly represents the American, and more particularly, the Hollywood film industry, this building should be preserved and its integrity maintained.

The idea of putting a flat screen in a round theater goes beyond the ludicrous. There is no technical reason why the curved screen cannot be preserved.

Hollywood has a tradition of "killing its babies and eating them." In the 1920s when a film finished its release, it was melted down for its silver content. Let's not melt down the dome. Build all the multiplex, flat-screen cinemas you want in the parking lot behind the dome. I doubt that anyone will want to preserve them in 20 years.

JACK TUCKER, Treasurer, American Cinema Editors, West Hollywood

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The extreme curvature of the original screen, in combination with specially designed projection lenses which maintained the parallel film edges, were designed to give you the experience of being placed within the film. The original screen curvature provides a unique film-going experience that would be tragically lost with the planned change. This is the only theater in the country with this screen design and it should be retained at all costs.

JOEL MARSHALL, Hollywood

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As a movie buff visiting Hollywood, I was appalled to read about the planned changes to the Cinerama Dome. Seeing a movie, "Godzilla," in this unique theater has been one of the highlights of my visit. Similar opportunities have become nonexistent in my home area of Washington. There, as around the country, all of the older, single-screen theaters have been replaced by shoe-box multiplexes. It would be a shame if the same thing occurred in Hollywood, the film capital of the world.

WILLIAM BODNER, Alexandria, Va.

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