COVID: Arclight screens go dark – LA confirms loss of landmark business…

Film releases aren't the only movie businesses in trouble - now venues are being forced to permanently close...

Films may have been hit badly by the pandemic, but one cannot underestimate the latest news and casualty to the industry. Despite plans to have a grand re-opening over Memorial Day weekend, it looks as the financial strains of the COVID pandemic have taken their toll on at least one of Los Angeles premiere chains…

Arclight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres have formally confirmed all of their 300 screens will now remain closed, with keys reportedly being handed by to their site landlords. LA’s Cinerama Dome, a venue beloved of audiences and film-makers since 1963, will be shutting its doors, as will the popular venue at The Grove near the famous Farmers Market and venues in Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks and Pasadena.  Employees, who had been trying to renegotiate contracts and wages, will be left with employment. The pandemic is blamed for the massive arrears incurred by the sites and total losses that could no longer be navigated.

The chains, owned by Decurion, has issued a statement:

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.

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.

To all the Pacific and ArcLight employees who have devoted their professional lives to making our theaters the very best places in the world to see movies: we are grateful for your service and your dedication to our customers.

To our guests and members of the film industry who have made going to the movies such a magical experience over the years: our deepest thanks. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you.

Bearing in mind that some of the venues are considered not only significant locations but cultural landmarks, it is entirely possible that some may re-open eventually under new management. With California’s plans to re-open general multiplexes in June, the surviving chains and sites will likely start to do decent business again, though recouping the year-long losses will be a major struggle for everyone.