Address: 6360 W Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, California
Phone Number: (323) 464-1478
Number of Screens: 14
Admission Price: $11.00 Matinee, $14.00 General Admission, $7.75 Children's Matinee, $9.75 Children's Evening Price
Type of Movies Shown: General Releases / Indepent Films / Old Movies
Owned By: Pacific Theaters

The ArcLight Cinemas is an ultra-posh "luxury" theater located in Los Angeles. Among the interesting things about the theater: it has a fully working Cinerama dome and projector, it has a bar/cafe inside the lobby and all seating is reserved. Admission is more expensive than an average theater, but the place is definitely a lot nicer than the average theater (seats are also huge and have headrests).

The Movies: The ArcLight shows a mix of wide release Hollywood movies and independent films in current release. They also play the odd revival film (I saw the restored "Lawrence of Arabia" 70mm print there once). The theater also hosts some Q&A sessions and panels with film-makers and was the site of the American Film Institute film festival in 2002. Finally, they have a restored Cinerama dome and projector system, so they sometimes show old Cinerama movies (which I've never seen) there.

Atmosphere & Aesthetics: Bar none, the ArcLight is the hippest, most luxurious movie theater I've ever been to. It costs an arm and a leg to get in ($11 for the matinee) but it's a pretty cool experience. The lobby features a little cafe where you can get drinks and meals before or after your movie. The lobby also hosts rotating exhibits on Hollywood history, such as memorabilia or photographs from famous movies and stars.

The actual theaters are fantastic. I really can't stress this enough. The screens are huge, the seats are huge and the sound systems are the latest whizz-bang digital surround stuff. There are no "close" seats, as they build them all pretty far back from the screen. You also get to pick what seats you want when you buy your tickets (their Web page lets you do this online) and there is an usher there to direct you to your reserved seat. This is surprisingly nice, since it means you don't have to fight to get a row of seats if you go with a group.

As a consequence of this, though, they don't let you into the movie late (they don't want you searching for your seats in the dark), so get there on time. They say they only show 4-6 minutes of trailers and no advertisements, which is also nice. In other words, this is the luxury theater for people who really like movies. Consider it the 21st Century version of the old movie palaces. It doesn't have the same vibe or historical feeling of those great old places, but it does exceed all the modern comforts of the average multiplex.

Other Information: The theater validates for three hours worth of parking, and if you stay longer the maximum you'll pay for parking is $4. ArcLight also offers a membership program (see the Web site at which lets you earn points everytime you buy something as well as get discounts on certain movies. Snacks are kind of expensive, but they also have all sorts of gourmet coffees and other hip food. As a final note, the great Amoeba Music store is right across the street, and they stock a huge selection of DVDs and VHS tapes for film fans. Bring some extra cash and check it out.

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