300 movie screens to go dark in California after company shuts operations due to Covid-19 impact

A cinema chain said Monday that all its theaters will close permanently after a brutal year for business amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Pacific Theatres and ArcLight cinemas, home to the iconic Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, said it will shut 300 screens across California.

The Cinerama Dome, which was known for hosting limited release screenings and red-carpet premieres, was mourned by celebrities on social media following the announcement.

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt took to Twitter to show his sorrow about the closure announcement.

“I’m so sad. I remember going to the Cinerama Dome to see Star Trek IV with my dad when I was little. So many memories since then,” he tweeted.

“Knives Out” director Rian Johnson wrote on Twitter, “Well this sucks. Every single person who worked at the Arclight loved movies, and you felt it. Sending love to every usher, manager and projectionist who rocked that blue shirt and made it such a special place.”

Nia Vardolos, star of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” recalled her movie playing at the theatre.

“This is gut-wrenching for the employees and movie-lovers. I will always be grateful #MyBigFatGreekWedding premiered at the ArcLight and played at Pacific Theaters. Thank you,” she said in a tweet.

Movie theaters were among those industries closed for months due to local and state health orders in California during the pandemic.

As Covid-19 case rates, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to fall, several California counties have permitted movie establishments to reopen for indoor operations at limited capacity.

“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,” the company said in a statement. “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.”

The company thanked employees and patrons who have kept the iconic location alive over the last few decades.

“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,” the company said.

“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,” the statement continued.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the name of actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt.