Hollywood's Historic Buildings
Theaters and other architectural gems lined Hollywood's famous boulevards during its Golden Age and now hold restored star appeal
- By Laura Kiniry
- Smithsonian.com, March 01, 2010
View of a crowd standing in front of the Cinerama Dome movie theater at night, Hollywood, California, circa 1965 (American Stock / Getty Images)
6360 Sunset Boulevard
With a dimpled concrete exterior resembling a golf ball and an interior hexagon-patterned ceiling to match, Hollywood’s Cinerama Dome was designed to provide audiences with the ultimate movie experience. When it opened in November 1963, patrons watched the premiere of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World on an 86-foot-wide screen curved at a 126-degree angle that practically engulfed them in the 800-seat circular auditorium. Movie buffs have called the stereophonic sound system “near-perfect.” The geodesic dome was to herald a new era in supercinema design, but instead it lost out to the multiplex concept. Cinerama Dome was closed in the 1990s, but with the support of preservationists it was renovated and reopened in 2002. In December 2009 the dome debuted its first 3-D film, Avatar.