ArcLight Santa Monica

4th Street and Colorado Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90401

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: ArcLight Cinemas

Firms: SMS Architects, The Jerd Partnership

Nearby Theaters

ArcLight Santa Monica

The ArcLight Santa Monica is a newly opened (November 15, 2015) structure on top of the Santa Monica Place Mall (an outdoor mall built in 1980). As typical of the chain, it offers black box theatres and luxury amenities. It is the first new theatre to be built in the city since the 1980’s.

Not to be confused with a proposed second ArcLight cinema in Santa Monica, which would be located on 4th Street, have 12-16 screens and seat roughly 2,700. The company hoped to begin construction in 2016 or 2017, but the plan was abandoned in 2017.

The ArcLight Santa Monica was closed on March 17, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was announced on April 13, 2021 that the closure would be permanent in all Arclight/Pacific theatres.

Contributed by Don Solosan

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

RJwestla on December 13, 2015 at 10:17 pm

I paid a visit to this complex today for an aborted attempt to see “Heart Of The Sea.” Basically, this is a standard run of the mill complex. Sadly, all the screens, except 7 which is the so called “ArcLight Widescreen”, are locked 1.77:1 or 1.85:1 aspect ratios. No side masking to be seen in any of the auditoriums. I was told they have “top and bottom masking.” I was in cinema 1 which was supposed to feature Dolby Atmos. The screens have some noticeable distortion when a ‘Scope image is projected. It is noticeable on the bottom of the image, which makes it look like the screen is “sagging” in the center. For event movies, I will continue to patronize Regency’s Village theatre instead. I did snap some pix of auditoriums 1 and 7 (which are the two “Dolby Atmos” cinemas.

BRADE48 on December 21, 2015 at 11:38 am

I went to the ‘soft opening’ in early November. I was told I was the first person to watch a film in theatre #9. It seemed like a nice theatre, very pleasing to the eye and comfortable. I’m used to the Hollywood location but this is a nice version of Arclight “lite”. They use the space well and what they were able to do represents Santa Monica quite well. It is not a close enough venue for me to patronize all the time, but I will attend again if I am able to.

BRADE48 on January 28, 2016 at 5:05 pm

I went today to the The Big Short. Took pictures which I just added.

DonSolosan on February 10, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Saw Hail, Caesar! in #6 today. Turns out they only built 12 screens, not 14 as was being reported in the papers. Also, 1 and 7 are the largest auditoriums, each seating about 266.

BRADE48 on September 5, 2017 at 10:38 am


ArcLight backs out of second Santa Monica location

A plan to bring Santa Monica its second ArcLight movie theater and its first giant IMAX screen have fizzled, reports the Santa Monica Lookout. The negotiations between developer Macerich G3 and the city dissolved after the developer “pulled out over issues of profitability,” the Lookout says.

Part of the reason why the developer thought the new theater complex would not be profitable is that about two years ago, another Arclight opened less than a half mile away, at the Santa Monica Place shopping center.

The proposed ArcLight was planned for Fourth Street near Arizona, on a site now occupied the 325-spot Parking Structure 3.

The new ArcLight would have held as many as 16 screens, including Santa Monica’s first IMAX screen, in a four-story complex.

Though the ArcLight project is not moving forward, Jason Harris, the city of Santa Monica’s economic development manager, told the Lookout that city planners are going to revisit the movie theater project in the fall with the City Council and see if the project could be revived with another movie theater.

moviebuff82 on September 5, 2017 at 11:48 am

that’s some good news.

ridethectrain on September 20, 2020 at 10:41 pm

Please update, total seats 1428

ridethectrain on April 12, 2021 at 6:28 pm

The two brands operated more than 300 screens in California, including the coveted Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. In a blow for California moviegoers — and those in Los Angeles in particular — the ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres are closing all of their locations for good after seeing their business decimated by the pandemic.

ArcLight’s stable includes the prized Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. The Dome, built in 1963, is the crown jewel of the small theater complex constructed in more recent years.

ArcLight Hollywood is a bastion for both first-run movies and independent titles and, at one time, was one of the first L.A. cinemas to offer high-end food. It has also been a favorite site place to stage premieres of indie titles, and is beloved by many cinephiles.

ArcLight’s locations in Hollywood and elsewhere, including Sherman Oaks, are operated by Pacific Theatres. The Pacific side of the aisle includes such popular locations as the Grove in West Hollywood.

“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,” said a statement issued by Pacific Theatres, which is owned by the Decurion Corporation.

No ArcLight or Pacific location has reopened since the pandemic began. On Monday afternoon, word quickly spread across Hollywood that they will remain dark for good.

It wasn’t immediately clear who the pool of potential buyers might include for the more high-profile locations, should they be up for sale, such as the ArcLight Hollywood complex.

Last year, Netflix closed a deal to operate the Egyptian, another landmark Hollywood theater that’s not far from the Cinerama Dome. Among the mega chains, Cinemark only has two L.A. locations (one in Baldwin Hills and the other in Playa Vista).

“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 statement continued. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you.”

The National Association of Theatre Owners has warned all along that smaller and regional independent chains, such as Pacific and ArcLight, might never recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

“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,” read the statement issued by Pacific Theaters. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you.”

DavidZornig on May 2, 2021 at 12:55 pm

Santa Monica Place mall has filed suit to evict Arclight Theatre for non-payment of rent. Variety article link below.

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