+the scene
+the scene

Timeless Memories, Spectacles, & Peanut Butter Cookies: An Ode To The Arclight

04-24-2021 by Heather Barette

  ( © Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)  


Sure, the movies were slightly overpriced. Fine, there are other movie theaters in Los Angeles. But you know what none of those other places have? The Arclight Experience. That’s right – I, like most of you, have been to a movie theater hundreds if not thousands of times in my life, and none of Arclight’s competitors hold a candle to this chain. From the superior sound and flawless picture to the comfy chairs, excellent dining options, and the ability to pick your own seats beforehand, the Arclight had it all. And now, it’s closing its Los Angeles doors forever. Stupid COVID. As we all mourn this incredible loss, I would like to say a few words about this home away from home...



Growing up, the closest theater to us was a Pacific, which was fine, but seeing a movie there always left you sort of wanting more, if you know what I mean. The theaters were normally empty or close to empty, and generally lifeless. There weren’t a ton of food options, especially for a family like ours that would bring our popcorn and candy from home (shhh, don’t tell anyone). So, when we moved and the Arclight simultaneously opened at the Sherman Oaks Galleria, it was eye-opening for all of the right reasons.



The Arclight, much unlike our local Pacific, was always full of people and bustling with great energy. The Arclight that my family frequented was right down the hill from where I live, and going there was always an event. Sometimes we would eat dinner beforehand – maybe at P.F. Chang’s, maybe at the nearby Paquito Mas, maybe at the always-popping Cheesecake Factory – and other times we wouldn’t. But regardless, my mom would park at the office building where she works (which offers free parking on the weekends – add that to the cheat code) and we would walk across the street to the Galleria, always excited to see the movie of the moment. Of course, we were always just (and I mean, JUST) on time, but no matter how rushed we were to take our seats, the Arclight staff was always as nice as could be, and since we had picked our seats ahead of time, there was never a worry that we would have to sit in the dreaded front row.


Whether it be High School Musical 3, The King’s Speech, any one of the Harry Potters, or just about anything in between, I was always amazed by how high-quality the sound and picture were. The staff always assured us before the trailers began that we could speak to them if the quality was not to our liking, but that was never even remotely an issue for us. I don’t think there was one time a movie ever glitched, at least not that I can remember, and the movie-going experience was always delightful from start to finish. Between that, the well-kept bathrooms, those delicious cookies I mentioned at the top, the cool wall that reflected different trailers of the newest releases, and the ambiance as a whole, going to Arclight was always incredibly escapist, and just a joy. Simple as that.



Now that it’s gone, I’m not sure what we’re supposed to do. How am I going to run into my 8th grade PE teacher and, like, literally everybody else I’ve ever met now that the Arclight Sherman Oaks is gone? What will replace this Valley stalwart? Where am I supposed to go now to watch movies post-COVID – AMC? Edwards? Too far and, to be honest, barely worth it. Yes, me saying that is pretty blasphemous, considering I once worked at a Regal, but I only speak the truth here. Everything at Arclight was more luxurious and made the movie-going experience one that was actually worth the $20 TICKET. Okay, maybe $20 was still a bit too steep, but I created memories at that Arclight that I will never forget, and I saw some of my favorite movies of all time at that very theater. Priceless, right? I think so.


I think that’s all I have to say about that. Needless to say, this is a textbook champagne problem. But still, I’m incredibly upset. People that live outside of this city may not see how a movie theater closing could affect me so deeply when there are ten others within a 10-mile radius, but I think I speak for many Angelenos, and Valley kids in particular, when I say that this one will sting for a while. I hope that the next theater we decide to call our own will be as satisfactory as this one was. But in the meantime, we’ll miss you, Arclight. Alexa, find me a chewy peanut butter cookie recipe...