HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — All around the Pacific Cinerama Dome in Hollywood are signs of redevelopment, which is why cinephiles have been expressing fear over what could happen to the valuable land after it was announced the theater would not be reopening due to pandemic losses.
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“The human cry that has been coming out last night and today really demonstrates that this is a building that really resonates with people throughout the county,” Linda Dishman, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Conservancy, said.
Back in the 1990s, Dishman and the Conservancy fought a proposal to gut the Cinerama Dome and replace the lobby with a restaurant. That fight made its way all the way to City Hall.
“The Cinerama Dome is a city landmark, a city historic cultural monument designated back in 1998,” Ken Bernstein, principal city planner and manager of the Office of Historic Resources for the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, said.
Bernstein said it would be very difficult, and costly, to try to demolish and redevelop the site.READ MORE: Family Of 18-Year-Old Garret Hayward, Killed By Suspected DUI Driver, Hold Emotional Vigil
“[It would] likely cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said.
The high cost is due to a required environmental impact report, which could take about a year, and the subsequent public review process.
The announcement of the theater’s closure prompted some to make the pilgrimage to the dome Monday night and sparked an online Change.org petition to save the concrete geodesic dome.
“It encapsulates the story that buildings matter to people, and that’s why we need to save them,” Dishman said.MORE NEWS: In Wake Of Recent Crime Uptick, Beverly Hills Hires More Officers And Increases Patrols
And while the dome’s landmark status does not provide ironclad protection of the building, it does give the Heritage Commission jurisdiction over any redevelopment effort.