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The white building is the former Egyptian 2 and 3, now the Arena Cinelounge. Beyond is the 1922 vintage Egyptian Theatre, here with an interesting view of its jagged forecourt wall. The red brick building is the former Christie Hotel, now a Scientology owned building. Photo: Bill Counter - 2016
Phone: 323-924-1644 Website: www.arenascreen.com | on Facebook
Opened: 1972 by United Artists Theatre Circuit as the Egyptian 2 and 3. These theatres were in an existing concrete block store building facing onto Las Palmas Avenue. The twin shared a boxoffice with the main Egyptian Theatre auditorium.
To get to the Egyptian 2 and 3 you'd walk down the forecourt area but take a left and go off to the separate building on the east side of the main theatre. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
The side of the building that you'd see on your way to the Egyptian 2 and 3. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
The decor was multiplex tacky. Even for the time it was not a great filmgoing experience. The twin closed, along with the rest of the complex, in 1992. This building is not part of the American Cinematheque operation that now runs the original Egyptian Theatre just to the west.
Status: The wall down the center was removed, making it a single theatre with the entrance on Las Palmas Ave. Initially it was used by the Theatre of Arts, a drama school, as a small playhouse and class space called the Arena Stage. They re-eqippped the venue as a movie house and started running films in the evenings.
First called the Arena Cinema, it's now branded as the Arena Cinelounge. Their schedule focuses on independent or neglected product. A blurb that once appeared on the venue's website:
"In 2010, the school (under the leadership of President James Warwick) began an association with Christian Meoli and Voltaire Media, to operate and handle outside bookings. Meoli and Warwick worked in an economical manner together to upgrade the theatre into a dedicated commercial venue, thus returning the space to its roots of cinema. Meoli brought exhibitor experience from working alongside Carmike at The Crest Theatre in Westwood in his role as VP Marketing with Bigfoot Entertainment. He also brought a DIY sensibility and a desire to create an exhibitor experience for distributors and filmmakers."
There's now also an Arena Cinelounge Sunset at 6464 Sunset Blvd. and an Arena Cinelounge Santa Monica at 1526 14th St., in the former Santa Monica Screening Room.
The Hollywood Times had an April 2017 story about the opening of the Sunset and Santa Monica locations. The article noted that Cinelounge head Christian Meoli will also be involved in programming a ramped up schedule of film events at the Montalban Theatre.
A 2017 look north on Las Palmas. That's the Egyptian, getting a new paint job, off to the left. Photo: Google Maps
Thanks to Ken McIntyre for this c.2012 shot of the building, appearing on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.
The ARENA signage atop the old United Artists entrance lighting canopy. The photo is one that was once on the Arena Facebook page.
A c.2012 view of the southwest corner of the building that once appeared on the venue's Facebook page.
The corner entrance to the former Egyptian 2 & 3 in 2010. Note the glamorous UA tile work and light bulb array. Photo: Bill Counter
The Las Palmas Ave. facade of the building at night. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
A lobby view from an old Facebook page from the theatre had up c. 2012.
A c.2012 screen view from a now-abandoned Facebook page.
Pages about the Egyptian: Egyptian overview | street views 1922-1954 | street views 1955-present | forecourt | lobby areas | auditorium | booth | backstage | back to top - Arena Cinelounge / Egyptian 2 & 3 |
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