An intriguing press release popped up in my email this morning, announcing that Cinerama will close August 4 for unspecified renovations “as it undergoes some exciting changes,” to reopen at a date “later this year.” Hmm. The theater, a downtown Seattle landmark boasting one of the biggest screens you’ll see anywhere, opened in 1963 and was acquired by Paul Allen in 1998, reopening after extensive renovation the following year. Another renovation, adding 3D and digital capability, took place in 2010. I’ve left a few messages today, trying to find out some details about the current renovation, but haven’t heard back yet; stay tuned. In the meantime, “Lucy,” with Scarlett Johansson as a turbo-brained heroine, plays at Cinerama through Sunday.
Update: I’ve heard from a spokesperson at Allen’s Vulcan offices, who told me that they expect to reopen “before Thanksgiving” but that the exact date isn’t determined; they’re still deciding which movie would be best for a grand reopening celebration. Regarding the renovations, they are “aimed at maintaining the Cinerama as the best movie-going experience in Seattle. Upgrades to audio-visual equipment and food and beverage offerings are in the mix along with much, much more!” And that’s all we’re going to hear for now; Vulcan is keeping the specifics of the upgrades under wraps for the moment. More on this at a later date.