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Few H’w’d screenings

Construction at area theaters holds up films

Hollywood may symbolize the movie industry around the world, but — for the time being at least — it’s getting harder for studios to show their movies there.

One of the area’s preferred venues, Pacific Theatres’ famed Cinerama Dome Theatre, will close down in late August or early September for at least eight months during the construction of an adjacent 12-screen complex.

The effect of the closure on distributors is exacerbated by the fact that only one screen is operational at the nearby Mann Chinese theater, which itself is undergoing a planned expansion.

That leaves only the El Capitan, which plays Disney product exclusively, and General Cinema’s six-screen Hollywood Galaxy.

Until recently, Pacific had hoped to keep the Dome open during at least part of the expansion process. But exec VP Chan Wood said exhibition brass decided the construction noise and diminished parking capacity would “make it too difficult” to continue screening pics.

Pacific is hoping to have the refurbished complex up and running by Memorial Day next year. But if the project drags on, it could be as late as Thanksgiving before it reopens its doors, Wood said. =