It all started with a Reddit post: “Is the Arclight Cinemas chain owned by Scientology? A friend heard a rumor. I can’t find a real answer on Google, but it’s definitely an idea that’s out there. Anyone know?” Could it be true? Is the Arclight Scientologist? Many Angelenos are freaking out.
The post is packed to the gills with Redditors sharing rumors and conjecture, most of whom seem disheartened by the idea that their favorite movie theater chain could be run by the same cult-like organization accused of mistreating members (and former members) and scamming its followers with costly “religious training.”
“Well someone should probably disprove this otherwise I’m never going there again!” says one commenter, to which another responded, “I am with you there… inquiring minds want to know!”
Several Redditors have pulled out their Nancy Drew magnifying glass in an attempt to get to the bottom of this Los Angeles-centric quandary. “It’s owned by the Decurion Corporation who also owns The Pacific Theatres and a few other L.A.-based companies,” one user points out. “On their webpage they say they work to a dual bottom line of profits and ‘provide places for people to flourish.’ I didn’t see anything showing Scientology but the owners definitely could be. Otherwise I’d imagine from their website that their corporate policies and the way they interact with their employees to be way different than many other companies.”
Another user: “I’m going to say probably not. You can get a list of people who have taken scientology courses here. None of the people listed as higher-ups in Decurion are listed, so I’m going to say there is no direct link. And from past experience the list linked above is comprehensive.”
One Redditor points out that Scientologists were particularly up in arms over the film The Master starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman (many think the film is loosely based on Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard), which screened at Arclight theaters in 2012. If the Arclight is indeed owned by the Church of Scientology, the film most likely wouldn’t have been screened there, right?
Following the conjecture on Reddit, Curbed L.A. has done some delving into the rumor as well, confirming what a few of the Redditors had found: Arclight is owned by West Hollywood-based company Decurion (which also owns Pacific Theatres and Mini-Pac Storage), and while the website features some seriously cult-y language, it isn’t necessarily Scientologist.
So is the Arclight Scientologist? While we can’t be certain that some of its higher-ups don’t ascribe to the problematic tenets of the Church of Scientology, it doesn’t seem this beloved local movie theater chain is an asset of the Church.
Is the Arclight Scientologist? A lot of investigation points to no.
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