Uptown Theater

3426 Connecticut Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20008

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Showing 351 - 375 of 395 comments

MediaQueen
MediaQueen on March 22, 2005 at 8:24 pm

“EARTHQUAKE” WITH SURROUND SOUND and “Grease”. Glad to see something remains intact in DC. Hence, a CVS is just a block away!

rcdt55b
rcdt55b on March 6, 2005 at 5:44 pm

Big theater chains don’t care about the customers anymore. If people complain, they get a free pass to come back. When they come back, they buy more candy and soda. That’s how it works now. It’s all about the money to them. I see it happening everywhere. People can write letters and complain all they want. It will not help. That is a FACT!!!!!

rhg1
rhg1 on February 20, 2005 at 10:42 am

The theate will lose much of its patronage, if serious problems such as those described here, are not rectified. Perhaps, there is only one tried and true way to get problems such as these fixed, before the theatre crumbles under its own weight. That way is to arrange a boycott, led by a neighboorhood group, and complete with adequate publicity identifying the reasons for the boycott. If the revenue subsequently slows, the current ownership will either have to address the concerns, or sell to a buyer who understands that listening to the patrons is what it will take to suceed.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on January 11, 2005 at 10:32 pm

It would be a good thing if the Uptown was taken over by Landmark or another specialty chain. I don’t think Loew’s cares about any of there single screen theatres. Start making major complaints to Loew’s concerning presentation. If this was an industry house this wouldn’t be tolerated.The large theatre chains such as Loew’s only care about the megaplex that has between 14-20 screens.brucec

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on January 11, 2005 at 9:29 pm

If enough people write, like I did, perhaps someone will notice and make the necessary changes. Otherwise, people just won’t go there anymore. I rarely go downtown anymore to see a movie. Since they don’t have films in 70mm anymore, whats the point travelling all the way to see it in a place where management doesn’t care?

KeithMadden
KeithMadden on January 11, 2005 at 8:55 pm

Sad to say the presentation at the grand old dame is bound to get a whole lot worse after recent developments. On Monday January 3, 2005, for the first time in its 70 year history, the theater was run without a projectionist. Loews Cineplex Entertainment announced it would begin using a “manager” to operate the all manual two projector system for the majority of the week using a projectionist only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday or as requested. The very first show under this new policy was canceled after “technical difficulties”. The up to then pristine print of Martin Scorcesse’s “Aviator” was already scratched by Friday when a projectionist returned to find damage including shutter blades scorched and warped clanging together from negligent or untrained behavior. It is disheartening to see such a treasure go to waste. The slides and advertisements (almost all mono) so ubiqutous at the multiplexes were never run at the Uptown in the past. It was considered too classy. The bookings have progressively been getting worse or duplicated at one of the chains nearby multiplexes thereby marginalizing this classic theater as with so many like it around the country. Still it routinely outgrosses many of the largest multiplexes due to it’s large seating capacity and reputation for impressive presentation. Will we forget the grandeur of film in such a jewel case? Or just painfully put up with a steady deterioration until we no longer remember its majesty.

Keith

woodstock
woodstock on September 22, 2004 at 2:12 pm

The commercials are actually a chain-wide phenomenon with Loew’s so I wouldn’t fault the Uptown specifically for that problem. As for the sound on Spiderman 2: this is one of two films I have ever seen at the Uptown (my first was Star Wars in 1977 as I am a life-time DC resident) where the presentation was less than perfect. The other was the awful remake of Godzilla with Matthew Brodrick several years ago.

Please, give the Uptown another chance. She is a grand old dame of a theater.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on July 7, 2004 at 5:28 pm

I had the privilege of revisiting the Uptown to see the midnight opening of Spiderman 2. It has been a year since I’ve been to this theater and was looking forward to being enveloped by the big screen that this gem has to offer.

The single most irritating item about watching a movie at this theater is the constant stream of commercials. While I have not been to another Loews/Cineplex theater to confirm whether it is an isolated incident, the commercials just keep coming and were in bad quality and were not even in stereo.

While the picture was good, the sound was not. As mentioned, the commercials and previews were not played in stereo. The sound, for the most part was very tinny and muddled. It was centered but some of the dialog was almost intelligible. The only time that the sound came alive was during the fusion reaction scenes with Doc Ock. You could feel the theater come alive at that time. It was like the picture played in mono and was only turned on towards the middle and end of it.

I did contact customer service at Loews/Cineplex and received an Email response from an intern, who stated that they apologized for the commercials and that the chain has to show them to compensate for the “$20M salaries that stars are demanding…” There was no response as to the rather disappointing sound presentation.

Will this second bad experience hinder me from going back to the Uptown? I don’t know. But I will think twice before travelling downtown again. I think our suburban theaters have better sound presentation and picture, albeit in a smaller and less grand setting.

mirad1997
mirad1997 on June 18, 2004 at 9:04 pm

Does anyone one know what played at Uptown here in DC before Star Wars Episode II ?

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on June 17, 2004 at 5:05 pm

The 70mm revivals aren’t as frequent as they used to be. Actually, I don’t think they’ve had a 70mm series since the 90s? I imagine, if the Uptown does host a 70mm series, it will be after the summer movie season, since attendance will drop and there won’t be any event films coming out until Thanksgiving.

If I had a wish, I would hope for a science fiction/fantasy series starting with the Star Wars films, Star Trek, Superman, Alien, all in 70mm. I read that 20th Century Fox was going to re-release a director’s cut of Aliens in theaters like they did the recent Alien one. Perhaps, they could show it here. Even older films would be nice to revisit. I remember watching Vertigo, in a restored 70mm print with a remastered soundtrack. The movie looked like it had just been shot yesterday. The print was so sharp and scratch free!

What would be really cool is if this theater had digital projection capabilities.

mirad1997
mirad1997 on June 17, 2004 at 8:00 am

I just rememebered that I forgot to add two movies to list of recent movies at Uptown before Road To Perdition. Again, if am wrong please tell me! Here are the two movies before Road To Perdition.

05/16/02 Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones
06/21/02 Minority Report

mirad1997
mirad1997 on June 17, 2004 at 7:59 am

I just rememebered that I forgot to add two movies to list of recent movies at Uptown before Road To Perdition. Again, if am wrong please tell me! Here are the two movies before Road To Perdition.

05/16/02 Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones
06/21/02 Minority Report

mirad1997
mirad1997 on June 17, 2004 at 7:44 am

Now I have made my own list of more recent movies that have played at Uptown in DC. This is only a list of what I can remember. If I am wrong , please tell me.

07/12/02 Road To Perdition
09/06/02 City By The Sea
09/20/02 The Four Feathers
11/15/02 Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
12/18/02 The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers
04/04/03 Phone Booth
05/02/03 X2: X-Men United
06/20/03 The Hulk
07/25/03 Seabiscuit
10/29/03 Alien: The Director’s Cut
11/28/03 Mystic River (8th week)
12/05/03 The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of Thge Ring (re-release)
12/12/03 The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (re-release)
12/17/03 The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
04/02/04 Hellboy
05/07/04 Van Helsing
05/28/04 The Day After Tomorrow
06/18/04 The Terminal

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on June 17, 2004 at 7:28 am

Are there any 70mm revivals coming to this theater anytime soon?

mirad1997
mirad1997 on June 17, 2004 at 7:17 am

I am wondering what played at the Uptown here in DC after The Four Feathers (2002) with Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley, and Kate Hudson. I really neeed to know this for some reason.

DaveGrau
DaveGrau on June 10, 2004 at 4:48 am

To Ron3853 Have you ever done any research on the Warner Theatre in Pittsburgh? If so please contact Dave Grau. At

DaveGrau
DaveGrau on June 7, 2004 at 7:52 pm

I had the honor of being one of the Projectionist at the Uptown from 92-95, it has to go down as one of my favorite Theatres. The Warner in Pittsburgh will always be my very favorite. I liked working the Avalon as well. I also know the Chinese place down the street, and know that President Kennedy ate there as well. My favorite DC Theatre will always be the Wisconsin ave. 6 plex. at 4000 wisc. ave.
Dave Grau
(Mungo)

SethLewis
SethLewis on April 25, 2004 at 12:35 am

I lived in DC for a couple of years in the mid 90s and enjoyed a couple of fun trips to the Uptown – to see Twelve Monkeys at a full house right after the great blizzard of 99, and American President and Twister…One of the attractions was also a fantastic 1960s era Chinese restaurant up the block which attests to being a meeting place for Dean Rusk and the Russian delegation during the Cuban Missile Crisis – great sizzling rice soup.
Ron’s list also brought to mind one other sadly lost trend…that even great roadshow houses in the 60s & 70s had to put a double feature on once in a while in a fallow period…Studios would package some classics or a couple picture at the end of their runs and give us another taste…Another casualty of VCR/DVD that we don’t have that anymore…Remember seeing A Touch of Class & Paper Moon on the same bill in New York on wide release and Paul Mazursky’s The Tempest paired with a Richard Pryor concert film at the Loews State 2…we can only dream…Thanks Ron for sharing that great research

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on April 24, 2004 at 3:27 pm

Ron I really like your listing of movies 1958-1981. It tells a lot about the specific theatre. Its a little easier picking the theatres that were the deluxe roadshow reserved seat houses such as the Uptown. Each large city had at least four or more of these theatres. New York City had the following, Criterion, Rivoli, Loews State,Warner Cinerama(Strand),Loews Capitol. The Roxy and Radio City were in a class by themselves and the Paramount.The Demille was also a roadshow house for a time and the Palace. The studios preferred theatres that sat 1500 and would reduce capacities of theatres such as the Loews Capitol in NY and the Pantagees in Hollywood to achieve this goal. The last successful reserved seat roadshow engagement was United Artists “Fiddler on The Roof” released in the early 1970’s.brucec

Falkenberg2001
Falkenberg2001 on April 24, 2004 at 10:58 am

I saw How The West Was Won & It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad World when they came out originally in this theatre. I used to spend a lot of time at the zoo nearby and remember poor Smokey The Bear in his concrete cage looking forlorn and bored.

George Senda
Concord, Ca

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 30, 2004 at 12:19 pm

That’s great news, Ron. I will certainly look forward to your future posts with the results of all your hard work. It’s very enjoyable to read through these lists of movies and their release dates – so many memories come flooding back. And I know what you mean about working with microfilm – in my college years, I think I spent more time looking at pages from old movie sections in the New York Times than I did going to class!

Ron3853
Ron3853 on March 30, 2004 at 11:48 am

Actually Bill, believe or not…I’ve never lived in DC, although I have lived in NYC, Chicago, but mostly Pittsburgh. I’ve made it a hobby to research first-run theaters in various cities to see what movies they played each week. I always liked the DC movie theaters ever since I visited the city wih my family on a vacation when I was 11. That’s why I chose to put DC on this website first. Check out other cities and theaters in Washington for more lists as I can add them.

I still have more researching to do, as so far I’ve been trying to get 34 cities from the period 1960-1975. Trying to borrow microfilms of other cities' old newspapers is a process that is slower than molasses in January and they will only lend you 6 reels at a time.

I hope to eventually get all research on this website for posterity from 1957-1981 for all 34 cities that I have been researching…and NYC will be my biggest challenge.

I know that “Star Wars” in its first release at the Uptown did play over a year. Watch for another posting at some time and I’ll take the theater up to December 31, 1981.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 30, 2004 at 10:31 am

Thanks, Ron, for that fantastic list. I appreciate all the work you must have done to put it together. I only wish I’d lived in DC during all those years so I’d be able to see “Around the World in 80 Days”, “West Side Story” and all the Cinerama features on the Uptown screen.

Do you know how long “Star Wars” played there? It played 65 weeks at the Loew’s Astor Plaza in New York, which is where I saw it for the first time.

Six separate engagements for “2001”, huh? May there be many more.

Ron3853
Ron3853 on March 27, 2004 at 12:03 pm

As you can see there were occasional spells where no appropriate new first-run films were available to be released, such as 1960, 1961, and the mid-70s, so the Uptown occasionally resorted to second-run rilms or rereleases played there to fill in until the next big box-office spectacular worthy of the theater was ready for release. This accounts for the double features as well as the foreign films.

In the first half of the 1970s, MGM trotted out “Gone With the Wind,” “2001,” and “Doctor Zhivago” every year as a part of what it called “MGM’s Big 3.” In some cities it was “MGM’s Big 4” with “Ryan’s Daughter” added. Usually this package played at one of the theaters in each city which had formerly shown “roadshow” films.

For excellent reading regarding motion picture theaters in Washington, D.C., try MOTION PICTURE EXHIBITION IN WASHINGTON, D.C.: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF PARLORS, PALACES AND MULTIPLEXES IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA, 1894-1997, by Robert K. Headley, published by McFarland & Company, Publishers in 1999.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 27, 2004 at 4:34 am

It’s interesting to see that foreign films played there from time to time as well, i.e.: WILD STRAWBERRIES, BELLE DE JOUR, A MAN AND A WOMAN, SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE, MALIZIA, ALL SCREWED UP, LAST TANGO IN PARIS. Not what you normally associate with the Uptown.