AMC Loews Uptown 1

3426 Connecticut Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20008

Unfavorite 56 people favorited this theater

Showing 351 - 375 of 530 comments

SWATMAN on July 19, 2007 at 3:59 pm

The obviously unfocused pimps at AMC have rented out the palace on Sunday mornings from 7 am to noon for a whopping $300 per week. I am sure that will boost the corporate bottom line to new heights. This AMC is disgusting.

HowardBHaas on July 19, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Ah, I found this item on the Internet from this fellow who seems to be listed as the Captain of the Washington DC blogs:

posted by Tom Bridge at 11:12 PM on July 18, 2007
There was some hullaballoo this afternoon on DC Drinking Liberally, and the Cleveland Park Yahoo Group about the McLean Bible Church buying the Uptown Theatre. Not happening. The Uptown is merely being rented on Sunday mornings as an outreach service to the public.

Fear not, you can still get your Godless Heathen on while watching Transformers.

For now.

HowardBHaas on July 19, 2007 at 3:40 pm

This says it is Sunday mornings. Will the Uptown still be a moviehouse?
View link

MBC Uptown is a Community Campus of McLean Bible Church. MBC will rent the historic Uptown Theater in Cleveland Park on Sunday mornings. The campus will impact the District of Columbia and nearby communities in both Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Ministries at MBC Uptown will include:

Videocast messages by Lon Solomon and the MBC Teaching Team
Worship led by the MBC Worship Leaders and Bands
Localized ministry teams and outreach events
Opportunities to connect in biblical community with others who live in the DC metro area
Weekly services will start in January 2008.

SWATMAN on July 19, 2007 at 3:27 pm

What the F—K is with AMC. The Uptown Theatre is becoming a Church.I found this on Mclean Bible Church website. In January we will be launching two community campuses. Whether you ride the metro or not, this guide is to help you pray for our new location at the Uptown Theatre in Cleveland Park, DC. As you ride the metro to and from work use the different stops to move from prayer topic to prayer topic, or you can simply use this in your own personal time with God no matter where you are.

Van Ness- UDC Stop
As we approach the Cleveland Park stop let’s begin to focus in on our New location at the Uptown Theatre.

Pray that as we get the word out about this location of our church people would hear the message and commit to attending.
Pray that current MBC attendee’s and small groups who live in this area would commit to making this their church location.
Pray that current MBC attendee’s in this area will dedicate themselves to serving so that this location is launched with excellence.
What is God calling you to do to make our community campus initiative a success? Ask God to show you exactly what He wants you to do to make this campus a success or what He wants you to do to help pave the way for a campus in your community.

The community doesn’t like the Idea.

rlvjr on June 24, 2007 at 9:24 pm

For PIRATES #3 we skipped the multiplex and saw it on the UPTOWN’s huge curved screen with superior stereo. It was well worth the extra few miles for the exceptional experience. In case anyone doesn’t know, the price is the same. AMC management, however, is not the best; and a long-time customer will be aware of the difference —– as prior owners (particularly Warner, Pedas Bros) were determined to keep the UPTOWN as Washington’s shining jewel.

Giles on May 31, 2007 at 5:22 am

Piddy, what’s your source of info on AMC not renewing it’s lease on the Uptown? It will be interesting to see if any major theatre chain will step up to the plate in keeping this Washington DC landmark open. If not, I would find it essential an organization like the Avalon’s ‘Avalon Theatre Project’ be created for the Uptown. One thing that is paramount for patron’s like myself, would be if the Uptown actually had digital projection. Theatres like the Ziegfeld, the Arclight, Seattle’s Cinerama have displayed that DLP can work on huge screens – for the Uptown not to be outfitted as such, would be counterintuitive in delivering the best digital projection can provide.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 16, 2007 at 4:08 pm

This place is cool. My recollection of the screen is that it is GIANT. I was in DC once years ago and saw a film I could care less about just to check the Uptown out: When Harry Met Sally.

Hope it lives on for another chapter.

SWATMAN on April 8, 2007 at 6:47 am

I have some bad news that I heard. AMC will not renew the Lease on the Uptown Theatre. The lease is up in the beginning or spring of 2008. AMC doesn’t give a F about the Theatre. If I had the money I would keep it open.

sguttag on February 25, 2007 at 5:10 pm

Sorry…I didn’t start showing movies in theatres until 1980 so no help for you on a 1975 question.

The introduction of 2001 was improved upon after your viewing at the AFI…much mention of it being 70mm was made as well as preparing the audience for the tapping in the surrounds for the middle 1/3 of the film.

Don’t hold your breath on 4K digital coming any time soon…Sony is the only one trying it at the moment and they don’t have the best name in the Cinema industry…even Regal has publically stated it isn’t ready and feels very much like an experimental machine. My own personal view of SXRD with 65mm source material was very underwhelming.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m involved in some way with most of the presentation houses, especially the non-chain theatres…including the Senator in Baltimore. You may find it odd, but the Senator’s sound system and the Uptown’s are more similar then they are different!

JodarMovieFan on February 25, 2007 at 4:52 pm


Most of the younger generation don’t even know what 70mm is. On my AFI Silver post, I made mention of the fact that the introduction of the manager (probably someone just out of school) should have made some mention of it since a lot of the audience, for “2001: A Space Odyssey”, was probably in their 20s or much, much younger. I saw kids who were probably 5 and 6 in the front rows! Since a lot of them fuel the box office numbers these days, education is important.

I’ve written to Loews, now AMC, to no avail. Maybe the independents will have better luck like Balto’s Senator, but Mr. Kiefaber has been mum to 70mm posts for the last 3 years and has recently been preoccupied with his venue’s financial woes. But if the Uptown continues with its lousy projection, 70mm or 35mm, it will die.

I suppose the next time we see “2001” at the Uptown it will be in glorious 4K digital on the curve screen. ;)

With the Dreamgirls recent Oscar wins, I suspect it will stay around a little longer.

JohnMessick on February 25, 2007 at 2:35 pm

Steve…I have a question for you inregards to wahington movie theaters. How long were you a projectionist in DC? The reason why I ask. I was in DC on a church trip in 1975 and seen the movie “The Man Who Would Be King” starring Sean Connery. Which movie theater might I have seen it in? Any idea?

sguttag on February 25, 2007 at 2:14 pm


Hmmm aside from the Ontario, I operated all of the theatres on your list and showed 70mm in all of them except the Embassy…which btw was actually a rather small theatre with an even smaller screen…it just seemed a bit larger with the “Aisle 1” and “Asile 2” signs! The MacArthur (before triplexing) was my favorite and I closed it as a single running “Raiders” in 70mm on a reissue.

I take issue with your statement about its “expense” because it just is NOT that much more expensive. In terms of production it doesn’t even add millions to the cost of film (though it probably adds to the cost of making things with enough detail since it WILL show everything). For the exhibitor it is relatively cheap…often just a different projector head and a 70mm kit for the platter, for those running platters (most). So as to venues, there are many still out there and any number of venues that could quickly and inexpensively run 70mm on short notice.

If you got my message from the previous post, it was YOU the patron have the ability to affect this sort of change. If you the PATRON demanded quality and such things as 70mm, it would be there in virtually no time. Exhibitors didn’t put in cup holders and stadium seating into their theatres because they wanted to spend more money and open themselves up to legal hassles….they did it because Patrons demanded it…it is pure business. The silly thing on stadium seating is that had architects done proper sight-lines on the sloped floor theatres, NOBODY would have complained about them…but once you start looking into the back of someone’s head instead of the screen, it becomes a serious problem. Sloped floors are absolutely safer in a darkened environment and don’t restrict mobility like risers do.

Digital IS the future. I don’t think there is any question on that. I encourage the better technology every time. Museums are for nostalga. However, digtal in 2007 is 2nd rate compared to film so that is why I’m not in favor of it right now and definately not in a venue like the Uptown where nothing short of 1st rate will do.

So I encourage you and others to become more informed about what is the best quality (not the advertising hype and often poorly researched news articles) and demand a better movie going experience at the Uptown and other theatres. The companies will listen to you dollars. You demand 70mm, they will show it.


JodarMovieFan on February 25, 2007 at 12:07 pm

And the Oscar for Longest Cinematreasures blog goes to….. :: drumroll :: Steve!!

It is great to have this forum to hear what people, from within the industry, have to share about exhibition and practices.

My comment about my preference for digital projection is solely because regular film projection in the DC/MD/VA venues just plain suck! I’ve posted comments about independents like the Old Greenbelt and Avalon and their presentations that were consistently first rate but they don’t always book films that I want to see and, in the case of Greenbelt, they get movies sometimes several weeks after their initial release.

As for 70mm, I’d be glad to see its reemergence. In the 80s, my friends and I would go to places like the Uptown and now closed MacArthur, Fine Arts, Cinema, Embassy, Onatrio, Jenifer and, at one time, the tiny Tenley 3 for 70mm exclusives of first run films because we knew of its difference. Even if the majority of the prints were blow ups. But let’s face it, given its expense and the lack of venues to properly show it, its dead, dead, dead. Digital is the future and is here to stay. If I’m wrong and 70mm somehow miraculously makes a comeback (unlikely), then no one would be happier than I.

And how does this all relate to the Uptown???? Given several moviegoers documented experiences here of late, including my own, why should anyone patronize this venue given its less than average presentation qualities? None, if other than for nostalgia reasons. If they had fairly regular 70mm presentations of classics, then sure people will come. But they haven’t had any 70mm since “2001” in 2001, if memory serves me correctly. So short of a 70mm revival, this place is scrap left on the cutting room floor! Finito!

sguttag on February 23, 2007 at 3:10 pm

As to the Uptown pay…I want to say it was $12/hour with something like a 35-cents/hour pension contribution…yes yes…with a 40-hour week, 52-week/year a full-time Uptown worker had about $728.00 put into a pension fund…why I haven’t retired from the working world is beyond me with all THAT money.

When I left in 2005, I want to say the pay went up to maybe as much as $13/hour but it might well have been $12.00 Yes it is more than the typical mall-operator might get but is not a living wage in the Metro DC area. I did it for enjoyment…when it stopped being enjoyable (and the time was interferring on my regular job as well has home life), I moved on.

As to qualified projectionists…it really isn’t a union/non-union thing…many a union projectionist worked non-union for a period. However it is true that if you throw out the best of the union and non-union, throw out the worst of the union and non-union and look at the crux in the middle, you will more than likely get a better projectionist from the union pool unless the chain operating the non-union side actually train their projectionists, keep high standards and compensate their employees fairly. But heck, following those rules, unions wouldn’t be needed. Sadly most business deserve unions so an employee IS treated fairly.

The real problem is how the Uptown is being run…that is it is not being run like a showplace. The changes Loews made and AMC has continued were about downgrading the quality. The VP of operations for Loews on their last contract negotiations (just before the AMC take over) stated that they “were willing to loose shows and damage prints” they didn’t care about that. What the “union is selling is quality assurance” and Loews was “not interested in that.”

That is certainly a business' choice, it is their business. Customers may not choose to patronize such a business and employees, such as myself, may not choose to work under such circumstances…as was the case. They didn’t get rid of me, I was the senior operator and I worked on Saturdays. Saturdays were a day they were willing to pay for quality assurance. But to work in a theatre that mutiliates the film 4 out of every 7 days is like only changing one quart of oil in your car at a time…it is still filthy damaging old oil…the 1 new quart did not make it clean! Also, the platter, which was a beat up piece of junk was installed, not to improve presentation but to degrade presentation…you need to keep a sharp eye on the focus on the Uptown’s screen…a platter will just let the lens heat up and drift. However, it was just not enjoyable. I had other obligations so I made way for someone that may want to work under these conditions.

I do think that the union would have better served its members and community by making the patrons aware of this errosion of quality presentations (not just at the Uptown). I know a group of us from the Uptown tried to rally the Cleavland Park community, which did take the time to talk with us. Sadly, it takes like what the Senator in Baltimore just went through to shock people into understanding that something that IS important to them is being taken away. The downgrading in quality of movie theatres is not something that has just happened…it is an errosion process that has left the exhibitors in a position of not feeling like there is any money in the showing of the movie itself. They have gradually negotiated all of their boxoffice away (or damn near) and thus the ticket money is less important than the concession and advertising revenue.

However, you, the movie goer, came there to see the MOVIE and have the experience in a theatre. The exhibitor giving you that experience has no interest (since there is no profit in it) in providing you a good movie going experience so they will do the very least to actually show the movie since if they didn’t show the movie, you wouldn’t come to see their ads and buy their concessions. Believe me, if they could do away with the whole theatre building and just have the concession stand with ad revenue, they would do it in a heartbeat.

In today’s business world, the bean counters look at the spread sheets. If you spend money on the projection booth (anywhere, equipment or payroll), you can see that expense on the spread sheet. Nowhere can you see the return on that investment on a spread sheet. If you pay real close attention over time you might be able to pick out a trend on money in the booth turing into increased sales though improved attendance (comparatively with other venues running identical features with identical demigraphics). However, if you cut the payroll in the booth (or anywhere) you get an immediate boost to your bottom line.

If you do the same thing with say the concession stand employees, it is quite different. They study and study what the per-capita should be, what the yield should be and if you add people to the payroll at what point do you just end up spending money or if you take away from the stand at what point do you loose sales due to long lines….etc.

But good presenations? Where do you enter that onto a spreadsheet? It has to have what I call Marquee value. If you can boast something on the Marquee or in advertisement that somehow makes you seem superior to other theatres…they can track that on a spreadsheet…did the theatres runing the movie in 3-D do more business than those that ran it in 2-D and such. For awhile, Dolby Stereo, Digital sound…etc had Marquee value…now they are expected…so much so that some theatre STILL use mono sound systems since how do you know what they have when you are sold a ticket?

The Uptown is an oddity that the bean counters can’t figure out anymore than the record companies could figure out the Beatles. Why do people go to the Uptown over a closer theatre? Is it the Balcony?. The big screen?, The deeply curved screen?, the location?, the sound?, the presentation? the experience? How can you predict it? If you opened a chain of Uptowns with big curved screens and balconies would they all do well? The chains want a formula to follow. They are not good a original thinking. That is why when one goes bankrupt…just about all of them do…they follow the same game plan right over the cliff.

Check it out now…DCinema…this is the latest scam….

A DCinema system costs roughly 4-5 times as much as a film system and has less than 1/10th the useful life. Why on Earth would a smart business man invest in that technology at this point (as an exhibitor)? The solution? Get somebody else to pay for it. Of the projectors going in for ordinary theatres, almost none were paid for by the theatre!

I have witnessed first hand how fast this stuff goes obsolete…the 1.3K projectors that Jodar liked in an earlier post are now not supported by Hollywood. Anyone that spent over $125K on them just as little as 3-years ago not have nothing more than a limited use A/V projector. SOMEBODY had to pay for that. So now we have 2K projectors, certainly a notable improvement but they didn’t make the 1.3K projectors worse…instead of moving the 1.3K projectors down to the smaller screens or sub-run houses…etc, Hollywood just threw a switch…no more 1.3K.

So 2K was pumping along now with MPEG technology and everyone is noting how much better it is than that old 1.3K technology. But wait, JPEG2000 hits DCinema…and now some studios will no longer release in MPEG format so you old (less than 1-year old in some cases) that only supported MPEG are rendered worthless (and these items are 10 of thousands of dollars). Some manufacturers upgraded their products other charged for it and others have you buy new again. Where is all this money coming from to blow on DCinema technology that is only in Betawear, at best?

I bring this up because of a comment about how AMC put back their old obsolete equipment when they had a current state-of-the-art DCinema projector (which they didn’t own) installed for a premier.

The problem with the comment was that 2K DCinema technology is really only about as good as 35mm’s worst format, 1.85:1 FLAT. It has far less resolution for Scope (DCinema actually uses fewer pixels for Scope than for FLAT while film uses substantially more film for Scope than flat such that on balance Film has more information per inch for Scope presentations than for Flat presentations).

The Uptown’s projectors (yes they still have two of them) are Century Ceneramas. They are 35/70mm machines. They are capable of out performing the best of DCinema (and can deliver twice the resolution of the 2K projector that was used for the premier) with their worst format (35mm) and can stomp all over the best DCinema if 70mm is shown.

Yet the movie going public is being offered this state-of-the-art technology as BETTER! Talk about misleading the public. Then again, with the way exhibitors present film, I guess there is truth in that…a 2K DCinema projector (running JPEG2000 now) will deliver an unscratched film with even the worst of “operators” running it…which is to say nobody is running it.

If you see a Dcinema picture that looks better than a 35mm picture, you got ripped off. The hard numbers say the 35mm film should win. The realities are that theatres get prints that are made mostly for their speed, not quality (they often now skip a step printing stage since contact printing is faster) which adds to the image movement and takes away from clarity. They show the film on machines now built for low cost and they don’t want to pay anyone to show the film because there is no perceived business reason to have a high quality presentation.

Without a doubt, the absolute best main stream cinema image format is 70mm. It isn’t even debatable…the numbers show it (resolution, color…etc). Hollywood should be shooting on 65mm almost exclusively for their big budget features and show place theatres like the Uptown should be showing 70mm exclusively. It is THAT much better than 35mm or DCinema. 70mm, even after 50-years remains the true State-Of-The-Art. That is the target that DCinema should be shooting for and that is what should be attained before the industry converts to DCinema. I’m not against DCinema. It is just silly from a financial standpoint at this stage and it is not there technologically either. It can be quite good but it isn’t 70mm and it isn’t quite 35mm either. I think when DCinema gets up to 70mm’s quality it will be truely a terrific medium deserving of replacing film in Showplaces.

So what endangers theatres like the Uptown (and really the whole theatre industry in general)? It is the lack of quality and attention to detail. I’m amazed by the talents of those that make movies and how they look with an EK print only, during the release, be subjected to a crap showing of a high-speed duped print, in dirty theatre running ads just like you were watching TV back at home…if DCinema gets forced onto the public and exhibitors at this stage…you really will be watching a movie on a TV that doesn’t even pause (when you want it to) to go to the rest room. Once upon a time movies had Intermissions.

If you really want to save places like the Uptown, you have to let the business know that IT matters. That is, they have to be able to see that how they operate the theatre WILL affect how many people will walk through the door (any of their doors, not just the Uptown, because the other theatres really are not being operated any better…you will only get theatre-by-theatre bright spots due to individuals). You really need to demand quality. In 2007, you SHOULD be demanding 70mm presentations…that is the best and the Uptown looks FANTASTIC with them. Movies that are presented in 70mm at the Uptown really ARE more enjoyable than most any other theatre. Exhibtors and Hollywood need to see on their spreadsheets that quality in the movie going experience affects how many people go into the theatre (profit and potential profit)

And to bring it full circle…so long as film remains the movie medium at the Uptown, it really HAS to be run by qualified projectionists that will handle it properly without damaging it regardless of the length of run. And finally, loose the stupid platter, it has NO purpose in the Uptown other than to give the patron a lesser show. It has ruined (directly and indirectly) enough shows already.

Okay…wordy enough? ;)


rcdt55b on January 9, 2007 at 8:56 am

I dont think it would have mattered. With xenon bulbs, platters, automations, etc…, I think they would have gotten rid of them anyway.

dave-bronx™ on January 9, 2007 at 8:24 am

I’m not putting it all on the union – It began as cost-containment on the part of the owners, which today has now developed into outright greed. And today the overall quality of the union projectionist has improved since the old ones have finally retired or passed away and the reduction in the number of jobs has caused a lot of the bad apples (and some of the good ones) to move on to something else. But it happened too late – like closing the barn door after the horse ran away. Had the union transformed itself 10-15 years earlier when theatre-people were still running things I don’t think they would have been quite so gung-ho to make severe reductions. Keep in mind that today there are no theatre-people running the circuits anymore – they’ve all been pushed aside and money-men are running the show, and this is what we get – the Wal*Mart-ing of the theatre business.

rcdt55b on January 9, 2007 at 4:35 am

Been in NYC for 15 years. Your numbers are wrong!

longislandmovies on January 9, 2007 at 3:53 am

rCDTJ MY NUMBERS ARE STRAIGHT THESE ARE ny city or li numbers not bumfuck ark…..

rcdt55b on January 9, 2007 at 2:10 am

Of course there are people like that in the union Dave, but don’t make it sound like it’s the majority. There are people like that in every job. Also, it was automations and platters that screwed the union. The majority of operators in the union today work their best to put on a good show even while management is trying to get rid of them. I’m not saying that the union dont share the blame but dont put it all on them. Besides, my main point was that you get a better presentation with the qualified union guy in the booth. That claim will never change. It keeps being proven too.
Long island movies…….where is this widespread digital they have been talking about for over 10 years? I keep hearing everyone talk about it coming soon…coming soon…its not coming soon. It is in a handlful of theaters that dont use it that often. They still have problems with it. It will never be as good as film either.
Nice mouth…no more for you…yeah nice reply. Go get your numbers straight before telling everyone how greedy us union projectionists are.

dave-bronx™ on January 8, 2007 at 8:47 pm

I am old-school, having worked in the theatres since the 60s – I’d always had a union man in the booth and if it was up to me there would still be a union man in the booth. I don’t want to do their job, and I don’t want to be bothered teaching people how to run those machines. I agree that the owners were looking to cut costs. My issue is that the union made it easy for the owners to decide that they no longer need a union man. The union didn’t make themselves indispensable. By not forcing the elderly ones, who were clearly in decline, to retire; by continuing to send guys around who have been kicked out of every theatre in town; by not insisting that these guys get themselves together or get out for the good of the membership. Years ago they used to stash these guys away in the porn houses, where the audience was doing everything in the world except watching the movie, so it didn’t matter, but those places were no longer available when they switched to VHS. When we had a crazy man in the booth we would call up to request someone else we were told there was nobody else available, or his seniority gives him the choice, or some other excuse, they were basically saying F.U. to the theatre. The owners probably figured why pay $25./hr for a lousy presentation when they can get the same presentation from the manager or usher for a lot less and maybe train them to do it better. I’ve worked in other cities with other locals where the membership consisted, in large part, of professionals, who put up an excellent presentation, knew how to handle the film and maintain the equipment, and we seldom had to worry about the booth operations. In New York, however, it was always a crap-shoot.

To your other point, you are absolutely correct about the greed of most companies today, which is driving all this. But when UA started all this manager/operator stuff in the Long Island theatres in the mid-90s the greed was not so blatant. When the circuits went bankrupt and then the bean-counters took over is when it really started getting cut-throat.

longislandmovies on January 8, 2007 at 4:13 pm


longislandmovies on January 8, 2007 at 4:10 pm


longislandmovies on January 8, 2007 at 4:08 pm


rcdt55b on January 8, 2007 at 3:56 pm

I am very surprised with the numbers you came up with considering you were a DM. The regular theaters pay nowhere near that amount. Specialty screening rooms like Sony, Universal,etc.. can get that high, but well worth it considering you probably will be running video, film, picture and track, etc…. and where is this overtime? I’ve been in the city for 15 years and never once got OT before or after midnight. 25% matching retirement???????? are you crazy. The city is 19% pension and medical combined. You go add that up and see what it comes out to for a pension. As for the medical, it covers me only. Most of the full time workers I know in other fields have a much better pension and better health coverage which a lot of times includes their whole family. Tell me where the greed is there. Now we move onto holiday double time. It’s time and a half for holidays and that doesnt include all holidays. Most people I know get at least that in their profession. I would love to hear the “and on and on stuff”.
your comments can be applied to almost any profession. You have dumb schmucks everywhere. If every manager had a shit list, they should have requested someone else. They dont have to accept just whoever is sent. I’m sure there are wacky stories about people in other professions also. Like I said, it happens everywhere, not just unions. These jobs were never phased out because of unqualified operators. They were taken away because theater owners could save money with unqualified people running the booths. That is the only reason. Why do you think that in NYC they have union guys in on thursdays through sundays? Because they dont want anything going wrong with making up prints on thursdays. They also make most of their money on the weekends. If the union guys are so bad, why not have their “film threaders” do it? Look at the uptown now. Are you going to blame the union because of how fucked up the place is getting? And why do the few “high profile houses” use union operators? Because they know what the fuck theyre doing!!

You look at any industry today. What are they doing? Cutting back. Why? To save money. Are they making any improvments for the customers in any way? No. They dont give a shit about their customers. They want to make as much money as they can. With the theaters, they know enough people dont complain about problems with the shows. When they complain, they give a free pass. Now they come back again and buy more candy and popcorn. So don’t tell me about union greed. Take a look at how the theater chains are fucking everybody going to the movies….

dave-bronx™ on January 7, 2007 at 11:46 pm

I don’t know about DC, but in New York the union shot themselves in the foot. While they have a number of very good operators who are well worth the money, they are over-shadowed by an inordinate number of schmucks who have no more business being in the booth than the concession attendant. And the union does nothing about them except to move them to another theatre to become someone elses headache. This includes elderly operators (over 80 yrs) who refuse to retire, with failing vision and can no longer focus or frame properly; another beginning Alzheimer’s and I had to go behind him to make sure the keys were flipped on the reel spindles so the reels didn’t fall off the machine in the middle of the show, and that the gate and pad rollers were all closed. There were others who would be passed out drunk in the balcony, another didn’t know how to change a xenon bulb, another loon who smashed up the machines with a lead pipe. I could go on and on. Every manager had a shit-list, and if someone on that list showed up to cover a vacation you knew you were going to be in for an adventure and better have a good supply of refund envelope, emerg tix or passes on hand because you were gonna need them. If the theatres were paying a high wage and got a highly qualified operator, the jobs probably would not have been phased out. In NYC however, with the exception of a few high-profile houses, this was seldom the case.