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I saw Day After Tomorrow here when this megaplex opened in 2004. Back then, one was greeted as upon entrance to the theater. You take an escalator that ascends to the top floor where the theaters are. There is a nice view of downtown Silver Spring from the top. The presentation was disappointing from a sound perspective. The picture was large and there is stadium seating. I have not been here since, nor have plans to come back. The opening of this place doomed the AMC City Place 10 next door, which closed shortly after. Now that Regal has taken over, I’m sure things will probably get worse.
MovieTix, were you able to see where the construction actually is? Are they converting the exiting ones or is it a built-on addition? I’m curious as to how they are going to accomplish it at that venue since its more or less closed in.
I wouldn’t say Winston was one of the “fathers of pre-CGI spfx” but that he was one of the masters of animatronic and mechanical fx. He will be missed. I wonder what his passing will do to the production of the current Terminator movie.
i blogged on CT, about watching Jurassic Park 1 in DTS, /THX at the Universal movie plex, in LA back in ‘93. The auditorium had a balcony from what I recalled, which I thought was unusual for a multiplex. It was super loud and my cousin’s long fingernails left their marks on my arm because of the tenseness of the movie.
On another first, my first DLP movie was in ‘01 watching JP3 at the same venue but a smaller auditorium.
Oh good. It may be worth a visit. I imagine it will be shown in the Historic Theater or #2. Hulk was a decent flick, better than the Ang Lee version. The crowd loved it as well. :)
Is it in 70mm? The AFI site doesn’t say. I’m guessing not. I’m curious how it will look. I’m planning on seeing the Hulk Sat night….though it would be nice to see Ben Hur on the big screen (if it were 70mm)
Again, I thought this theater was listed because I recall blogging about it. Maybe I’m living in the Twilight Zone or something..but here it goes again.
This isn’t a bad AMC theater as it has fairly large screens in most of the auditoriums. I saw a DLP movie here last year and enjoyed the presentation although as in other AMC presentations the sound level was too low to appreciate. Supposedly, an IMAX installation is due this year if the construction schedule is kept.
On another note, being that this place is close to a mall, there are many teens that mull about including some none-too-desirable gangs. On the night we went, there was a shooting that just took place as we were getting our tickets. Given this venues location, in rather upscale Columbia, its unusual for this kind of an event to occur.
The first and last movie I saw here was Escape From Alcatraz in 1979 when the venue was a single screen. If memory serves me correctly, they advertised this venue had the largest screen in the metro area. There was no stereo install that I recall but the seats were comfortable, if greasy.
Unfortunately, crime did its best to deter regular patrons. I remember my cousins being mugged in the parking lot, which was very poorly lit at the time. Why they didn’t have proper lighting to the left and rear is a mystery to me.
Not to be judgmental but the screens don’t look as large as I’d imagined given all the hoopla about how great the place is with its state-of-the-art presentation that exceed THX standards. The newer AMCs seem to have taller and wider screens. On the other hand, the seating arrangement seems to give ample room for even the largest of moviegoers with what seems like ample foot room to stretch. Along with the Dome, I’d definitely would want to watch a movie there the next time I’m in LA. :)
Your last comments are like the revelation of the wizard behind the curtain! :P I enjoyed the little theaters and the balconies. They were, to me, like private screening rooms. No, I wouldn’t want to watch “Lawrence of Arabia” or “2001” there but for the films I did see there they were memorable enough.
Just exactly what kind of minimalist surrounds did they have in the smaller ones? I thought they had suspended speakers going around the entire auditorium?
After the carve up, did they expand the original projection area for the two little screening rooms? Or were separate ones built where you had to run from one to the other for each show?
As for the screen size, I could have sworn that on grand re-opening day, with the opening of Jim Hensen’s “The Dark Crystal,” which I saw there with my friends in 70mm opening weekend, that the Weekend ad made mention of a new, larger screen.
Haha. Of course not. Its about 40.
Summer blockbuster films are always a delight at this venue. You can’t beat its decently sized screen and killer sound system. There are usually personal intros by the theater’s owner on opening weekends that add that nice personal touch to the showmanship, which includes an opening and closing curtain.
Nice pictures. The Summer ‘07 blockbuster movie season got off to a rousing start with the Senator’s booking of the latest Indiana Jones movie. Usually my friend and I go to the midnight show that starts the engagement but missed it to go Sat instead. I called beforehand and was assured that there was enough tickets for the 7pm Sat show. By the time, I dropped my friend off to get tickets, they sold out 3 people ahead of him! The next day I had two graduations to go to and wasn’t looking forward to getting home around 2 am but ended up getting tickets to the last show at 10:45pm. As usual, the presentation was top notch with the intro by Tom Kliefaber, its owner. The only detractions were some noticeable scratches in the final act and at the very, very end of the reel where there was this loud SCREEEEEEEEECH! I would say I almost missed digital, but for the fact the Senator was able to secure a Kodak Select Vision Premier print of the movie for this engagement.
I had noticed they had architect renderings of some remodeling. Unfortunately, the usher that was there was telling us to go as I suppose he and the rest of the crew wanted to clean up and go home.
Based on my brief view of the sketching, there will be some kind of bar to the right of the theater, with seating for about 40 or so. I hope they’ll have some movie memorabilia, Senator-related, too to sell with some gourmet goods and drinks. If this is the case, then this would mean they’ll finally be taking credit cards, too. Perhaps advance ticketing will finally come so I won’t have to endure a rare, but annoying sell out to a preferred show time.
The next time I go, I want to look at the drawings again to see what is happening upstairs. Now, they have two 40 seat areas for those who want to have private parties and such. This particular evening, they had a group who had a Indiana Jones-themed party, which looked like a lot of fun. I’m not 100% sure but it seems they will have a separate screening room. Senator 2 anyone?
I had a good time watching the ‘return of a great adventure’, to borrow a variation of the ad used for the Raiders films. True, we had no 70mm or even DP in our market. It seems the all DP venues got it..great for them. I happened to catch my first viewing at Baltimore’s Senator where they were able to get a select EK Vision Premier print of the movie.
As great as the presentation was, with opening and opening curtains and a personal intro by the theater’s owner, there was one part of the film that already showed signs of scratching/blotching and at the very, very end of the movie there was a horrible loud screeching and ripping sound. I hope they didn’t ruin the print they got. It was disturbing nonetheless.
I wouldn’t say that DP has dropped. Maybe in your market it has but in the DC area, I’d say they’ve increased with the increasing number of DP installations. The theaters that do have it are showing DP movies and it seems its all Narnia, as of now and I surmise that it was supposed to be the sure thing. I was disappointed we didn’t get Indy in DP but it seems that most of the all DP venues got it. I’d surmise that a big chain like Regal is putting at least one DP install in each plex but they don’t do much in promoting it as of yet.
I saw one of the Star Trek movies here many years ago when it was hitting the second run circuit. I’m guessing it was 3, maybe 4. Don’t recall if the theater was even stereo equipped, but the screen was decently sized and the seats raked in such a way as to give a good view of the screen. In a way, I’m glad its still in use showing movies, albeit Bollywood ones. :) I wish they had kept the Laurel Twin intact.
In DC, our Uptown and its super wide 70' screen will have it but no 70mm. As for digital, the DLP site has yet to be updated. I bet Spielberg is still tweaking the movie as we speak, though the ticket sites have it clocked in at 2 hours 4 minutes.
Did anyone see Harrison Ford on Leno last Friday? They didn’t even have any CLIPS. They should have had at least something. I hope this last minute rush in editing doesn’t mean the film is going to be bad. With the disappointing results of “Speed Racer”, this past weekend, I hope its not a hint of things to come with Indy.
This sucks. I was planning on being in SF for the Castro’s 70mm festival, the week prior. I’m hesitant to change plans now that this tour is going to take place.
Thanks, Steve. What of the 4K DP installs that Landmark and AMC are reportedly using? Are they appreciably “brighter” than the 2K units?
I remember watching the restored Vertigo in 70mm DTS. It was so perfect that it looked like it was shot yesterday.
Re: 70mm. Reportedly, the new Batman had some sequences filmed in 65mm and the director who brought us Baraka is working on a sequel, again in to be released in 70mm. In70mm reports a possible 70mm print of the latest Indiana Jones, but there has been no word on that being a reality.
San Francisco’s Castro Theater is having a 70mm retrospective the first week of July. They had one last fall, too. Its a shame the Uptown can’t have at least one of these during the slow periods. I’m contemplating a visit there as long as I can still use my NWA miles. :)
Giles, thanks for saving me a trip. I was about to see the film there but opted for DP at my local Regal, which was SUPERB. Maybe its time for the Uptown to get an DC Cinema install. It should get the newest and best to make the most of its screen.
If AMC were to see the light and have 2001 here to celebrate its 40th anniversary, I’d be happy to revisit this venue.
Steve, maybe that’s what I was referring to. Remember when the Uptown showed a so-called “virgin” print there…not sure if it was 1990 or before but that is/was my first and best experience of that film to date. There was no color degradation, perfect sound and there was some mmmmmmmm during the Stargate corridor sequence. Sitting in that sweet spot and being engulfed in the sound and picture made one feel as if he was in the show.
Trying to keep on topic about the Silver though, it would be nice to get the 70mm movies that Hollywood locales such as the Astro, Academy, Egyptian and even their own sister AFI Arclight get for retrospectives. Again, the Silver seems to show only Lawrence and 2001. Heck, even the Castro gets some decent 70mm bookings of the older films.
Last night, I caught the last showing of 2001. The print was slightly better than the one I saw last year. No annoying soundtrack ticks but there were print annoyances such as appearing ‘butterfly’ during the “Dawn of Man” sequence and some ghostly film images in the middle. I’m not sure if its just me but the film seemed to be less of an ‘experience’ than in previous times. I believe there was more of subwoofer mmmmmmm during the Stargate Corridor sequence.
Overall, it was nice to visit this classic. Its just seems to be less than what I remember. In the Main News section of the site, they report an Academy screening for the 40th anniversary, perhaps they got a better print than what AFI got?
I wrote DLP and they tell me that there WILL be a “wide release” of Indiana Jones in DP.
So no 70mm? I guess Lucas' clout and Producer status outweighs Spielberg’s desire at exclusive film presentation of this movie. This is sad. I was reading Entertainment Weekly’s interview with the two and read that Spielberg is quite a film purist. He and his long time editor, Kahn, used a moviola to edit the movie. Talk about old fashioned! And they can’t manage to get at least few 70mm prints made after all that effort? If I were so stubborn (and rich) about doing things like that, I’d spend my own money for the prints. :)
I wrote to Paramount’s East Coast distribution and received no response. I’m trying their group sales to see if that yields any information for either DP or 70mm. I’ll post once I receive a response.
I imagine the July rollouts, in the DC area, will just be in time for the Batman movie. I wonder if the three IMAX screens are all the same size as far as screen and capacity are concerned?
Columbia isn’t a bad venue, but it has a very large teen crowd. The last time I was there, there was a shooting in front of the theater complex, which is a rarity for that area, but still unnerving, nonetheless.
Hoffman is a good venue and right on the Metro line. Since I drive and live across the bridge, its easier for me but parking has been tight given the construction. Perhaps they’ll have enough parking by the time of the IMAX opening. :)
White Marsh was a favorite destination point of mine for moviegoing. When they opened, they were originally Loews Cineplex and all their auditoriums were THX certified. Like Columbia, they have a large teen crowd on weekends and sometimes, if they are in a group, can be disruptive. The last time I was there, we saw 1408 someone let off a stink bomb in the auditorium.
Tysons Corner is the newest AMC venue to open in the DC area. I love their huge wall-to-wall screens though I wish they did a better job with projection and sound. I’m tired of the scratched up presentations, previews and endless pre-show ads.