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I’d have to disagree with you about the MacArthur losing its charm after it was triplexed. Granted, its nice to be in a nice large auditorium and take in the sight and sounds of the environment BUT, I think the theater gained some in that the two smaller auditoriums did not detract a whole lot from the original. In fact, you can recall, they opened up the upper level to balconies and had decent Dolby systems and I believe the screen was replaced in the big auditorium, with a larger one. And the smaller auditoriums had curtains that rose and fell during their respective shows (at least the times that I saw movies in them, which wasn’t a lot..I probably can recall three showings.. Flashdance, Eleni and Heaven Help Us) and it was a vertical rise and drop at that.
In any case, with three screens, you should be able to balance some decent programming between the first run and classics. As nice as the Landmarks are, they aren’t that much different to me than your usual multiplexes.
With the Dupont Circle 5 closing, maybe this venue could be viable once again. The other night, there was local news coverage of the closing and it was stated that there are more screens in the city than ever! I suppose they’re factoring in the large multiplexes at Gallery Place and Georgetown. But those venues are on the other side of town and I’d hardly consider them treasures by any stretch of the imagination. If the Avalon can be brought back and made a success, the MacArthur can, too, with the right support. To be honest, the MacArthur is more of a treasure than the Avalon is and, of course, holds more favorable memories. There was talk about turning the place into office space, maybe they could partially do that to make the theaters more of an economical viability. I’d think they could clear up the empty space at the top of the building and back.
Giles, SHH! Don’t suggest any more venue closings. I like Shirlington and the surrounding restaurants and public library.
Jack, are you sure the pictures you have depict an original single screen venue? The pictures you have are of the Roth’s/Loews, now P&G plex that opened up back in 1987 or so. I remember being there opening weekend to watch Batteries Not Included in one of the theaters…thats why. I always thought they were brand new theaters from the ground up.
Nice pictures, Howard! So..maybe after CVS lease runs out the theater will return? It seems as if it would be an easy conversion since the CVS shopping floor takes up only a small part of the theater..probably just the lobby area.
Pierre, you have quite an exhaustive list, but something is amiss. Chicago had a 5 month run back in ‘02? I thought the movie was good, but I doubt it played that well with NYers to play for 20 weeks.
Also, there’s no mention of Blade Runner playing here, which was just a few months back.
The East mezzanine picture is ½ of the twinned balcony? Or is it the main auditorium? It seems cut off in the middle. The hallway pictures and ceiling fixtures look quite good. I suppose someone is maintaining the theater.
DC Metro area (NoVA, MD and DC), I’d say we have three. possibly four; Washington DC’s AMC Uptown, the independent Greenbelt MD’s P&G Old Greenbelt and Baltimore MD’s Senator and lastly, DC’s Avalon. I’d say the Avalon is single screen given the fact that it originally was that and that an upstairs auditorium was added years later not changing the original auditorium’s set up in any way.
Actually, you could count AFI’s Silver, too. The original auditorium is still showing first fun movies..Juno comes to mind.
This multiplex is quite young and looks thoroughly modern. It looks almost like the White Marsh multiplex in MD. I suspect the reason for its demise was lack of patronage? The address of it leads me to think that it was or is near the 7-Eleven world headquarters.
Unfortunately, I was too young and my parents yielded quite a heavy right hand, on my bottom, if I even broached the subject of “going to the movies,” much less one about “aliens” from another planet. Though, my oldest brother, had the good fortune and better persuasive skills (heck, he was the older brother) to allow us to go see Rocky, only a few weeks later. BLEH.
I don’t think I ever saw CE3K in the theater in any of its versions. In 1980, when there was the special edition and the look inside the mothership (and when I was allowed to go to movies), I wanted to see it but it didn’t last very long in area theaters from what I recall. Michael, you have quite an exhaustive list there but I could’ve sworn that we got a 70mm print at our Uptown during its initial run. If I have the time, I’ll check the Post archives.
Probably my first time seeing the movie was on ABC. If memory serves me correctly, the network version was a combination of the special edition and original. Being very young and with a youth’s shorter attention span, my initial reaction to the movie was slow. It took awhile to get to the BIG finale where everything, everybody comes together..literally. As far as the look inside the mother ship that seemed to get the ire of some critics and fans, what is the big deal? I’m sure everyone wanted to know what it was like inside and when Spielberg went back to do the Special Edition, he pretty much satisfied that curiosity.
If AFI would get its act together and put on a decent sci-fi retrospective, it would be nice to include this film. I’d probably go for the DVD version, which I’ve read, has a combination of both versions and is the preferred Spielberg cut.
Its a dead link.
This may sound strange/funny, but at some of my favorite frequented theaters, I have the box office or manager numbers on speed dial on all my phones. So, I end up calling to see if such and such a movie is playing in DP or in my favorite THX one.
On closer examination of the ad, it appears there was something called a “Columbia” room for private screenings of smaller groups.
According to opening day newsprint ads, this theater boasted a 1400 patron seating capacity, which would make it larger than the Uptown’s, including balcony seating, with evening admission prices of the cost of 75cents!
For years, I was complaining about this since you and I both know some auditoriums are nicer than others and have better offerings (Digital sound, projection, etc). What I’ve found out from places like Movietickets.com and Fandango is that it is up to theater management as to how they post the information. I suspect it is the same with newspapers, too. I doubt they (newspapers) advertise auditorium info at a plex as a public service.
So, if management wants to advertise that Movie A is in auditorium #1, with THX/DTS or Dolby Digital EX or Movie B is in DLP, then they need to inform the website of that fact.
We saw the National Treasure sequel in #1, my favorite auditorium to a small audience given the size of the place and time (last showing). They debuted the new Horton Who THX trailer (I think). As usual, the presentation was virtually flawless, excellent surrounds. Sitting in my favorite seat, we were immersed into the adventure unfolding before us. The Goofy pre-movie cartoon was a pleasant surprise and showcased the theater’s sound capabilities given the theme was setting up your home theater.
Another plus is they don’t have pre-show commercials anymore! Now what multiplex does this nowadays? They need to bring back the personal introductions that Crown used to have. The Mashers have yet to reply to my suggestions to bring this aspect of showmanship back. Though one tid bit of welcome news is that their chain may go all-out Digital in 2008.
I thought I had posted comments about my experiences here but they’ve GONE! I’ve seen Panic Room, Day After Tomorrow, the first Transporter and, according to my Moviewatcher records, Fracture, earlier this year. I’m sure there are more, but thats the most I can remember now. The last film I saw in the Adult over 21 section with the nicer seats. I’ve never had a bad experience here presentation wise but they seldom play the THX trailer before shows even though they tout certification. They used to have a THX poster at the top of the escalator to tout the high presentation standards for certification.
One nice thing about the location of this theater is that you’re surrounded by various stores to suit your shopping interests and some nicer chain restaurants such as Cheesecake Factory and Maggianos, both across the street.
On another note, this place is next to another closed favorite theater of mine, the Jenifer, which is in the very next block next to Booeymongers…and two blocks further the much larger and treasured Cinema. How times have changed.
I went to the Majestic when it first opened and was not impressed. It was nice to be greeted as you entered but that’s about it. Yes, its a megaplex and there are some huge auditoriums but the two movies that I saw there were disappointing presentation wise and have never went back.
As for Juno, I want to check it out at the new Landmark in Balto. Supposedly, they’re running it in digital projection…maybe with the often talked about 4k projectors.
But back to the Flower, it is fondly remembered as I’ve said above.
I drove by the theater today and there’s a big FOR LEASE sign on the marquee. Perhaps someone with an interest may want to resurrect this place to at least a twin, if not single house movie theater again.
We saw Water Horse in DP to an almost full house. Presentation in Auditorium #6 was very good with excellent surrounds and clear picture. There was no DP trailer, although, my friend and I did arrive well after the previews had started. Customer Service is quite good, too, as I lost my $1 in the vending machine at the end of the hall. The lady promptly gave me $1 back no questions asked. Of course, it went back to them so I could water down the free popcorn I received as a result of being a Moviewatcher member.
Howard, but all of Mazza’s screens are THX certified! How can this be?? Actually, at Mazza, my favorite is the largest one as you get off the escalator. I’m assuming its #1, but am not 100% sure. The sound is always terrific with discernible surround sounds and good sight lines. The last movie I saw there (#1) was..Day After Tomorrow.
Any word on its possible demise? Or it being sold? (The Uptown, not Mazza)
Howard, I’m glad you enjoyed your movie in one of my favorite seats in the AFI’s Historic Theater. What a treat, eh? Perfect movie presentation, eating a snack while stretched out in comfort, without worrying about who is behind or in front of you. Now if only a robe and bedroom slippers were the accepted theater attire decorum… :)
I’m sure theater owners pay for THX certs otherwise they can’t claim they are THX certified and use the advertising to distinguish themselves from the other multiplex boxes. If you notice in the Post, some venues do advertise this fact such as BowTie Annapolis. What I don’t like is the movie print ads, themselves, don’t have the little THX logo by those theaters that do show the movies in their certified auditoriums, much less digital stereo (DTS, DD, EX, etc) and digital projection. Its now just one big ad and you call a number or check the directory.
I’ve always enjoyed sound format and projection format trailers before the actual movie starts, but fewer of the plexes do them anymore. With the sound format trailer, the audience gets a sense as to what the theater’s sound system is capable of and with THX hitting all those sound levels AND the subwoofer vrooom, leads to great anticipation because of the startled auditory senses. If movie theater managers want to ensure audiences come back, they need to reenforce the positives of patronizing and that is the great sound and picture. So, play the damn THX trailer, please loud.
Let’s hope AFI show other 70mm features in ‘08 than the usual fare…PLEASE?
I should add that because of this pretzel treat, its one of the few movie houses I’d ever buy concession stand anything because of the exhorbitant prices. Either I try to eat before the show or try to sneak it in.
They used to have these delicous jalapeno cream cheese stuffed pretzels that were sooo good. If made right, its the perfect balance of crusty shell, the kosher salt and melting hot but not volcanic hot cheese with the right amount of jalapeno zing that’s, oh so yummy! The last time I was there..probably when they had 2001 a year ago, they were out of that, actually most of their snacked goods were GONE except for popcorn, soda and alcohol. I was so disappointed!
Nice photos, Howard. The last set is good in that you capture some of the better seats in the back that are spread out and not congested. If I’m snacking on something like their hot stuffed pretzels, I like the snack tables adjacent to the seats in the back. My friends and I snuck in sandwiches and soup from the Panera, next door, and had a good time with our movie!
On the other hand, the pictures point out the rather smallish screen. Small in comparison to some of the better single houses of yesteryear, sadly gone forever. I do wish that in ‘08, they have more 70mm other than Lawrence and 2001.