Uptown Theater

3426 Connecticut Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20008

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Showing 51 - 75 of 409 comments

Giles on March 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm

given ‘John Carter’ is a scope (2.35) film, wide screen movies always look great and suitable on the Uptown screen – no black borders above and below the movie as on an IMAX (or IMAX-lite) screen.

JodarMovieFan on March 12, 2012 at 10:44 am

Hmmm. It is interesting to note that the same film is playing at the AMC Georgetown 14 nearby, in IMAX-lite. I’m assuming their IMAX-lite install is the same as the others..I haven’t been to the Georgetown 14 in years.

Giles on March 10, 2012 at 7:52 pm

I noticed that in yesterday’s Post that ‘John Carter’ is being presented in both 2D and 3D – an Uptown first, giving it’s patron’s a choice in which visual version to see/pay for.

sguttag on February 4, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Like others, I stopped getting updates from CinemaTreasures after the update so I missed a few. As for the 35/70 projectors…Starting in 1954, the Uptown did have Norelco Todd/Ao projectors, which were replaced (relocated to the Cinema-7 theatre in Baileys Crossroads, VA), once 3-strip Cinerama was replaced by single strip (Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World), the Century “Cinerama” projectors were used until the end of film projection at the Uptown. I have not been in the theatre since 2005 so I do not know their disposition. AMC does not own the theatre nor the equipment so I don’t know what there obligation is on the disposal or retention of the fixed assets of the theatre.


Mikeoaklandpark on January 5, 2012 at 9:58 am

Scarey that AMC owns this theater you know how they are about small theaters that are not multiplexes.

Giles on January 5, 2012 at 9:21 am

question: does the theater sound system still have the center left, and center right speakers in place or were they removed?

Giles on December 30, 2011 at 10:02 am

from what I understand the projection flaw you noted Howard is that digital projection systems (on the whole) have not worked out the kinks of being projected onto a curved screen, the imperfection is also noted at the Arclight Dome in LA – so until someone at DCI (Digital Cinema Inititive) can figure on how to digitally manipulate the image from the projector to the screen and now bow at the corners on large curved screens, the problem isn’t going to go away immediately.

HowardBHaas on December 30, 2011 at 8:22 am

Saw Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol on Tuesday late afternoon, a nice crowd. Curtain hasn’t been used for a year or two because the motor is broke. Movie isn’t being projected on top & lower corner sections, a very minor effect but one that should be corrected. Christie 4 k dual projectors are used. The surround sound is astonishingly good!

Giles on December 16, 2011 at 7:18 am

personally I’m a bit annoyed that since ‘Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol’ is being presented on nearly every specialty large screen in and around Washington, AMC feels so compelled to book it here, when really Spielberg’s ‘Adventures of TinTin’ deserves to be experienced on the largest screen possible.

mondojustin on November 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Hello I’m currently working on a book about the film 2001: A Space Odyssey and am looking for photos and programs/newspaper clippings etc from each city in which the film premiered in originally in 1968. If you saw the film in it’s initial run in the theater have a good memory of your experience, I’d love to interview you about seeing it. To date I have interviewed over 20 people that have worked on the film, and several close members in the Kubrick camp as well. If you can help please email me at

Giles on November 1, 2011 at 6:06 am

8K is closest to 70mm. 35mm is around 3.5K Personally I don’t see how 8K works on 2K systems since there are more pixels on the former than the 2K can actually produce, but that’s how it’s being shown at Seattle’s Cinerama. 4K can and does work for 70mm features, but really 6K, at the least, is adaquate to retain the resolution and clarity of 65mm photography.

HowardBHaas on November 1, 2011 at 1:09 am

What is an 8k restoration equivalent of? 35mm? 70 mm? Can 2k or 4k projectors adequately show the 8k restoration?

JodarMovieFan on October 31, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Happy 75th Uptown…on Oct 29th.

Giles on October 21, 2011 at 10:26 am

the only person that’s been commenting on the Uptown has been little ol' me :) Would it kill AMC to book and show the DCP of ‘Ben Hur’(recent 8K restoration) that was shown at the NYFF and Seattle Cinerama.

JodarMovieFan on October 21, 2011 at 9:43 am

Ever since the redesign I have not received ANY updates to any comments but never really investigated why. I just figured maybe people weren’t commenting, but now I see they have and I’ve missed out!

Speaking of Ghostbusters, I was there for their 1984 70mm booking and distinctly remember being ‘scared’ as were many in the audience during the library scene. The camera was locked on a seemingly innocent and homely looking old librarian, until the close up and turn to the camera to SHHHHH. Then the old librarian turns skeletal and accompanying subwoofer..sound fx that scared the **** out of us. Very cool and memorable scene and experience.

Giles on October 12, 2011 at 8:11 pm

I really really do not understand why AMC can’t book the alternate programming that other theaters seem to get – the biggest head scratcher is that the rerelease digital presentation of ‘Ghostbusters’ should be on the huge Uptown screen, since well, it’s initial DC engagement was here … and in 70mm no less.

Giles on April 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm

apparently after an email to corporate and a response from the manager of the Uptown, a Christie techie came out and fixed the aspect ratio problem – thank you!

Apparently ‘Scream 4’ is opening tomorrow – oh, wow, a horror movie on the Uptown screen – I’m siked!

Giles on April 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm

so I saw ‘Source Code’ this evening, and I have say, again it was a mixed bag. During the trailers, the lower left of the screen was displaying a double image and out of focus, thankfully for the main feature it was corrected. But… for a 1.85 film, the framing was all off, the credits at the beginning were barely there, and only a few instances where heads at the top of the screen were slightly cropped off – this never happened for 35mm prints. Audio at a moment near the end lowered in volume unexplainably. On the plus side the image was consistently sharp, as was the light output – if the projector had displayed the 1.85 aspect ratio, it would have looked great

Giles on February 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm

was the Norelco projector ever replaced? I didn’t think so… til now. As for the ‘non-aligned edges of the image’ this is also a problem on the curved Cinerama Dome screen in LA, it’s a problem in that DCI digital projection specifications never has had to address an image (and modify it) on a curved theater screen.

Giles on February 8, 2011 at 8:56 pm

unfortunately the current 3D film now at the Uptown is the craptacular ‘Sanctum’ that’s been getting alot of negative reviews – I have no plans on seeing this, guess I’ll wait for the next film at the Uptown. Considering alot of the films that are being shown on IMAX screens are scope films (2.35) I’d favour seeing them here on the Uptown’s wide screen than paying extra for a screen that adds black borders above and below the image.

JodarMovieFan on February 8, 2011 at 8:09 pm

That is awful they removed the 35/70mm projector..what was it…the Norelco one? I can’t believe it. So no more 2001 in 70mm or 70mm anything? I’d like to think this is just a bad dream. I do not want to resign myself to think that 70mm is only going to be seen at the AFI Silver and their smallish 40 ft screen.

4K DP?! Hmm. Hopefully by the next 3D DP booking, the kinks will have been worked out. As I stated before, the bargain matinee price is very reasonable considering what IMAX-lite is for a screen thats about the same size.

Giles on February 8, 2011 at 6:42 pm

given it’s the dead of winter, the number of showings per day has decreased dramatically, a four and seven showing only, just this week they added a 10pm showing. Unfortunately, given the fact the theatre added a DLP unit, the choice or implementation of ‘alternative programming’ has yet to booked at this theatre – the one off ‘Carmen 3D’ would be ideal.

Giles on January 2, 2011 at 8:29 pm

that’s rather annoying the non-alignment issue was NOT resolved/fixed.

RedJacket on January 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Management, the employees, the high prices and the lousy “will call” (you still stand in line at the ticket window for pick-up) are the downsides to this great-looking theater. It’s great for matinees and weeknights to avoid the crowds. I saw “Grindhouse” and “300” here, and it’s the perfect place for those kinds of big-screen releases — especially “Grindhouse,” where maybe four other patrons showed up. Just like in the old days of trashy double features.

richmurphy on January 2, 2011 at 6:53 am

I went to the Uptown for the first time in about four years yesterday to see TRON LEGACY. I first went to the Uptown in the 1950s as a child (and have the SOUTH PACIFIC ticket stub stapled to my program as proof!), and had gone fairly regularly until changing tastes in filmmaking passed me by. However, I was curious to see how much my favorite theatre had suffered over the years, as well as to check out the new digital 3D system.

First, the good news. I’ve read about the speaker modications at the theatre and feared the worst. But the Uptown seemed to me to still have its distinctive sound quality. There was perhaps less rumble in the bass, but TRON is a typical noisy special effects extravaganza, and I didn’t sense any disappointment about the sound range or volume.

Also, I was impressed with the management. I went with a visually-impaired friend, who just came along to treat me to the movie. He took the 3D glasses he received at the box office and put them in his coat pocket as a souvenir. Similarly, I put mine in my coat pocket since I had visits to the restroom and the concession stand to make before I took my seat. A manager stood by the concession stand as we entered. He stopped us to ask if we had received our 3D glasses at the boxoffice, since he didn’t see either of us with any. I appreciated the manager checking to make sure we had our glasses. (A couple of years ago at the AMC Hoffman in Alexandria, the box office DIDN’T give us our glasses. I didn’t question this, since I thought maybe they handed them out by the auditorium entrance. This was a hassle, since there was no manager in sight and it was a long trek back to the box office, where one person was handling the line for the 22 auditoria.)

As for the bad news, the curtains were not in use for the performance I caught. Since the theatre thankfully didn’t show advertising before the presentation, it would have been nice to have the curtains closed instead of staring at a blank screen. Perhaps this is because the theater was uncomfortably dark between shows, so you probably couldn’t have seen the curtain anyway before the show. The spotlights that used to be on the edge of the balcony illuminating the curtain are either turned off or gone. I’ve never understood why any business fails to highlight a feature that makes it distinctive from the pack, and you’d think the Uptown would automate its curtain opening if need be to make it part of the show.

But the worst thing about my visit was the projection. While the dark image was annoying, I think much of that was due to the production design of TRON and the limitations of the 3D technology. I took my glasses off several times during the film, and the image seemed bright enough then. The previous poster mentioned that a dual projector system has been installed. I can confirm that, since the two projectors seemed misaligned on one point of the screen (near 9:00 if you think of the screen as a clock face). Worse, non-aligned edges of the image were visible on all four sides. If this is the new permanent projection system of the Uptown, they should at least increase the masking to hide the image edges. The non-alignment of the image edges, and their distortion due to the curved screen made them too noticable.

All in all, it wasn’t as bad a visit as I feared it would be. The small audience yesterday made the theater seem more like an old grind house, but at least we found a parking space right in front of the theatre. And the movie was, like the original TRON, clunky and incomprehensible, but thanks to a great production design and an innovative musical score, lots of fun.