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Thanks, William. The interior doesn’t look as nice or ornate as my memory of the Westwood, but more like a studio screening room.
How about some interior shots? I’ve been to the Westwood, across the street, in ‘01 and saw Planet of the Apes there. They have a killer sound system (THX certified) but the screen is a bit small. It can’t be much larger/smaller than Baltimore’s Senator.
Gaudy? Its different and not too drab looking. Its too bad I can’t go, I misplaced my, um, passes… ;)
The Uptown still has the huge curved screen and has the potential of offering patrons a great cinematic experience and have done so with previous 70mm shows, but they don’t have regular projectionists. I was there this past summer and had a horrible experience watching the last Star Wars movie that was slightly off the screen with sound that was turned down, with little to no noticeable surround sound. The manager acknowledged that they did not have a FT projectionist and didn’t seem to care about it or know what to do to fix it. If I could speak Hindi, maybe I could’ve conveyed my sentiments a bit better ;)
The Ziegfeld’s digital projection and sound system was the best place to see it as far as I am concerned, but their screen is rather small. The ideal set up would be the Uptown’s wide screen and the Ziegfeld’s sound system. Just my 2c.
The AFI Silver Spring (in MD) theater near me recently showed “My Fair Lady” in glorious 70mm just last week. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend it. With the high quality projection standards that they have there, I’m sure the showing was a decent one, so perhaps Clearview could secure that print for their classic movies festival.
This movie theater’s exterior reminds me of the opening scenes of Janet Jackon “Lets Wait Awhile” video, did they shoot those here?
I am curious as to why this venue couldn’t show regular films on the curved screen. We have a curved 70' screen at DC’s Uptown where they show regular films all the time. They don’t look distorted or unviewable at all.
The website doesn’t pictures of the interior. Any links to what it looks like now with all the improvements?
I wasn’t even around when those places were running. We still have other theaters that aren’t documented that I remember, but I’d need to get more info from The Post and/or Variety.
I don’t know why one would consider either Wisconsin Ave or Union Station 9 a ‘cinema treasure.’ They are both multiplexes with not a whole lot to treasure by either their ornateness, sheer size or lack of opulence. Hardly a treasure.
It can be agreed that patrons of either multiplex (myself included) can reminisce about movies seen there but that is just about it. Union Station 9 has the notoriety of being downtown and attracting mostly urban attendance and programming. At least Wisconsin Ave had 70mm projection capabilities but the lack of sufficient sound deadening material gave patrons the bonus of two soundtracks, for the price of one, in Auditorium 6, while the THX Grand trailer played next door in Auditorium 5.
If Wisconsin Avenue 6 goes independent, it would be nice to have counterprogramming to the traditional Hollywood fare. Auditoriums 4 and 5 had 70mm projection capabilities and were THX certified once upon a time, but am not sure if they still have the projection equipment or quality they once had. Perhaps it could become a cafe or bistro, in addition to showing movies. Otherwise, there is no real draw to go there since it is surrounded by nothing but offices, a McDonalds and Channel 9 TV studios.
AMC Union Station isn’t in a bad location since it is located in the food court at the train station. The auditoriums have the notoriety of being named for long lost DC movie gems of yesteryear. The Grand is the largest of the nine being THX certified.
In Thursday’s (12/22/05) Washington Post, there is a news bite about 10 Loews/AMC Theaters that are closing nationwide, the Uptown isn’t listed as one of them. The two multiplexes that are closing, in downtown DC, are the AMC Union Station 9 (not a bad plex, with several auditoriums named after older DC theaters..the Grand being the best and THX certified) and the Loews Wisconsin 6 (an okay 20 y.o. plex that is decked out in Loews purple, with auditoriums 4 and 5 having had 70mm projection and were formerly THX certified.)
As far as ‘restoring’ the Uptown, why would you want to tear down the current curved Cinerama capable screen and put back the old flat one? Part of the allure and charm of the Uptown was its unique wrap around screen. The theater was refurbished back in ‘96 and isn’t in disrepair and has hosted various charity film premiers over the year. The only 'restoration’ the Uptown needs is better film programming and employees and projectionists, in particular, who can bring back a sense of showmanship and pride that this theater had in years past.
What kind of projection and sound do you offer? 70mm? DLP? DTS? Dolby Digital?
How about posting some pictures or a link to your website to see how your new acquisition looks? Before and after pictures, maybe?
To be honest, I’ve never noticed the slow downs that are mentioned here. I pretty much check back to see what comments are posted after I submit mine, or glance at the new submissions, especially if they are local theaters (DC, MD or VA).
I happened to catch Chicken Little, in 3D, during it’s opening weekend. The film wasn’t bad but is more light fare than say its traditional flat animated films like The Lion King. The 3D digital images were very sharp, with vivid colors and detail. It is nice that we now have two digital screens at my local multiplex. One with the older DLP set up and now, the new one with the Dolby Digital Cinema (with 3D capability) set up. Unfortunately, the two auditoriums are the smaller of the venues, which is a disappointment, yet are THX certified.
As a Digital Cinema patron and enthusiast, I’m looking forward to the 3D digitally projected movies coming out. Disney’s “Chicken Little” will be showing near me in ‘Disney 3D Digital’ at the Crown Theater near me. Now, the extra $1 tacked on to the admission fee has me wincing but if it is a great theater experience then it will be worth it. IMAX presentations are definitely worth the extra money, so, perhaps the extra $1 for 3D Digital is worth it but the Crown auditorium that has digital projection has only a smallish 40' screen.
High definition, eh? I suspect we’ll see this in all the digital theaters in ‘06. Maybe by then, Landmark will have their new 4K projectors installed but they have such small theaters here in the DC area. How do you 'experience’ say, Cinerama on a 25' flat screen?
Okay, the news post has the article a bit out of context. I believe the EW article had the headline “Ten Theaters that Do it Right,” or something to that effect. They make little mention of showmanship or theater features.
As for our local Senator, it is a nice theater, but my experience there watching “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” was less than, um, stellar. The sound was rather muted and the picture ran off the screen, which was very, very disappointing, since I Caravan-ned (Dodge) 6 of my friends and relatives and travel some 40 miles (one way), on opening weekend, to experience this disappointing presentation.
Another sore point is the forum on this theater’s website is quite censored..almost draconian to any submission of theater criticism in any manner, no matter how thoughtfully and constructively presented. Also, any long discussion on the experiences of superior digital projection over the Senator’s film projection is also either edited or not posted at all. Now, “War of the Worlds” was another experience entirely. Watching that film there pretty much erased my bad memories of ‘Sith,’ but when I tried to post the contrasting film event experiences, with a positive note on the Senator’s redemption, it was not posted either.
The DLP website doesn’t indicate a DLP Ziegfeld booking either. Check it out at DLP.com, but then again, they don’t have the Loews Rio venue as having it either, yet they advertise a DLP showing of it.
The first three National Amusement multiplexes, in the DC/VA area started out in the mid 80s were state-of-the-art for its time. I recall they boasted at least two big auditoriums that were THX certified and had 70mm capability. I remember catching Star Trek IV, Terminator 2 and Dick Tracy in 70mm at one of those venues. Today, they are just run of the mill operations and have lost their THX certification. The Arlington VA Multiplex has DLP but its in a small auditorium that is shoe box sized. I saw X2 there, in ‘03, and was disappointed with the muddled sound though the picture was vibrant and colorful and didn’t bother going there to see Revenge of the Sith.
If they build another one in this market, they could take a page out of the Arclight Cinemas book and offer all stadium seating, with at least THX certified auditoriums, if not better, and at least one with IMAX and/or DLP. Perhaps an auditorium or two could be kept for art house classics, with 70mm capability to show older widescreen favorites. Then you can call it a ‘De Lux’ venue. :)
Okay, I’m projecting a wish that may not come true…
We have one of those ‘De Lux’ multiplexes in Virginia and, to be honest, it’s nothing great. The plasma tvs just show ads and movie trailers. The food court is just that..a food court. Sbarros, Nathans, the usual mall food fare at movie house prices!
The movie screens are decently sized, with stadium seating, nothing special. The presentation was in the Director’s Hall. The sound was muted and none of the auditoriums were THX certified, which would explain the lackluster presentation. The reserved seating is just that. I couldn’t choose where I wanted to sit and even though there were other people, the usher would check our tickets to make sure we sat in our assigned seat. I felt like I was in elementary school being told where to sit and not to move!
Is it worth the extra cost for the ‘De Lux’ treatment? Not in Virginia. Maybe it is better at the other locations where there may be at least DLP and/or IMAX.
Just returned from a screening of the original Star Wars trilogy. It was a great experience. Great sound and picture from start to end, in the largest historic theater (in THX). Unfortunately, the presenters flubbed up (though they did catch themselves) one of them referred to Star Wars as ‘Episode One’ and another referred to the second film as ‘The Emperor Strikes Back.’ It seems this was the only venue anywhere in the world that currently showed the first five movies of the saga. Its too bad the prequels weren’t in digital.
I second Doug23’s comment and responses to the previous bickering! Celebrate the fact you have the choicest venues to experience movies. The BEST! If you were in Washington DC, your choice is a decent looking art deco structure that can boast bad sound and lousy projection (Loews Uptown), or a smaller suburban multiplex.