Showing 976 - 997 of 997 comments
I believe the street name is spelled V-a-r-n-u-m. I know because when I was a teenager, I used to work at the store across the street from this former theater! On the other side of the street there was a Buddhist temple and on Sundays, the store would be packed with hundreds of church goers going in to get hot dogs, sodas, nachos and chips. I have always been curious as to what the interior of this theater looked like. If someone has posted pictures of the interior on the internet, or the venue’s website, please advise. Thanks.
I’m sure the sci-fi festival will be a success! I’m hoping we will also have one in the DC/Balto metro area soon. I didn’t see mention of this theater having 70mm projection capabilities. Does anyone know if it does? Their website doesn’t indicate that it can.
I now remember the name of the sound system. It was HPS-4000!
The project seems rather daunting. I hope that it succeeds, too. It would be nice to have yet another gem of a theater in Baltimore restored to its former glory. If the refurbished Ambassador and new six-plex are THX certified and, at least one theater has DLP, you can bet I’ll be seeing movies there on a regular basis.
A few questions:
Are there any known pictures of the interior (then and now) that someone could post?
If this theater is the Senator’s sister, is it safe to assume that the interiors are the same?
Does anyone know if there are any posted artist renderings on this new entertainment complex? Is there a timetable as to when the project will start and be finished?
I had the privilege of revisiting the Uptown to see the midnight opening of Spiderman 2. It has been a year since I’ve been to this theater and was looking forward to being enveloped by the big screen that this gem has to offer.
The single most irritating item about watching a movie at this theater is the constant stream of commercials. While I have not been to another Loews/Cineplex theater to confirm whether it is an isolated incident, the commercials just keep coming and were in bad quality and were not even in stereo.
While the picture was good, the sound was not. As mentioned, the commercials and previews were not played in stereo. The sound, for the most part was very tinny and muddled. It was centered but some of the dialog was almost intelligible. The only time that the sound came alive was during the fusion reaction scenes with Doc Ock. You could feel the theater come alive at that time. It was like the picture played in mono and was only turned on towards the middle and end of it.
I did contact customer service at Loews/Cineplex and received an Email response from an intern, who stated that they apologized for the commercials and that the chain has to show them to compensate for the “$20M salaries that stars are demanding…” There was no response as to the rather disappointing sound presentation.
Will this second bad experience hinder me from going back to the Uptown? I don’t know. But I will think twice before travelling downtown again. I think our suburban theaters have better sound presentation and picture, albeit in a smaller and less grand setting.
St Louis isn’t that small of a city is it? Besides, if the two multiplexes aren’t that close to each other, I’d think the respective companies have done enough of an economic survey to determine if there is enough demand, without hurting each other’s business.
Its nice to have choices really. I prefer the moviehouses that have the best picture (DLP, 70mm, or largest screen) and sound (Digital THX) even if it means I have to travel a bit (less than 50 miles).
The 70mm revivals aren’t as frequent as they used to be. Actually, I don’t think they’ve had a 70mm series since the 90s? I imagine, if the Uptown does host a 70mm series, it will be after the summer movie season, since attendance will drop and there won’t be any event films coming out until Thanksgiving.
If I had a wish, I would hope for a science fiction/fantasy series starting with the Star Wars films, Star Trek, Superman, Alien, all in 70mm. I read that 20th Century Fox was going to re-release a director’s cut of Aliens in theaters like they did the recent Alien one. Perhaps, they could show it here. Even older films would be nice to revisit. I remember watching Vertigo, in a restored 70mm print with a remastered soundtrack. The movie looked like it had just been shot yesterday. The print was so sharp and scratch free!
What would be really cool is if this theater had digital projection capabilities.
This was quite a nice theater when it was a single screen venue. My first movie seen at this theater was “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.” It was my first film event experience as it was opening weekend. The temperature was in the frigid teens and the line went all around the block and onto University Boulevard, as it usually does when this moviehouse is sold out. At the time, this theater showed great showmanship in the way they made sure the curtains opened and closed when they were supposed to and the sound was appropriately adjusted and the movie was projected to fit the screen and not outside it.
This was my first experience watching a movie that had an overture (Ilia’s Theme) at the beginning of the show. I had read that some of the older movies had them and I think this was probably one of the last films (that I have seen in its original release) to have it. I don’t understand why movies don’t them anymore. They set the mood for the movie and add to its enjoyment.
The late show that I saw, on the Saturday evening, of its opening weekend, started even later as we were told that there were film problems and that the show would be delayed another 2 hours! I think the movie started around 1 or 2AM! The only movie preview shown was for “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” and, at the time, the brief shot of the AT-ATs brought much oohing and ahhing from the audience.
From red hues of Vulcan to Stephen Collins' deep blue eyes, the film was something special as the presentation was so clear and the colors quite sharp. I remember reading about how this film was rushed to print for its Dec 7 opening but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment one bit. The film was advertised, on the marquee, as being in Spectrum Stereo. The font resembled that of the Dolby Spectrum stereo logo of later years. Come to think of it, I do recall seeing Kintek Stereo somewhere, if it was on the ticket booth window, or maybe on one of the speakers in the theater. I believe the KB Theater chain did use Kintek sound systems in a lot of their theaters. The last one this chain built, the one at Wheaton Plaza, now Loews Wheaton, had Kintek, which is a pretty decent sound system.
I always thought that this theater was almost identical to the MacArthur theater in DC. I don’t think this theater was ever 70mm capable as I don’t recall ever seeing it advertised on the marquee or in the Post.
The second film I saw here was Superman II. The presentation was quite decent but it seemed that audience attendance at this theater was on the decline. Also, the neighborhood saw increasing crime and gang related activities.
The last film I saw at this theater was Gremlins. The theater had been twinned and you could see that they put up a dividing wall right smack, in the middle, of the center aisle. It wasn’t what it used to be even though there was stereo sound. It was a shame to lose this theater to yet another retail store.
So there was a balcony! ;) My recollection of my only time inside the main auditorium was that there were these seats that were on an upper level, but were obscured by a ceiling to floor plastic drape of some kind. Judging by the looks of it, at the time, it seemed like one to me. Whatever the case, it is a nice theater.
I’ve visited this theater on the trips I’ve made to LA and saw “Star Trek: Generations”, in 1994, in the smaller auditorium, which was quite impressive soundwise (it was THX). It wasn’t until 2001, I went and experienced a movie, in the main auditorium, and saw Angelina Jolie’s “Original Sin”. The theater was going through a renovation and the balcony was closed :( . The movie, itself, was quite a bore as it put me to sleep, not too bad if you need a sleeping aid. The sound seemed a bit muddled and quiet, not the fault of the theater’s sound system but the film’s soundtrack. Perhaps, the next time I visit there, there will be an event film booked there so I can experience the theater’s full sound potential.
The whole theater design is quite impressive and is unlike any other I’ve been in. And, yes, like the proverbial tourist, I tried to match my foot and handprints to the some of the stars on the sidewalk. The help staff, in their Asian costumes, are a nice touch. In the Washington DC area, you don’t see the help staff in uniform much anymore at any place, much less costumed, even for event films.
I saw “The Lion King” here back in 1993 and was amazed at how ornate this theater is. The screen, itself, isn’t that large but what was different about this theater was the preshow live entertainment presentation. It would be fun to revisit the theater to see what other preshow bits are done for the other films booked at this theater.
I was in the neighborhood last week and had to stop by and see how CVS redid the interior of the old theater. The marquee, box office and foyer are left intact but after that everything is what you’d expect from what CVS drugstore would look like.
The actual selling floor space does not make use of the entire theater. What was the balcony area seems to have been made into management offices. Beyond the store, there must be a large storage area going back towards where the screen(s) were.
For some reason, I had envisioned this theater to be an art deco-type moviehouse like the Senator. I saw “Osama” (2003) here (in Feb ‘04) and, unfortunately, didn’t get to experience the Dolby Digital Surround EX sound system. Its not the film’s fault, as the movie is a low-budget ($40K) foreign language film. I’m wondering if this moviehouse was one auditorium at one time. The staff didn’t know.
1980 was the year, in which I made a long bus ride from the MD suburbs, with a few of my school chums, to stand in a line that went around the block, to watch “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.” This theater had a 70mm print of this eagerly awaited sequel to “Star Wars.” This particular theater is not as opulent or otherwise memorable as say DC’s MacArthur or Uptown, but it had a killer Dolby 6-track sound system and 70mm capability. I still have vivid memories of watching Empire, especially the asteroid belt sequence and just being blown away by the sound and moving, in synch, with Millenium Falcon, as it bobbed and weaved avoiding asteroids and the pursuit of firing Imperial ships!
E.T. played here, also in 70mm, but the lines were too long and I ended up seeing it at the now closed Landover 6 theaters, one of the worst places to have seen a movie in the DC area. The last film I saw here, in 70mm, was Spielbeg’s “Empire of the Sun,” in 1987. I don’t think this theater booked any 70mm films after that time as I’m sure I would’ve gone there. Then again, 70mm presentations became far and fewer into the 90s.
In 1991, this theater had a Star Trek movie marathon where they showed the first five films and the trailer, for the eagerly anticipated sixth and final Classic Trek cast film. Yes, I sat and watched all five films, with a friend from work, whom I cajoled into playing hooky from his job. Unfortunately, it was a non-70mm event but it was some experience to revisit those movies again all in one day, on the big screen with an enthusiastic audience. How else would one want to experience movies, eh?
The last film I saw there was Shrek, in ‘01’, playing in digital stereo and the theater seemed pretty much the way I remembered it but seemed to be in need of some touch ups here and there. They don’t seem to book the mainstream films that they used to anymore, as the recent films shown were more of the art house variety or festivals.
I have fond memories of this theater as Theater #2, the small one upstairs, was where I saw my first Rated R film, Altered States back in 1980! So, the statement that it was twinned in 1985 isn’t correct. After the 1985 remodel, the theater, at that time, boasted one of the first digital sound systems in the country. That same year I saw “The Goonies” (70mm?), with my little cousins, and the re-release of “Fantasia” (which put me to sleep). The print had excellent sound, or updated Fantasound <G>, but wasn’t enough to sustain my interests.
The theater, at that time, boasted one of the first digital sound systems in the region, if not the country. I don’t think this film booked any other 70mm films, as the larger moviehouses usually got those special prints, but I also remember seeing Steven Spielberg’s “Always” (non-70mm) and a few other films. The screen, if I remember correctly, had a slight curvature to it.
The AFI has done a terrific job with the Silver Theatre. There are now three auditoriums now as opposed to the single one that was there. I have to admit that I’ve never been to the old Silver theater even though I’ve lived in the area for all of my life. This is probably because this theater didn’t have 70mm projection capabilities and I always made the effort to see films in the best format, in any part, in and around the area.
What is nice about the largest auditorium is how wide the seating areas are where I caught a screening of a 70mm print of “Lawrence of Arabia.” You don’t feel claustrophobic as you might feel in other theaters. There is an organ, in this theater, that I’m sure is used to accompany the silent films when they are shown there. All three of the auditoriums are THX certified, but they don’t play the THX trailer before each show.
Its nice to see that a movie palace is being restored to its former glory. What kind of sound system will this theater have? Are there plans for any movies being shown here soon and when? :)
I think this is a good thing. Neither chain manages many of their theaters very well in the DC/MD/VA market. The sound systems and projection standards aren’t what they should be. I think the larger the chain is, the less care for showmanship.
This theater is quite a place and a nice departure from the awful AMC Academy 8 and 6 theaters, which are just a few miles away. The first movies I saw here were the Star Trek movie marathon (from the Motion Picture-Final Frontier) back in 1991. This is probably the only theater I can recall that played a Dolby stereo format trailer before the feature would start at the time. It would be nice if this theater became another ‘Senator’ (Baltimore, MD) and be a premier showcase of first run films!
I used to live a few blocks down the street from this theater. If memory serves me correctly, it was twinned sometime in the late 70s. The movies I saw there were: the 1980 Star Wars reissue, 2001: A Space Odyssey (for the first time) and Clash of the Titans. I don’t think the twinned theaters had stereo as there wasn’t any noticeable surround sound from those films. I will never forget the comment that one patron said after seeing 2001 when he said “I will neer see this movie again!” I guess it was too cerebral for him. Even though the presentation was non-70mm and mono, it still had quite an impact on me. The theaters were then cut up into four theaters sometime in the mid 80s. The twinned theaters were already small to begin with but to have them halved again, seemed too much, but I suppose the economics of the time dictated such drastic measures.
The hired help at this theater does leave much to be desired. I saw Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones (‘02) there with a friend, who is physically challenged. After making a phone call to the theater to assure that we would be allowed first into the theater to make sure we had seats together and a spot where my friend could park his wheelchair, the ticket taker demanded that both of us go back to the end of the line (around the block) and wait our turn.
The film does have decent film presentation but the sound isn’t what it could be. I’m not sure if its the acoustics in the theater or just the speaker set up, itself. The Senator, in Baltimore, while having a smaller screen, does have superior sound to the Uptown, IMHO, boasting Dolby Digital Surround EX. It would be nice if the theater could be THX certified but I’ve heard that because of the curved screen, THX isn’t possible.
It is sad that this is one of the last of the single screen theaters in DC.
I remember seeing Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan in 70mm and being awestruck by the presentation as it was the only theater in DC that had it there in that format. It was during this time, I began to enjoy seeing movies in the largest and best venues, travelling almost any distance (from MD where I lived) to the best around town. The theater was remodeled that year, becoming a triplex and adding small balconies and reopened with The Dark Crystal (also in 70mm). When I saw Brainstorm there (in ‘83), I noticed that some of the speakers were blown as when some scenes went from 35mm mono to 70mm 6-track, there was a definite crackling sound in the middle part of the theater. The Return of the Jedi (70mm) was an event as the film was sold out and Auditorium 2 (the biggest one) was filled to capacity as people oohed, ahhed, cheered and booed to what was happening on screen. Even the smaller auditoriums had decent Dolby surround sound and balconies. I saw Flashdance in '83 (for the third time) and was impressed with the surround sound and even the curtains opening for the show!
During the 90s, the theater didn’t book any 70mm event films and I stopped going there. The last film I remember seeing there was Total Recall back in ‘90. I was sad to hear that it was closing back in '97. Its too bad there wasn’t enough support to keep CVS from taking it over. I’m surprised that given the rather affluent neighborhood, there wasn’t enough financial support to keep it a local theater much like the Avalon, also in DC.