Uptown Theater

3426 Connecticut Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20008

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Showing 176 - 200 of 417 comments

rlvjr on January 17, 2008 at 2:23 pm

I’ve enjoyed hundreds of movies at the UPTOWN over the past 5 decades; but unfortunately AMC has apparently targeted the UPTOWN to be driven out of business. In the familiar pattern of new owners wanting to close an unwanted outlet, AMC has turned to providing the poorest service to customers, hoping they don’t return; then citing low attendance as justification for closure.

For over 60 years, under both Warner and Cineplex Odeon ownership, the UPTOWN was the crown jewel of excellence, including the finest projection and sound on their giant screen. But now, under AMC bad management, the projection quality has become the poorest in DC. The picture is big, of course, but is sadly lacking in sharpness, contrast and brightness. Not just with the current I AM LEGEND, but with ALL of the previous 7 pictures we’ve seem there. Also, the all non-English speaking staff lingers in the lobby, with lobby doors open, yacking away through the show.

Washington’s other stand-alone theatre is the AVALON, further up Connecticut Avenue. Although the Avalon is much older, their picture quality is now superior to the UPTOWN’s intentional low quality.

The only hope for a continuing survival of the UPTOWN is to shed the destructive AMC ownership and have it in the hands of persons who appreciate the fine venue the UPTOWN was from 1939 through 2005.

Giles on January 15, 2008 at 10:14 am

is there any new news about the future of Uptown? I thought the end of lease for AMC was looming?

JackCoursey on January 15, 2008 at 9:19 am

Here and here are my contributions to the photo gallery. By chance does anyone have any interior photos they would like to share?

JackCoursey on January 15, 2008 at 9:19 am

Here and here are my contributions to the photo gallery. By chance does anyone have any interior photos they would like to share?

MikeRadio on January 13, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Now that AMC has closed the DUpont Circle 6, I hope the Uptown (which can’t make any money during the week during a movie that has been out awhile) is not next!

rcdalek on December 30, 2007 at 12:48 am

The reason that your national guard commercial sounded better at the UPTOWN is most likely that the uptown is still using actual film stock for their pre show commercials thereby using the same sound setup that they would use for the movie. If I remember correctly the uptown still just has the slide projector for ads, while MAZZA is part of AMC’s National Cinemedia Network so that the commercials are being run through the HD projector and the sound is being presented through an aux or non-sync channel which is not as rich as the 5.1 or 7.1 Dolby Digital systems.

SWATMAN on December 25, 2007 at 7:42 am

Yes Howard you are right. The Uptown did have the D.C. premiere of “Charlie Wilson’s War” that week.

HowardBHaas on December 25, 2007 at 5:17 am

I meant to continue: as far as I’m concerned, there’s no other film experience like the Uptown from New York to D.C. I certainly hope the Uptown continues to show movies!

HowardBHaas on December 25, 2007 at 5:15 am

JodarMovieFan, Mazza Gallerie’s auditoriums WERE THX certified when GCC opened it in 2000. I saw Day After Tomorrow June 2004 at the Ziegfeld, so you haven’t been to the Mazza Gallerie in awhile. AMC didn’t present a THX trailer on Sunday. The National Guard trailer looked small on the Mazza screen (Aud 2) compared to the Uptown, and the Mazza did not have the sound turned up for it! Sound better for the movie, but not compared to the Uptown sound which rocks! They told me biggest Aud is 1. 1 & 2 are first in. I’ve seen one movie each in Auds 1 to 4.

I don’t know what AMC plans are, whether they depart the Uptown next year.

JodarMovieFan on December 24, 2007 at 9:21 pm

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)

longislandmovies on December 24, 2007 at 3:22 pm


HowardBHaas on December 24, 2007 at 2:26 pm

I saw “I am Legend” 7 PM Saturday eve. I’d rather union projectionists but the projection was fine. Sound was great- the Uptown always has one of the most powerful sound systems on Earth!

Sunday, I saw Charlie Wilson’s War at the Mazza Gallerie. The National Guard commercial, showing helicopters & soldiers, wasn’t one bit as impressive as it was at the Uptown’s screen the day before!

Washington Post mentioned a D.C. premiere of “Charlie Wilson’s War” the week before. Piddy, was that at the Uptown?

unc1dmo on November 29, 2007 at 5:35 pm

The Washington Post
Date: Oct 29, 1936 (NOT 1933)

The Uptown Theater, Warner Bros, new picture playhouse, located on Connecticut avenue at Newark street, will be dedicated this Thursday evening, October 29, at 8:15 o'clock, according to an announcement made late yesterday by John J. Payette, Warner Bros, gen- eral zone manager.

SWATMAN on November 5, 2007 at 10:59 am

It’s the premiere of “Lions for Lambs” this Wednesday.

HowardBHaas on November 5, 2007 at 5:42 am

Somewhere online says “Blade Runner, the Final Cut” is a 2 week engagement.

There’s no movie listed online at AMC website for this Wednesday.

Perhaps the premiere of “Lions for Lambs” or “No Country for Old Men”?

bufffilmbuff on October 30, 2007 at 11:11 am

I was there for the Saturday screening of BLADE RUNNER and the projection and sound were great. Let us hope that this theatre stays open. There is nothing like seeing a film on the giant curved screen.

JodarMovieFan on October 23, 2007 at 2:08 pm

The Senator engagement has been postponed indefinitely due to the popularity of “Michael Clayton” at least through 11/1. Good for them as they need the patronage.

As for the Uptown…the AMC/Moviewatcher website indicates showtimes of 1, 4, 7 and 10pm, respectively.

As far as any DC area digital projection engagements, none are indicated at this time. Looks like DC has the exclusive.

Giles on October 23, 2007 at 11:48 am

idlewild, what is your source for this information about the opening(s) at the Uptown (and Senator) – I know that the Senator has the info up on their website, but AMC or even the folks at the Uptown have no clue this is opening this coming Friday. I would feel like an utter fool if this isn’t happening, since I’ve been posting your info on a few websites.

JodarMovieFan on October 16, 2007 at 7:01 pm

Choices, choices and more choices. The Uptown will have the superior viewing experience given its sheer screen size. The Senator has an excellent sound system when done right but its screen is smaller. Landmark Baltimore will probably get a DP version and is NEW. Heck, I may have to see it in all three venues :)

cautiouslyidle on October 16, 2007 at 1:33 pm

BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT will open in Washington,DC exclusively at the Uptown Theatre on Oct. 26, 2007. The film will also open in Baltimore, MD at The Senator on Oct. 26, 2007 and at the Landmark Harbor East on Nov. 9, 2007.

HowardBHaas on October 15, 2007 at 8:03 pm

Yes, after receiving Senator email, I was about to mention it on the Senator page when you beat me to the punch. It will only be ONE week at the Senator.

I don’t know if AMC will have the smarts to put Blade Runner: The Final Cut at the Uptown, but it would be great if they did.

JodarMovieFan on October 15, 2007 at 7:54 pm

The Tenley 3 was here before. I remember commenting on it. GRR. I suspect when Cinema Treasures moved to a new server some info was lost. I know some of my comments went missing.

Re: Blade Runner. Baltimore’s Senator is touting a ‘new 35mm’ print sometime after Oct 26. Perhaps the Uptown will get a chance at an exclusive run since there is at least one film print from The Final Cut.

HowardBHaas on October 15, 2007 at 7:42 pm

I’m sure nobody noticed last week when the Tenley Circle finally was entered, because it arrived under the name of a new theater that’s there. I saw many movies at the Tenley and will comment on that page. For others who might also wish to comment, please go to this page:


Giles on September 10, 2007 at 6:30 am

so… getting back to the original topic on hand since it’s diverged to Blade Runner – which is only getting theatrical exclusive run in NYC and LA only (boo, hiss, Warners come on), and digital projection (which the Uptown sadly doesn’t have). What’s the story about the future of the theatre – is AMC still toying with the idea of not renewing it’s lease come next Spring? Or has the commitment to satellite feed the McLean Bible Church secured the Uptown for being open longer? I don’t believe anyone did answer this question directly, if this is digitally fed through a yet to be determined server – is in fact AMC upgrading to a digital projection system – the Kinoton projector that Steve mentioned sounds great, or even NEC’s system that was specifically built for very large theatres (the Arclight, Ziegfeld, Seattle’s Cinerama all feature NEC’s DLP system).

sguttag on September 10, 2007 at 4:59 am

“Look as good” is a tough question to answer. The simple facts are that 4K resolution digital is only as good as 1.85 35mm (.446 x .825"). This does not speak to the color aspects of which film has a greater range as well as better contrast ratio. For 70mm, you are dealing with a substantially larger image area (projection size of .870 x 1.912"). 8K digital is not going to capture it all with the color and contrast again still superior with film.

So, in the strictest sense, given an “EK” print from the original release, no today’s digitally remastered version will not have as good a resolution, contrast nor color. However, it sure seems like they are using the best of today’s technology to yield as faithful a reproduction of the original.

But lets look at other factors….you probably didn’t see an EK print back then (Off camera original) but a dupe print that went through the whole IN/IP process. So the edge in contrast and resolution gets very narrowed with the film versus digital.

Now take into account the projection system you saw the film on…how good was it? Any image stability issues in projector (or printing for that matter) come off of resolution. This is why 70mm projection, even from a blow-up is significantly better than a standard release print in 35mm…theatrical projection gets a significant improvement in steadiness as well as having more resolution for the IN/rellease print steps.

Kinoton (projector manufacturer) just this year released their “premiere” line of film projectors (uses an electronic intermittent) that is 4-5 times steadier than their previous version of their “E” series projector…that 4-5 times steadiness improvement will improve sharpness and actually allow one to resolve more of what is on the film.

So, as you can see it is very difficult to play a strict numbers game on will today’s film or digital print look as good or better after digital remastering. As a rule, in 2007, going into the digital domain almost always takes away from film original. 2K DIs are just plain horrible…they lower the bar way too much. At least Blade Runner looks like it went with notably better digital processing.