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Opened by Crown, later acquired by Bow Tie.
The 35 feet wide estimate is consistent with my memories of filmgoing there 1985 to 1987.
Auditorium which I photographed in 2004 by which time the curtain wasn’t being used:
another view of the exterior from 2004 (same visit as the photo that I posted above)
Steve, by now you must think I’m hallucinating exteriors and curtains. However, I’ve not actually been to the Fairfax Square, so I didn’t realize there isn’t an exterior. I am, however, thinking about the Fine Arts curtain….where I did see movies.
Regal’s press release stated the theater takes up 63,000 square feet, and one side of the mall. There are 2600 total seats, with 12 auditoriums of 209 seats and two of 300 seats (which would total more so some auditoriums might be smaller). There are 3 hallways of theaters, with the larger theaters along the center hallway. One projectionist can operate all 14 auditoriums. The concession stand has 10 cashier stations. A party room flanks the entrance.
The Washington Post online site states the following:
“Its two largest houses seat 479 and have screens that are 64.5 feet wide and 35 feet tall. The smallest houses seat 177. The theater is THX certified, and auditoriums have SRD and Sony Dynamic Digital Sound….”
Photo from inside the mall:
I created it earlier today:
And, this one, which needs somebody to photograph it real soon! (exterior, and if somebody can, lobby and and a large auditorium)
actually, Al, the Ziefeld does the preshow, and then closes and opens the curtain, in that order!
Jeff, enjoy a movie at the Paris in NYC, with a curtain rather than any stupid preshow! /theaters/307/
and many other movie theaters throughout the US and the world.
I recall seeing movies here. Exterior in more recent photo:
A friend emailed me the following:
“I took a trip there after most but not all of the demolition was completed. There was still a frame of iron girders around the proscenium arch….I went there late at night, and walked out to where the orchestra pit should have been.”
(That really was from a friend. I never saw the theater).
Peter, I didn’t address hollywood90038 other comment, but he was talking, I think, about flat previews, then scope movies.
to answer Justin’s questions, the Ziegfeld screen uses its full size for scope movies, but becomes smaller for flat movies (less screen shown on far left & far right). He’s right in that some megaplexes lower masking for scope so scope screen is less large than flat screen. That’s kind of a punitive scope!
Gone, Rest in Peace!
No wide lens. Tiny print at the photo tells you the camera model, which is digital. It is a point and shoot camera, but not a basic model. It is a very nice camera. I did have to take a number of photos to get some decent ones.
when in the 1980’s? I saw movies there from 1985 to 1987 and I seem to recall a curtain being used.
Headley’s last sentence in his book is “The Fine Arts actually had a curtain that opened when the film began”
You are welcome. Those are photos that I found at flickr. Here are my own photos from earlier this month. The color isn’t right, as the real color is a deeper red. I’m not using tripods or long exposure, and a flash won’t capture this huge auditorium, but the high resolution preshow really lights up the auditorium. I’m not likely going to keep these photos forever on my flickr gallery but for now:
preshow over, curtain closed before movie is shown:
JodarMovieFan, the community was really upset, which is especially ironic considered how apprehensive they were that a movie theater was going to open back in 1946.
I’ve searched flickr for photos, but none. Can’t somebody photo its exterior?
My 1995 notes are that MacArthur’s 2 small screens, both from in the sides of the auditorium but not all the way to the front, were maybe each about 20 feet wide. The middle auditorium with original Proscenium Arch (screen) had about 500 seats, a stage, and orange curtain that was used before the screen (whereas the vertical curtains in the small auds were no longer used in 1995) and screen that looked like 40 feet wide. There were 25 rows of 2 seats, 13, 2 more, and then additional seats in front of that configuration. Each auditorium had a tiny balcony of 12 seats. There weren’t any bothersome (glaring) lights or exit signs near the screen. I saw John Boorman’s Beyond Rangoon that day, which was beautifully filmed; in 1998, I saw his Hope and Glory but possibly in one of the small screens.
JodarMovieFan, why don’t you post some memories of the Cinema on that page? I saw Empire of the Sun in 70 mm there. I’ve been the only one posting on that page, and that theater deserves way more!
Hairspray photos don’t seem to be flickr posted yet (wait, people post even years later) but looking at the last half year (difficult because somebody posted hundreds of vintage beautiful Ziegfeld girls), here’s a few of the most interesting:
This photo & a few adjoining photos of A Mighty Heart premiere:
Sicko premiere with director Moore in the auditorium!
not a premiere but a couple nice photos of the Lobby:
Later, in 1997, a letter to the editor was in the Washington DC Post, stating that Cineplex Odeon didn’t speak to the community, and instead presented 2nd run movies there.
I believe the theater’s last day was 3-30-1997 with English Patient likely having on the big screen, and on the 2 smaller screens, Jerry Maguire and Prisoners of the Mountains (Russian film).
11-10-1997 Washington Post, Business Section reported the theater had become a CVS despite a local boycott “I shall return.” The CVS had been open 3 weeks.
Steve, what do you mean “control of the space”? Is Fannie Mae using the space?
3-23-1997 Washington Post article (page C-2) stated this theater would closed, despite 5000 petition signatures from the community wishing it to continue showing movies. The article says the theater, which opened 12-25-1946, had met with community protest before it opened! The article said that KB & Warner Brothers ran the theater, but in the early 1950’s, WB departed. KB made much money back then, in 1952 with Best of British movies, such as Peter Sellers comedies, dramas with Alec Guiness, Lawrence Oliver. It then had a 2nd floor lounge, assigned seats, ushers, candy but no popcorn. In the mid 1960’s it became 1st run, previously having served a nabe theater ike KBs Naylor, Princess, Atlas, Senator, Apex (and also Ontario, Calvert). In 1981, KB proposed demolition, to build an office building. In 1982 it became a Circle theater, with 2 more screens created within the original auditorium. However, since the 1987 sale of Circle to Cineplex Odeon, Cineplex Odeon lost money operating it.
My earlier notes indicate that (perhaps earlier than when closed) theater 1 had 280 seats, theaters 2 & 3 had 190 seats, 4 had 450 seats, 5 had 495 seats, and 6 had 255 seats, and that 4 & 5 had 70 mm projectors.
My later notes indicate that by 1995, 4 had 400 seats, and theater 5 had 460 seats and that this theater was 6 blocks south ofTenleytown
According to Headley’s book on DC area cinemas, the Baronet West was a “tiny, drab duplex”
JodarMovieFan, don’t eat that food often!
I’m hoping that if AMC does depart, that a future operator could in addition to new releases, show some giant screen 70 mm epics again! I saw the restored Lawrence of Arabia at the Uptown, but missed the color corrected version in 2002 and would like to see it at the Uptown. I saw a color faded Dr. Zhivago at the Uptown in 1991, and not that long thereafter skipped the restored 70 mm Dr. Zhivago at the Avalon, but I’d like to see it at the Uptown. And, there’s many more 70 mm classics. The Egyptian in Hollywood has a summer 70 mm classic series.
Restoration of the original Art Deco glamour would sell more tickets, too!