Uptown Theater

3426 Connecticut Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20008

Unfavorite 45 people favorited this theater

Showing 201 - 225 of 409 comments

sguttag on July 22, 2007 at 6:32 am

Hey, you won’t get any arguement from me which venue brings you more into the picture…the Uptown can beat em all (and I’m not limiting it to the DC-Metro area). But in its present state…the Uptown is incapable of handling such shows. I agree that the AFI needs to expand its 70mm play list to be more like the Egyptian in Hollywood. BTW…add Playtime to your repeat list for the AFI. Lawrence is coming back to the AFI soon.

JodarMovieFan on July 21, 2007 at 9:51 pm

With the exceptions of an old John Wayne film and a 60s French film, whose titles escape me, the AFI shows the same old 70mm classics Lawrence and 2001 over and over again. They can’t or won’t book much else. And despite having state-of-the-art sound and projection, the screen in the historic auditorium doesn’t overwhelm and draw you in as the Uptown can when you sit in that perfect sweet spot, in the center 1/3 of the way back where your peripheral vision spans the width of its enormous screen.

If the Uptown were to become independent, perhaps an area Zillionnaire, with the passion for movies and exhibition like Paul Allen had for the Seattle Cinerama place, could run it and maybe, maybe bring back another DC favorite of mine such as the MacArthur triplex. And Steve, you can run both venues projection booths showing classics at least once a week, along with the normal Hollywood releases.

sguttag on July 21, 2007 at 7:08 pm

Your best bet for 70mm in the DC area at this time is the AFI/Silver. As for the Uptown’s projection quality…I know the operator there and the equipment…it just isn’t likely that they doing a very good job.

While I don’t fault the church for seeking the venue, it is something that should never have been done to this theatre…it is yet another nail in the coffin.


HowardBHaas on July 21, 2007 at 6:12 pm

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.

JodarMovieFan on July 21, 2007 at 5:50 pm

Howard, the last time I visited the Uptown that to see Dreamgirls. There was that annoying scratch down the middle of the screen and, yes, I should have complained to Staff but I did not. I was basking in the afterglow of watching a very good film and was discussing it with my friend and another patron at the time. Its fair to say that a bad movie going experience in today’s multi and megaplexes is like going to a McDonalds. You know you’re going to get a hamburger when you order one and not a steak burger :) The thing is when you get your burger and open it up and its flat and looks like a pancake and not sitting high and proud waiting to be devoured, you will still eat it anyway because, hey, its McDonalds and you bought something quick and fast to eat. BUT, the next time you go to a McDonalds, you just won’t go to THAT particular one again because of the experience you had the last time. You could complain, but what will management do? Give you another burger? Your money back? Maybe throw in some fries and a McFlurry and more cholesterol and fat grams to clog your arteries? :)

In the case of movie going, you complain, they’ll apologize and give you another ticket to come back to another lousy presentation. So why bother? I prefer to complain to corporate. Unfortunately, AMC doesn’t have a system in place for that. They just refer you to the local theater manager. Now Regal will usually log, acknowledge and report a thoughtful comment/complaint to the District Manager, who will review it with the Theater Manager. I’ve received responses from concerns about dirty auditoriums, staffing and projection/sound issues…and yes, they have been corrected AND I received a few free passes. And I do go back to my local Regal plex because most of the time, they now get it right.

Its just not worth it for me nowadays to see movies at the Uptown, to spend 45 minutes to get there and have to pay $10 to sit through a less than satisfactory presentation. I’d rather spend 45 minutes and go the other way to Baltimore’s Senator and pay $9 for a better experience (and parking). Programming is another issue. If they offered counter programming such as this often forum has suggested; 70mm classics or just plain classic programming, then maybe I and many others would regularly come back. They haven’t had 70mm here in years, which is a waste of this venue’s capabilities.

rcdt55b on July 21, 2007 at 2:55 pm

I am not the one chasing people away. They will see for themselves. It’s a shame too. This was such a great theater.

SWATMAN on July 21, 2007 at 9:30 am

At the Uptown there is union projectionists. They work 3-4 days a week.And there is scratched prints the last one was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. If you go to AMC Mazza Gallerie or AMC Georgetown there a plenty of films that have scratched prints. I saw transformers at Mazza Gallerie and it had black leader at the end of each real so the movie looked like it stopped but it didn’t.AMC is the worst company.

HowardBHaas on July 21, 2007 at 5:11 am

Since AMC tookover, I’ve been there for Flags of our Fathers, Bobby, Eragon, and Spiderman 3, and haven’t seen scratched prints or screen!

My point is the Uptown will close if you chase people away (and we don’t know if another operator will show films there or not). If customers experience problems, such as scratched anything, they should directly say something to the staff.

AMC doesn’t have union projectionists, classics or 70 mm presentations at the Uptown, but they are operating the Uptown and movies are fun experienced at the Uptown.

rcdt55b on July 21, 2007 at 5:04 am

That was my whole point Howard. The majority of the single screens close because they can’t get the business to stay open. Amc lowering their presentation standards just made it worse. As an audience member, how can you possibly tell what percentage of the audience complains. Also, I have a lot of family, friends and people in my field that live and work near the Uptown. I trust what they tell me. I believe it too. The fact is, the presentation at the Uptown HAS suffered whether you want to admit it or not. If everyone wants to continue to pay the outrageous prices that they do for a subpar performance than go right ahead. Along with Jodar, I am sure there are plenty more people that feel the same way.

HowardBHaas on July 21, 2007 at 4:26 am

JodarMovieFan, did you say something to the staff? I’ve been there since, to Spiderman 3, and didn’t see any scratches.

JohnMessick on July 21, 2007 at 1:05 am

Lafayette theater, Suffern New York

JodarMovieFan on July 20, 2007 at 9:13 pm

Since there’s no staging area at the Uptown, there would be no room for singing or preaching., I suspect there would be just the satellite feed of the main service.

As an infrequent patron of the Uptown, they have to do it right all the time, everytime, for people to come back to this place on a regular basis. I paid $10 to watch Dreamgirls with a scratch down the screen during its play…same thing during Sith. I wonder if its still there during the current run of Potter. Based on my experiences there of late, its not worth it for me to drive into town to see movies here unless its a classic one or in 70mm.

HowardBHaas on July 20, 2007 at 7:54 pm

I meant that in various theaters, sound sometimes is lowered. I didn’t mean at the Uptown.

HowardBHaas on July 20, 2007 at 7:53 pm

Where do you work? New York? But, you are hearing Uptown customers complain? You are a projectionist, right? A union projectionist?

As an audience member, my perception is different. It seems that 99% of the audience doesn’t complain as long as the movie runs. If you are a projectionist, yes, I’m sure you get complaints. I often hear that the sound has been turned low because one person asked. (I’m not saying you would do that).

Yes, most single screeners are gone, but there are still some special ones that have survived. I don’t know if considering the Uptown’s huge screen, they could also host some live events (other than church).

rcdt55b on July 20, 2007 at 7:44 pm

Almost nobody complains???? You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. I’m in theaters for 10 hours a day at least 4 days a week. Don’t tell me nobody complains. I hear about it all the time. I have also seen the majority of single screen theaters split or close unless used for other venues. Of course the screen and sound make a difference, but if you don’t have enough people coming, these theaters will not survive. That’s just a fact.

HowardBHaas on July 20, 2007 at 6:43 pm

You’ve heard “many” complain? Really! Then pigs are flying. (Link a blog, cinematour, or other website to “many”!) I’ve been to countless theaters in numerous cities and know that no matter how lousy projection is, almost nobody actually commplains to the management. I’ve seen movies at the Uptown since 1985. Yes, I’d prefer 70 mm 6 track films with union projectionist, and 35 mm also with staff of Circle, Cineplex Odeon or Loews (which got rid of the union). However, with its enormous screen, the projection & sound at the Uptown make it a great experience!

I’m not doubting on occasion there have been problems, some mentoned above, just as there are at most movie theaters. But, most screenings at the Uptown have not been a problem.

rcdt55b on July 20, 2007 at 6:35 pm

I’m not the one scaring them away. I have heard many very unhappy customers complain about the presentation there since they let the operators go. I have seen it firsthand too. Believe me, I love these big old places more than anything. They are just becoming harder to find these days.

rcdt55b on July 20, 2007 at 6:32 pm

The only Lafayette theater I found on here with a single screen also runs other events during the year. That’s the only way it can stay around.

HowardBHaas on July 20, 2007 at 6:31 pm

I’d prefer union projectionists, but strongly disagree about “destroyed” presentation. The films I’ve seen have been projected fine. The Uptown is still a great movie going experience. Please don’t scare the audience away because you are upset about the union.

rcdt55b on July 20, 2007 at 6:28 pm

AMC will run this theater to the ground and it will close running movies alone. They already destroyed the presentation by getting rid of the union operators.

JohnMessick on July 20, 2007 at 6:18 pm

RCDTJ..checkout the Lafayette theater.

HowardBHaas on July 20, 2007 at 6:16 pm

Properly run & programmed, the Uptown still has life left in it for movies!

rcdt55b on July 20, 2007 at 6:11 pm

Digital projection will not save this theater. Unfortunately, I don’t think anything will. Single screen theaters just can’t stay open by showing only movies.

JodarMovieFan on July 20, 2007 at 10:51 am

On the news last night, they reported that the community leaders are concerned about increased traffic because of the church. Maybe this will not happen at all. On the other hand, the argument about traffic can be said about the theater, itself, when it books those blockbusters that would have people lining up and around the block.

If the theater becomes a satellite church, that means they will need to install some kind of satellite/digital projection system. Perhaps this new DP system will show movies as well? :)

HowardBHaas on July 20, 2007 at 10:28 am

Stand outside on Sunday mornings and protest the church if you like.

However, boycotting movies would be counterproductive! if people don’t attend movies at the Uptown, then it will for sure cease movies and become something else like a full time church, CVS, etc. For that matter, if movie attendence was higher, there would be no need to rent out the Uptown. The Georgetown megaplex has Sunday morning movies.