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Its no wonder the theater loss money. They didn’t charge the usual premium and they booked the wrong films. Don’t recall many raves about “The Revenge of Kitty Galore.” If they had booked and rode the Avatar wave, they probably would have done much better. As with any film and 3D versions, there are always going to be good and bad ones.
As far as the faster projection format, that has been around for a few years. Supposedly, the costs of that format is far less then digital, which seems to become outdated as newer, higher resolution projectors become available.
In any case, we’re just going in circles with the 70mm vs digital format debate. Everyone laments over the disappearance of 70mm but unless you have trained caring projectionists handling and exhibitors that care about presentation, it’ll never ever come back. Today, it is push button automation that rules so that your megaplex makes the buck to keep the investor happy.
Someone took down the original listing or it got deleted somehow. I know I blogged about this place since I used to live nearby.
This place opened at or close to the opening of the then new Academy 8, also run by AMC in 1986. The Academy 8 had 70mm capability, while this venue did not. At the time, they advertised something called Corvus curved-like screens and stereo sound in their theaters.
The last movie I saw here was “The Preacher’s Wife” with Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington in ‘96 or so. I do recall the sound was underwhelming in spite of the fact the theater had stereo. Chalk it up to poor multiplex management.
The venue is located in Oxon Hill MD and in a neighborhood where there are unwanted gangs and teen delinquents. Since Washington DC is the next city over, you also get that spill over of unwanted city riff raff.
If and when they do reopen this place, they will have stiff competition with the more up-to-date Magic Johnson plex at the Capitol Arena shopping center. You could counter program with more adult independent fare, but given the neighborhood, who would come? I wouldn’t mind revisiting the place once they reopen as long as there are some decent upgrades and anemities…and hopefully, better customer service.
I remember when this place opened and saw probably a handful of movies there, the last being The Preacher’s Wife back in ‘96 or so. There isn’t anything special about the theaters that I can recall other then the simultaneous opening of the then new Academy 8 a few exits away at the same time. No 70mm capability unlike the Academy 8.
The problem are the teens and riff raff associated with the neighborhood. You wouldn’t want to be there by yourself after dark for sure. However, with the reopening, anticipated updated amenities and superior customer service, perhaps the place may be worth revisiting again.
I saw Tron in 3D over the weekend as my experience was a mixed bag. The picture and previews were clear but dark. I am guessing they did not install a new screen. The movie had an upward curvature at the bottom corners probably because of the screen’s curved nature. At least that annoying screen rip that I experienced watching “Revenge of the Sith” and “Dreamgirls” is gone. An interesting observation was during the flashbacks, the movie seemed more pixellated. Is this DP’s version of ‘aged film’? I want to see the film again…maybe at the Regal Magestic 20’s IMAX-lite theater since it is new. At least the $10 matinee price is much more palatable at the Uptown’s w i d e screen then $17.50 at an IMAX-lite one.
Showmanship was lacking once again as the curtain was not in use. Surrounds were very good as was the bass but not as booming as say Cinemark’s XD, AMC’s IMAX-lite houses, or the bigger THX auditoriums. There was a warning at the box office about the movie’s presentation and dark spots, but I didn’t notice them. I suspect there needs to be more tweaking to whatever 3D system they have in place. AMC went out of their way to solicit patron experiences as a card was handed out to log on and blog about it. Since I’m a Moviewatcher card holder/member, there was a guest survey request in my email when I got home, which was completed.
For the price and in anticipation of system tweaks, I’d definitely come back. :)
Noooooo. I do not feel like driving up to King of Prussia. Though a shopping trip would be nice…
There is a post on the Ziegfeld theatre side about silver screens and that if you aren’t looking at it straight on, then the screen may look ‘dimmer.’ Though I usually try to be seated centered, but to the front of a theater, it explains why some of my viewing experiences may have been darker than expected.
The Uptown is great if you’re centered but not too close to the screen. I remember getting motion sick when I saw Born on the Fourth of July (70mm, ‘88) sitting in the front row. The jerky (docu-style) camera shots were just horrible to watch.
Fandango indicates a midnight Thu showing..hmmm.
New (flat) screen? Oh oh. I just thought if they were to go digital, the image would be cropped at the sides given the current screen’s curvature. I’ll probably see Tron 3D in real IMAX at the Smithsonian and catch it here later just to see what they’ve done to the place.
Someone in the know should post something about this new system…Steve? Somebody?
As a Balto native, I’m curious as to why John Walter did not do more to help out its own Senator Theater. Hmmm.
I suppose we’ll just have to check this one out … :D I doubt AMC would close it now after investing money into this new projection system. Sell it? Maybe.
Hmmm. IMAX or Uptown? IMAX supposedly has what..40,000..watts of power to their speakers? Is their DP system 4K? I haven’t enjoyed a really decent Uptown presentation in years. And remember from Steve Guttag’s post about AMC decontenting the theater by taking out speakers?
Mazza’s #1 is the better of the THX houses even if all of the Mazza auditoriums are supposedly THX-certified. I did say bass boom is nicer in the better THX houses. Bow-Tie’s Annapolis 1 comes to mind. As far as Potter in XD, it just may have been the soundtrack had little of that sound effect in the movie. I suppose this venue is the first in the DC/MD/VA metro are that is now entirely DP?
Mazza’s #1 is the better of the THX houses even if all of the Mazza auditoriums are supposedly THX-certified. I did say bass boom is nicer in the [i]better[-i] THX houses. Bow-Tie’s Annapolis 1 comes to mind. As far as Potter in XD, it just may have been the soundtrack had little of that sound effect in the movie. I suppose this venue is the first in the DC/MD/VA metro are that is now entirely DP?
I saw the latest Harry Potter here in XD #12. The preshow ads almost filled the entire screen! Not bad and in better resolution without the pixellation you see at the Regals. Though not a fan of the series, the movie was sustainable for its almost 3 hour length. The late show crowd was sparse but given the film’s super wide release and its practically hourly show times, I suppose the number who did come was a decent turn out. Sound is good but bass is not DEEP and booming as in the better THX houses. The film is digitally bright but colors not as vibrant. I suppose its because of the 2K print master they used? The film’s $13 admission price is more palatable then AMC’s IMAX-lite’s $17.50. I suppose people along with me complained enough for them to hold the line on pricing? :) I didn’t check out the concession stand this time.
A 10/22/10 Washington Post article reports that the 7200 sq ft venue has three auditoriums seating 95, 75 and 50 people. Sounds like a cozy place to see a movie.
Aside from the traditional movie theater concession fare of popcorn, candy and soda; they reportedly will serve beer, wine and “gourmet nibbles.” Hmmm. I interpret that as high end fare such as foie gras nuggets? :D
It appears they are open now showing movies. Should the status now be open? :) The line up looks interesting.
Hmm. Even if they installed DCinema here, look back at Steve’s post about how AMC replaced the sound system with an inferior one. Dumb, dumb, dumb AMC.
They should put DP at the Uptown. If it works for Seattle’s Cinerama, and from what I gather their screen is also 70', it should work here, too.
On an aside note, I’m wondering if you can sneak into the IMAX-lite auditorium or is it far and away from the others and always attendant staffed? Hmmmm.
The Air & Space’s Chantilly IMAX would be a good alternate and REAL IMAX theater to see Potter. I’m not a real Potter fan, but am looking more forward to the Narnia and Tron sequels.
I happened to stumble on this article several months ago about the restoration efforts of WSS with the newly found original soundtrack. Here is the link: http://www.in70mm.com/news/2010/wss/index.htm
$17.50 a ticket?? $17.50??? Its ticket gouging deja vu. Didn’t the exhibitors learn from the mistake they made this past summer about out pricing themselves? I know many midnight shows are sold out all over, but the IMAX-lite prices are ridiculous. King of Prussia’s real IMAX venue has the same price. I’d rather see it there, spend the night and go shop at the mall. :) The thing is my previous experiences there have met with a projector breakdown of some sort ever since Polar Express in ‘04.
Wow, MovieTix! I just scanned the Egyptian roster of movies and, yes, most of their auditoriums are DP. As much as I have enjoyed DP presentation, it is an auditorium’s sound that makes the ‘theatrical experience’ for me. Aside from the XD auditorium, the others are good, but not great. Plus, the fact there are never any reduced admission prices for XD keeps me from coming back and going to AMC where I can at least earn points for concession fare and free tickets.
Cinemark must have spent a bundle with the upgrades. Your disclosure of this makes me want to check them out again. Thanks.
I thought Regal had an alternative to the IMAX-lite format that AMC uses. At least that is what I thought the E-Walk has. I suppose they are converting a theater, as opposed to actually extending the plex? If they book Tron here, it may be worth checking out, but I may want to see it at a real IMAX theater.
Personal bias ;)
They should have a 70mm retrospective. I’m not a fan of silent films. I appreciate their history and place in cinema, but thats it. I remember seeing Metropolis on TV with modern music years ago. For its time, it was quite imaginative.
Justin, let’s just say that you’d forget your favorite AMC Rockaway and its stadium seating, non-curtain rising/falling cookie cutter screen plex. Maybe you’d be daily blogging about the Ziegfeld here as well. :D
On my infrequent visits, I do have to say that its hit or miss presentation wise. Sometimes the curtain is used, sometimes not. Sometimes the sound levels and overall experience is stupendous and then not.
Interesting proposals. I am glad they are not shrinking or otherwise carving up the main auditorium. I wish/had hoped they could build a little balcony in theater 2. Its about the same size, if probably larger, than the old MacArthur theater in DC had when it had twins during its ‘83 remodel.
I’ve never regularly frequented a theater that served alcohol. I just hope the booze (as I’m a non-drinker) doesn’t lead to loud and obnoxious patrons during the shows. Its one thing to have college aged patrons when the big blockbusters are booked to full house..just imagine what it would be like if these kids are boozing.
How about an espresso/high end pastry/bakery bar? If you’re going to serve alcohol, how about some decent coffee and/or baked goods aside from the usual popcorn, candy and soda fare?
As long as they don’t touch the main auditorium, I’m fine. Nicer and larger restrooms. Fine. It was my impression that the Cusacks had plans to maintain the big screen but shrink the main auditorium. Hopefully, I am wrong. As far as the holiday releases, I do not know what is coming that I want to see on the Senator’s larger screen aside from Harry Potter.