Wheaton Plaza

11160 Viers Mill Road,
Wheaton, MD 20902

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eblackman
eblackman on August 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I remember going to see the first ROBOCOP movie at Wheaton Plaza, I also remember going to see the first Predator movie and also Platoon.

sott68
sott68 on February 10, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I picked up a chick here in 1986 and banged her in the parking lot…. she was pretty heavy but had a great rack. Never saw her again.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 27, 2009 at 12:44 pm

I THINK I FOUND MY ANSWER ON THE TWIN THEATRE MENTIONED ABOVE. COULD I BE THINKING ABOUT THE ASPEN TWIN THEATRES;IT JUST CAME TO ME AND I WAS WONDERING IF THERE WAS SUCH A TWIN IN WHEATON?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 26, 2009 at 5:08 pm

BOY, FOR THE LIFE OF ME I CANNNOT REMEMBER THE NAME OF THE TWIN THEATRE I VISTED WHEN I SPENT THE SUMMER WITH MY COUSINS IN WHEATON. FIRST WE WENT TO A DRIVE IN MOVIE AND SAW WILLARD AND THE SECOND FEATURE WHO SLEW AUNTIE ROO. THAT WAS SOME WHERE NEARBY AND PRETTY NEW IT LOOKED FOR EARLY 70’S. AT THE TWIN I SAW OMEGA MAN, WHEN DINOS RULED THE EARTH AND ZEPPLIN ALL IN THE SAME TWIN THEATRE AND THEY WERE ALL PLAYING IN THE SAME THEATRE SO I NEVER GOT TO SEE A MOVIE IN THE OTHER THEATRE SORTA DROVE A 12 YEAR CRAZY. HAD NOT SEEN TWIN THEATRE YET IN AUGUSTA, GEORGIA.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on March 16, 2009 at 2:48 am

The original theatre was located in the general vicinity of where Target is now (11160 Viers Mill Rd). This Bernheimer theatre opened in 1962 as a single screen venue, designed by Edmund Dreyfuss, with a seating capacity of 590. Two additional screens were added on or around 1973 bringing the total seating capacity to 1,513. The theatre was demolished in 1986 and a new P & G seven screen cinema, designed by the Collins & Kronstadt-Leahy, and Hogan architectural group opened just south of the original theatre at 2300 Shorefield Road. The theatre was expanded to eleven screens in 1990.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on March 15, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Joe, I’m guessing the 4th theater had to have been added sometime in the 80s, BEFORE Roth opened the then new 7 or 8 plex behind where the closed Circuit City and SSA were, which as 1987.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on March 15, 2009 at 5:51 pm

The Montgomery Cinema and Drafthouse closed after only being in operation less than a year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 14, 2009 at 9:49 pm

The Wheaton Plaza Playhouse was built by John J. Broumas, according to an item in Boxoffice Magazine, December 25, 1961. The single-screen house was expected to be open by March, 1962. The comment above indicates that it opened several months behind schedule.

The article said that the architect, Edmund W. Dreyfuss had designed many other theaters, but I can’t find any references to any of them on the Internet, and not even in any other issues of Boxoffice. A tantalizing mystery.

The July 4, 1966, issue of Boxoffice said that Ira Sichelman and Louis Heon had acquired John Broumas’s stock in the Wheaton Plaza Playhouse, and would operate the theater.

The Wheaton Plaza was being operated by S&H Theatres in 1974, when the October 28 issue of Boxoffice said that a 600 seat two-screen addition adjacent to the original theater was scheduled for an early November opening. The architectural firm of Gitlin & Canton designed the addition. The theater was to be renamed the Wheaton Plaza 3.

I can’t find any references to when, or how, the complex was converted to four screens.

sconnell1
sconnell1 on March 14, 2009 at 6:29 pm

The original theater opened on 7/25/62 as The Wheaton Plaza Playhouse. It’s opening attraction was “Jessica” starring Maurice Chevalier and Angie Dickinson.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on April 26, 2008 at 7:59 pm

The Wheaton Plaza Cinema closed around the end of March 2008 and is slated to reopen sometime the summer as the Wheaton Plaza Cinema & Drafthouse.

rcdalek
rcdalek on March 2, 2008 at 9:51 pm

Both theaters operated till the late 90’S when the inside 4 screen closed to make way for the renovation of the plaza. The outside theater now wheaton 11 was converted from an old bowling alley where the theaters had low ceilings and projection bounced off of mirrors in order to get the picture low enough to hit the screen.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on February 3, 2008 at 7:04 pm

The original theatre was located in the general vicinity of where Target is now (11160 Viers Mill Rd). This Bernheimer theatre opened in 1962 as a single screen venue, designed by Edmund Dreyfuss, with a seating capacity of 590. Two additional screens were added on or around 1973 bringing the total seating capacity to 1,513. The theatre was demolished in 1986 and a new P & G seven screen cinema, designed by the Collins & Kronstadt-Leahy, and Hogan architectural group opened just south of the original theatre at 2300 Shorefield Road. The theatre was expanded to eleven screens in 1990.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on January 23, 2008 at 3:04 pm

All right then. If this is the theater that I believe all of you are referring to, it was located next to where Target is now, actually to the right of where Montgomery Wards used to be. Its not the outdoor one next to Social Security, across the street from Bally Total Fitness. There was a lamp shop in between that sold nothing but lamps and there were an assortment of 25c kiddie rides and gumball machines at one time or another. At the end of the wing, there used to be a pet shop. In the 90s, Burger King opened up across from the theater, too.

rcdalek
rcdalek on January 23, 2008 at 2:19 pm

The old wheaton plaza theater is where the target is now.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on January 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm

No, I am not certain they are one and the same. The addresses I had to work with are identical although that is not uncommon for listing in a mall. What I found so peculiar is the way the exterior of the theatre(s) is/are set up, each appearing to have it’s own entrance and concession. I could not see any doors linking the two theatres together and assumed they were completely separate operations.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on January 15, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Jack, are you sure the pictures you have depict an original single screen venue? The pictures you have are of the Roth’s/Loews, now P&G plex that opened up back in 1987 or so. I remember being there opening weekend to watch Batteries Not Included in one of the theaters…thats why. I always thought they were brand new theaters from the ground up.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on January 15, 2008 at 7:55 am

The following are a couple of January 2008 photos of the Wheaton Plaza Theatre. It appears to be up and running featuring the cheapest admission of any cinema in the DC area. Although I was only able to get a limited view of the interior, it looks as if there were once two separate theatres side by side. The building to the right is currently a hall for rent which also periodically screens Bollywood films. The current theatre appears to have or have had a balcony. You can see the doors leading into it from outside of the lobby but there are no signs identifying them as cinema entrances. It must have been some job converting this theatre from one to eleven screens since it appears that no additional space has been added to the original structure.
Exterior: 1, 2
Lobby: 1, 2

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on May 16, 2006 at 5:12 pm

I vaguely remember this theater having seen Lost Boys here a loooong time ago. If memory serves me correctly, they had only one theater, out of the four, that had Dolby stereo. This venue was already doomed after Roth opened up the then seven-plex that is now part of the AMC/Loews chain back in ‘87 or '88.

Was this four plex originally a single screen theater? If so, they really did some job chopping it up into four auditoriums. Perhaps this was done by the same folks who chopped up the old Flower Theater, from a single, to a twin and eventually a four screen disaster.

djandy622
djandy622 on October 28, 2005 at 6:35 am

I work there running the projectors from 1983 to 1984 when Mr. Heon own the theater, I return to work there part time in 1992 to 1993 when Cineplex Oden own it.

The Wheaton had 3 theaters and was in better shape when Mr. Heon own it. (Mr. Heon also own the Greogetown in DC its now a store)

When Clneplex Oden own it, they did a real bad job in adding one more theater out of the main house, the theater and the equipment was in bad shape.
There where rats running around theater 4, this was a sad end to a theater that was a plesure to go to.

Its new part of the Target store in the new so once called Wheaton
Plaza