Old Greenbelt Theatre

129 Centerway,
Greenbelt, MD 20770

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Old Greenbelt Theatre

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The Greenbelt Theatre was opened on September 21, 1938. The opening attraction was “Little Miss Broadway” with Shirley Temple. The original seating capacity was 590. It was designed in an Art Deco style by architects Reginald S. Wadsworth & Douglas O. Ellington.

The Greenbelt Theatre showed movies for almost 40 years until it closed in 1976. Reopening as a community arts center in 1980, the theater struggled again and closed in 1987.

P & G Theatres purchased the Old Greenbelt and reopened it as a movie theater in 1990. The Greenbelt is, again, one of the best movie houses in the capital area with a 40-foot wide screen and a sound system with 4,900 watts of power and 60 speakers.

Contributed by Alexander Barnes, Paul Sanchez

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

JodarMovieFan on August 25, 2012 at 12:19 am

I saw ‘Hope Springs’ here during a matinee showing for the measly price of $5. Seeing Meryl Streep act in various roles is amazing because she transforms into whomever the character is supposed to be. In this movie, she’s no different, giving a restrained and believable performance as an unhappy wife married to Tommy Lee Jones.

I’m so used to DP in movies that watching movies on film takes some minor adjustment. Those adjustments are of course the film scratches and abrupt changes.

Watching movies here is definitely old shoe-ish but like pleasant memories, you always want to revisit them time and time again.

JodarMovieFan on November 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Over the last few weeks, I have seen ‘Arbitage,’ the Best Foreign Film winner ‘The Intouchables’ and ‘Argo.’ All films were very good, especially ‘The Intouchables.’ I cannot believe that little French film has grossed almost $400M internationally. The story is very touching with believable performances.

Presentation is very good. They’ve started in house advertising, which is okay. The last few shows had no previews. I suppose Management doesn’t know what its going to get until its secured.

For the $5 or $6 matinee price, you can’t beat it. Support your independent operating theaters!

JodarMovieFan on December 15, 2012 at 12:41 am

Last week I saw ‘Anna Karenina’, based on Tolstoy’s book. Tuesday’s prices are only $5, a definite bargain. The audience was plentiful and the staff are always friendly. The Manager was thanking people for coming as patrons exited. Now when was the last time you were thanked by someone at your local theater for coming?

JodarMovieFan on January 2, 2013 at 1:41 am

Christmas Day I caught Les Miserables to a large crowd for the unbelievably bargain price of $5. It should be noted that BowTie theaters discontinued their bargain Tuesday prices during the holidays due to what they claim are contractual obligations. Given this piece of information, its a wonder how the Greenbelt could open the film and still offer their Tuesday discount.

A major distraction was the ‘letterbox’ presentation. There were obvious gaps in the lower and upper portions of the screen. Watching the movie was similar to looking at it through a mailslot. I was thinking someone forgot to change lenses and figured someone else would complain. There were a few that got up, but I guess they didn’t, or if they did, it was not fixed.

The film was engaging, for the most part, as I’ve seen both dramatic and musical versions, but I have to say that aside from Anne Hathaway’s Fantine, the other majors, particularly Russell Crowe, cannot sing. Hugh Jackman, much lauded actor, sounds so haggard as if he’s doing karaoke intoxicated. During the scene where the kid rises up to a certain death by the French soldiers, a man screamed out as the kid gets up…which just turned up the drama to that scene for the rest of us. And, of course, the ending brought the house to tears for most of us..this is the power of good cinema, folks.

JodarMovieFan on March 15, 2013 at 4:17 am

I saw ‘Quartet’ here midweek, last week. Pleasant film with older stars set in a retirement home for elderly in the arts. No projection problems this time. I had read the place was to close down for remodeling, but they are still showing movies.

HowardBHaas on March 15, 2013 at 11:42 am

article about renovations, thankfully to upgrade its systems but keep as cinema- http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-08-29/local/35492680_1_digital-projector-renovations-theater

HowardBHaas on May 17, 2013 at 3:26 pm

The Old Greenbelt Theatre will be able to renovate its art deco lobby, after it was awarded a $75,000 grant from Partners in Preservation.

For nearly a month, the Greenbelt theater competed against other historic places in the DC metro area for the possibility of winning some grant money to help them rennovate.

Although they did not take first place, they were still awarded $75,000 after a committee reviewed their needs. from- http://greenbelt.patch.com/articles/old-greenbelt-theatre-wins-75k-grant

cvolosin on May 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Howard, Wouldn’t it be more wise to invest that 75k into a Digital Projector, then take the profits of remaining open in 2014 and beyond to make cosmetic changes?

randytheicon on February 23, 2014 at 1:38 am

Theatre was at one time operated by the Perry family.

JodarMovieFan on July 1, 2014 at 5:34 am

This theater is currently closed for renovations and is supposed to reopen in the fall. On Yelp, it says Sept 1, 2014.

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