Old Greenbelt Theatre

129 Centerway,
Greenbelt, MD 20770

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Greenbelt Theatre ... Greenbelt Maryland

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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 Theatre and reopened it as a movie theatre in 1990. The Greenbelt Theatre 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.

The theatre was renovated by the City of Greenwood in 2014-2015, with funding provided in part by Partners in Preservation, a joint grant program of American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Maryland Historical Trust, and private donors. The renovation includes new digital projection equipment, a new 35mm projector for archival screenings, a restored lobby and ticket booth, restrooms improvements, and an enhanced concession area. The Friends of Greenbelt Theatre, a non-profit organization, was awarded a contract by the City of Greenbelt to operate the theatre starting May 1, 2015.

Contributed by Alexander Barnes, Paul Sanchez

Recent comments (view all 35 comments)

Giles
Giles on April 25, 2015 at 3:15 pm

I had completely forgotten that this was getting renovated:

from Old Greenbelt Theatre facebook page:

“Latest news! Renovations should be complete and the theater ready to open for our soft start in mid-April, with a Grand Opening at the beginning of May!”

Giles
Giles on April 25, 2015 at 11:23 pm

got some tech news of the renovation:

  • screen size retains original size
  • 4K Christie DLP digital projection and 35mm film capabilities
  • no upgrades to audio but retains 5.1 surround sound (which is strange since the AFI Silver’s historic auditorium and the Avalon did integrate 7.1)
OGTDan
OGTDan on February 8, 2016 at 10:21 am

Hey all! Just wanted to update you on the renovation. The 11 month renovation was actually just phase 1 of the plan and phase 2 will target the auditorium. That’s when we hope to integrate 7.1 and upgrade our seats and screen.

Does anyone know how to edit some of the info on the page? Much of it is outdated.

Thanks!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on February 8, 2016 at 11:13 am

I am an official volunteer but can’t edit the Intro outright. Post a new Intro or amendments in a comment & if the site editor doesn’t see it, I will & will send it to him. Also if you can please post any photos of the theater in the photo gallery, that would be great, too!

OGTDan
OGTDan on March 4, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Hey all! It would be great to get this on the page:

The theater was renovated by The City of Greenbelt in 2014-2015, with funding provided in part by Partners in Preservation, a joint grant program of American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Maryland Historical Trust, and private donors. The renovation includes new digital projection equipment, a new 35MM projector for archival screenings, a restored lobby and ticket booth, restroom improvements, and an enhanced concession area.

The Friends of Greenbelt Theatre, a nonprofit organization, was awarded a contract by the City of Greenbelt to operate the theater starting May 1, 2015.

Website: greenbelttheatre.org
Phone: 301-329-2034

Thanks!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on March 5, 2016 at 5:42 pm

Thank you for the info which was used to update the page. Please let us know of future renovations or other important changes.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on March 7, 2016 at 9:01 pm

Dan, when will Phase 2 be complete? I had thought the renovations were all but done when they reopened the venue last year.

The adjacent space that was a dry cleaner would make for a great second auditorium :) Not sure if its still there or has been occupied, but the last time I was there you could still see clothes hanging from the machines as if customers had forgotten to pick up their finished items.

Just what changes have been done? I suspect there is a DP system in place, which has allowed you to reopen and book titles unavailable on 35mm. With the DP system in place, have management considered booking non-movie shows to save on booking fees such as sporting events and just charge for high gross profit concessions and such?

Aside from cushioning, I didn’t think the old seats were all that bad with the exception of some that were broken and not repaired.

Then there was that one toilet in the mens room that could easily be moved..

I hope they still have pictures of the local old theaters; Flower, Hyattsville, Allen that were on the lobby wall.

I’ve been following the bookings of late and have yet to find movies of interest to me. I was hoping they’d book recent Oscar shorts and minis. They should be cheaper now to book since the Oscars are over. This year is the first year I’ve missed most of the nominated films due to work and other activities :(

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on March 7, 2016 at 9:22 pm

JodarMovieFan, from the website Remodeled in 2014-2015 by the City of Greenbelt, today the Theatre has 380 seats, a 40’ CinemaScope screen, two Simplex XL 35mm projectors, a Christie 4K digital projector, and a Dolby Digital 5.1 sound system. In 2015, Friends of Greenbelt Theatre signed a contract with the City of Greenbelt to operate the Theatre as a non-profit organization.

Giles
Giles on March 7, 2016 at 10:35 pm

apparently my comments made on April 25th of last year – was sort of pointless – thankfully OGTDan’s comments on February 6th of this year here on Cinema Treasures and on Facebook corrected and described ‘Phase 2’ – I’m curious what the “upgrading … of the screen” actually means – larger?

OGTDan
OGTDan on March 10, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Thank you, Howard, for getting the new info up!

Jodar: Appreciate your interest in the OGT! The plan is for phase two to happen in about 18 months and not require the theater to be closed for any period. Hopefully some of our upcoming programming catches your eye. Have you checked out our noir series? As a big film fan myself, I’ve been nerding out about all of the films that we’re showing (in general, but especially for that series). Thanks!

Giles: That’s not totally set, but the plan is not necessarily larger, just newer (microperf, etc). That said, our 40' screen is still awe inspiring. Thanks!

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