Old Greenbelt Theatre

129 Centerway,
Greenbelt, MD 20770

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Showing 1 - 25 of 36 comments

JodarMovieFan on December 25, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Finally made it to see this venue after its remodel. The lobby area is nicely redone with dark wood flooring and a nicer concession stand with some baked goods. Since I was too full from Christmas food, I just got a drink. Prices are reasonable ($9 Adult) and $4 or so for the large drink. Very reasonable, if cheap compared to the chains. Restrooms are a welcome change. They switched restrooms as the Mens room was the Women’s rest room. New fixtures and interiors are a welcome, long awaited change. No more creaking moveable commode. :D

I saw The Greatest Showman. I’m more than convinced Hugh Jackman cannot sing although he is good at pretending to. The musical numbers are good, especially the first one between young Jackman’s character and his future wife. The auditorium was filled with the sound of music and voices. While not quite inventive as Buz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge, there are some good moments. The actress who plays the Lady with the Beard should get a Supporting Actress nod.
I know the film isn’t a straight bio but movie ‘inspired by’ it ends too abruptly after a tragic event. What is rather poignant is the fact the real Barnum & Baily circus shut down this year as this film is released.

I’m looking to seeing The Post in the upcoming weeks assuming they book it here.

OGTDan on March 10, 2016 at 3:27 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!

Giles on March 7, 2016 at 7:35 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?

HowardBHaas on March 7, 2016 at 6:22 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.

JodarMovieFan on March 7, 2016 at 6:01 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 on March 5, 2016 at 2:42 pm

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

OGTDan on March 4, 2016 at 11:35 am

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


HowardBHaas on February 8, 2016 at 8:13 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 on February 8, 2016 at 7:21 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.


Giles on April 25, 2015 at 8:23 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)
Giles on April 25, 2015 at 12:15 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!”

HowardBHaas on March 15, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Theater’s future explained here as it prepares to reopen- http://www.diamondbackonline.com/news/article_809e9c98-c5fa-11e4-9860-7b093d9c8aa0.html

JodarMovieFan on June 30, 2014 at 9:34 pm

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

randytheicon on February 22, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Theatre was at one time operated by the Perry family.

cvolosin on May 17, 2013 at 2:06 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?

HowardBHaas on May 17, 2013 at 7:26 am

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

HowardBHaas on March 15, 2013 at 4:42 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

JodarMovieFan on March 14, 2013 at 9:17 pm

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.

JodarMovieFan on January 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm

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 December 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm

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 November 9, 2012 at 2:25 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 August 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm

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.

Twinkletoes on September 4, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Nice postcard ! Lots of space, and pretty trees. Ah, the old days.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on September 4, 2010 at 6:49 pm

From the 1940s a photo postcard view of the Greenbelt Theatre in Greenbelt.

Twinkletoes on July 27, 2010 at 8:32 am

Thanks to each of you for sharing pictures, and memories. I am in Arizona now about an hour from Vegas, and they actually have drive ins. I haven’t come across an old theatre, yet. There ought to be a law that buildings are built in pairs, just in case something happens to one. And there should be laws against allowing them to deteriorate.