Circle West End Theatre

1101 23rd Street NW,
Washington, DC 20037

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

| Street View

In the Spring of 1975, Circle theatre circuit purchased a 368 seat theatre that had been converted in 1969 from a church into a moviehouse. The movie theatre opened on August 17, 1977 with Craig Russell in “Outrageous”. Later, three more, smaller auditoriums were added, making this the Circle West End 1-4. In 1985, a separate theatre, the West End 5-7 was built. By the 1980’s, movies shown were mostly mainstream as arthouse films were shown at the movie theatres at Dupont Circle. Cineplex Odeon tookover when they purchased the Circle chain late in 1987. As early as the opening in 1988 by AMC of the Union Station multiplex, this theatre became obsolete. It has since closed and been demolished. The Ritz Carlton residences (next door to the hotel) was built in its place.

Contributed by Jack Coursey, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

westendcinema
westendcinema on July 21, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Hi all, I have recently leased the old Inner Circle 5, 6, 7 space and will reopen it as the West End Cinema — a three-screen art-house movie theater — this fall. To clarify a few things from the listing and comments above, the old 1, 2, 3, 4 was located in a building that was torn down to build the Ritz Carlton residences (adjacent to the hotel). The 5, 6, 7, which I leased, is in a multi-use building a block further north, and was never demolished — in fact, it still has the projector systems, platters, sound systems, screens, seats and concessions line exactly where they were when the theater closed in late 2003/early 2004.
I look forward to moving this theater from the “old” listings to the “new” listings on Cinema Treasures soon!

lacohen
lacohen on October 29, 2010 at 1:05 am

Josh, you are clearly the best thing to happen to the West End in years. I have lived in the West End since 1986, at which point, if memory serves, there were 11 movie theaters within a 15 minutes' walk. The West End 1-4 and 5-7 were truly my “home theaters,” as I could read the marquee of the 1-4 from my bedroom window (if the nearest tree’s leaves were not in full) and be inside the theater within two minutes. It was a sad day when, from that same window, I saw the large screening room’s seats and screen exposed as the wrecking ball knocked away its roof and outside wall. What a relief to see the reopening of the 1-4 after years of walking past lamenting the senselessness of its sitting idle. Let’s hope that more dormant theaters reopen in the wake of its certain success!

Giles
Giles on February 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm

JodarMovieFan: I remember seeing ‘Tron’ at this theatre too, but was in 35mm or 70mm, THAT aspect I can’t remember?

westendcinema
westendcinema on February 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Unlikely that you saw it here in 70 mm — when I took over the space, there were only three 35 mm projectors. However, cool that you saw Tron here!

Giles
Giles on February 8, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I must be confused, I’m thinking of the theatres that were closer to L Street Screens 1-4 – screen 1 to be exact, the one with the raked seats (early ‘stadium seating’) So, only Fine Arts was the closest screen that was equipped with 70mm, not at the West End 1-4 – right?

westendcinema
westendcinema on February 8, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Your memory is better than mine — I don’t recall seeing 70 mm in 1-4, but you might be right!

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on February 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Sorry for not responding. Evidently, my name got booted off the contact list. As I stated above, Tron was in 35mm Dolby here and probably was the best of the venues that booked it.

If you recall in ‘82, the 70mm films in summer at the downtown theaters were: Star Trek II at the MacArthur (which I saw there more times than I will admit, but it didn’t have an entire summer run as it ran Raiders in 70mm for a week or so before closing for a remodel..I’m thinking August?), E.T. at the KB Cinema, which ran forever..I"m sure for the entire summer and probably all of fall., Poltergeist at the Embassy in 70mm, too.. I think that was it for summer. I know I saw Star Trek II in 70mm, at the Uptown, in Dec., just before Gandhi opened in 70mm.

Giles
Giles on February 8, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Poltergeist at the Embassy? – 70mmm!!, crap! why did my mom take me to see this at the Alexandria Virginia theatre – mind you there, the sound (the rear speaker we sat under) was near assaultive – I went to all the wrong theaters :( … well not all, Star Trek II. E.T., and Gandhi (70mm for all three) at the right theaters.

thebigfoist
thebigfoist on October 31, 2011 at 1:05 am

Anyone have an idea how many seats this place had in total after expanding? And what year did it formally close?

righter40
righter40 on January 6, 2014 at 9:23 pm

I managed this theatre in 1989. Theatre #1 was a true stadium seat theatre. Theatres 2,3,and 4 were upstairs. Lobby was small but complex held regional offices for Cineplex Odeon.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater