Rivertowne 12

6081 Oxon Hill Road,
Oxon Hill, MD 20745

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nextinline
nextinline on January 2, 2014 at 10:52 am

It doesn’t surprise me that this theatre ended up closing after being reopened. It was kind of doomed from the start for several reasons.

The new operators were the same of Eastpoint 10 in Baltimore which is still open. They were previously affiliated with Village Theatres out of Chicago. All of those locations ended up closing after promises of renovations and stadium seating conversions which never happened. When AMC closed the location it was possibly going to be taken by Best Buy so AMC ended up gutting it and removing all the equipment, seats, screens, masking and rigging, etc. When the new owners came in they had to replace everything. They decided to replace everything with used equipment (used older style seats, screens, etc.) in addition to used 35mm projection equipment.
There was an issue with Paramount pictures including a lawsuit because one of the people affiliated with the theatre was being sued by Paramount for issues with reporting grosses. They settled and still didn’t get product because Paramount accused them of underreporting grosses at Eastpoint 10. Neither location got Paramount movies. The Marlow Heights theatre up the road was renovated and taken over by the landlord to be managed by Phoenix Big Cinemas. They put in all new seats, digital projection, etc. and fully renovated the theatre with new items unlike Rivertowne who put in all older used items. The location had a poor reputation previously and the only way it could have been successful was probably if someone went in and put in new items (at the very least some updated seating and digital projection). The “fly by night” company that took the space probably wasn’t capable of doing that. The neighborhood is rough and probably wouldn’t be able to attract a national chain to return to the sight. Also Hoffman is so close and that probably stops someone from going into National Harbor with a new theatre.
AMC is going into a lot of older sites now and renovating them with recliner seating (like what they did at St. Charles, Courthouse, and Worldgate). If they aren’t interested in doing that with a location then it’s probably doubtful that someone else would want to either. The theatre is set back from the curb and parking lot with shops surrounding it. It makes it difficult for someone like Best Buy to go in to the space. I don’t know if someone will try again with a theatre but if they do they have an uphill battle. If someone can put in all digital projection and upgrade seating to high back seats (even without stadium seating) they might have a shot. The best course of action for the shopping center might be to open it themselves and find someone capable of a management deal such as what the shopping center at Marlow Heights did. I suspect that the theatre does end up helping the other shops around it but it’s doubtful that it would be profitable for a new operator to go in. Academy 8 (a former AMC as well) was renovated and is under a management deal and seems to be doing okay. *The shopping center was recently sold by the Peterson Group to another landlord so possibly they will look at trying to do something with the space.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on December 14, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I was in the area on Fri and there is, indeed, a CLOSED notation on the marquee. On the other hand, the website indicates upcoming films not released, such as Anchorman 2 and other December releases.

With the recent opening of an outlet mall just nearby and probably a casino, its too bad this place couldn’t hold on. With the increased traffic from those businesses, the area could use a movie theater, but I would think a more modern facility within the casino/outlet mall confines would do better much better.

rivest266
rivest266 on December 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Official website has no showtimes as of anywhere online. It must had closed in 2013.

fred1
fred1 on December 20, 2011 at 8:05 am

This is the website of the theater http://www.rivertowne12.com/index.htm

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on March 17, 2011 at 10:17 am

Reopening is now set for April 1 after the renovations by Spotlight Amusements of Chicago; the theater will now be known as the Rivertowne Cinemas 12. The story is here: View link.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on January 8, 2011 at 8:30 am

Someone took down the original listing or it got deleted somehow. I know I blogged about this place since I used to live nearby.

This place opened at or close to the opening of the then new Academy 8, also run by AMC in 1986. The Academy 8 had 70mm capability, while this venue did not. At the time, they advertised something called Corvus curved-like screens and stereo sound in their theaters.

The last movie I saw here was “The Preacher’s Wife” with Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington in ‘96 or so. I do recall the sound was underwhelming in spite of the fact the theater had stereo. Chalk it up to poor multiplex management.

The venue is located in Oxon Hill MD and in a neighborhood where there are unwanted gangs and teen delinquents. Since Washington DC is the next city over, you also get that spill over of unwanted city riff raff.

If and when they do reopen this place, they will have stiff competition with the more up-to-date Magic Johnson plex at the Capitol Arena shopping center. You could counter program with more adult independent fare, but given the neighborhood, who would come? I wouldn’t mind revisiting the place once they reopen as long as there are some decent upgrades and anemities…and hopefully, better customer service.