Cinema

5100 Wisconsin Avenue,
Washington, DC 20016

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The Cinema had one of the largest screens in the DC area and was second only to the Uptown in auditorium size.

Seating more than 800 patrons, the theater wasn’t as old as the Avalon, but its mid-20th century charm was evident both inside and out.

Renovated in 1997, the Cinema was last operated by Loews Cineplex Entertainment, which closed it in January 2005. It became a furniture showroom, and has now been converted into a sporting club (gym).

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 40 comments)

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Thanks Mike and Nick.

Nunzienick
Nunzienick on May 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm

THE EXORCIST ad from the Washington Post dated February 6, 1974. This is around the same date I saw the film for the first time. Memories of standing in long lines in the cold weather and being frightened out of my wits!
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 31, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Great ad Nick.I missed all the Exorcist first run crowds.Wasn’t in the business then even though Bill swears i was working. First and only big flick i worked was “JAWS” Going to watch Clint now,It is his birthday.

Giles
Giles on July 29, 2010 at 10:39 am

so ‘Close Encounters’ was NOT shown in 70mm – right? I could have sworn that ‘Empire Strikes Back’ was at the Uptown – but according to Jodar’s June 2007 posting it’s theatrical engagement was here at the Cinema

Cobalt
Cobalt on July 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm

According to Coate’s CLOSE ENCOUNTERS list posted here, the original Washington DC engagement was 35mm.

According to Coate’s EMPIRE STRIKES BACK list posted here, the original Washington DC engagement was indeed at the KB Cinema. The first STAR WARS played at Uptown (list posted here).

br91975
br91975 on October 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm

The Cinema has been converted into a Crunch Fitness location.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on January 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm

1996 Courage Under Fire photo of theater exterior: http://www.flickr.com/photos/channaher/2853736923/

raysson
raysson on May 17, 2013 at 9:19 am

According to Mike Coate THE RETURN OF THE JEDI played here in 70mm.

Giles
Giles on May 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm

actually the Coate playdate story (on in70mm.com) states the Jenifer, not the Cinema played ‘Return of the Jedi’ (which is correct since that’s where I remember seeing it at)

sguttag
sguttag on August 22, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Without a doubt, the Jenifer (under GCC ownership) and the MacArthur (under Circle) played Jedi in 1983. The Cinema played Close Encounters in 35mm, for sure. The 70mm projectors (from the Apex) didn’t get installed until 1980 for Empire. I believe that the Cinema was still using an Eprad Starscope processor the Close Encounters, rather than a genuine Dolby CP50. However, in 1980, it did get its Dolby CP200.

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