Cinema

5100 Wisconsin Avenue,
Washington, DC 20016

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12-25-05 closed

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

Seating more than 800 patrons, the theater wasn’t as old as the Avalon Theatre, but its mid-20th century charm was evident both inside and out. The Cinema opened March 31, 1965.

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 51 comments)

Giles
Giles on December 6, 2017 at 12:01 pm

can someone remind me – did ‘Titanic’ play here in 1997?

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on December 7, 2017 at 12:34 am

If it did, it wasn’t in 70mm. For some reason, one of the Columbia MD theaters..the newer one sticks out in my mind of possibly playing it in 70mm for a brief time. OR, had a special print? Have to search the paper archives for that one.

MSC77
MSC77 on December 22, 2017 at 4:14 pm

“The Graduate” opened here fifty years ago today. The film went on to play (a venue record?) 58 weeks. And to commemorate the classic film’s golden anniversary, here’s a new retrospective article which includes some exhibition history (and other) details.

MSC77
MSC77 on April 4, 2018 at 10:04 am

Here’s the link to a new article on roadshow and large format presentations in Washington, DC, which includes numerous mentions of the K-B Cinema.

Showcase Presentations in Washington, DC

The piece is a work in progress, so please don’t hesitate to offer up any useful feedback.

Giles
Giles on April 15, 2019 at 12:36 am

Unless it happened during the “02/18/76 (repertory film festival showings)” or the latter end of the 1970’s, I remember my dad taking me here to see ‘Camelot’– at a young age I was very entertained.

The 1989 engagement of ‘The Ten Commandments’ was aptly impressive here, but I can’t seem to recall if it was a 35mm print or 70mm print, I think it was the former.

Out of curiosity, when DID the Cinema get it’s 70mm projector and what was presented as such, every bit of info I’ve noted seems to suggest that ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ was the debut of the system – is that true?

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on June 1, 2019 at 8:03 am

Giles, I’m reasonably sure they had 70mm prior to Raiders because I saw ‘Empire Strikes Back’ here when it opened in ‘80. Steve says above they got the Apex’s 70mm projectors for 'Empire.’ My experience is detailed somewhere deep into the postings here.

Being a teen and the only one of my friends who had a job (delivering the Washington Post) I paid for all of us to take the bus, movie tickets and food at the Booeymongers a few blocks down. :) Okay.. I didn’t exactly ‘pay’ for my friend’s tickets, but made them help me deliver the huge Sunday paper with all the ad inserts. Remember when the papers were 5 lb monstrosities? Imagine having to deliver hundreds of those things on a Sunday AM.

With today’s IMAX-lite screens, I’m not sure if I’d enjoy movies here the same way now as I did back then. Its hard to say. Back then, it was a new experience for me having grown up with just a 20" Motorola mono sound color tv.

Giles
Giles on June 2, 2019 at 3:44 pm

honestly I should have just looked up to the ‘Showcase Presentation’ list to the answers of the couple of questions I had. In regards to two specific movies with accompanied question marks, I seem to recall both ‘The Hunt for Red October’ and ‘The Godfather III’ both being shown here.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on June 2, 2019 at 4:33 pm

Giles, I saw The Godfather III here, in 70mm, 6 track.

Giles
Giles on June 2, 2019 at 8:59 pm

^ I also would assume ‘The Hunt for Red October’ would have been a 70mm presentation as well. I just remember being utterly riveted by the soundmix (movies set in submarines, have ALL had excellent sound design in my opinion) and the music, specifically the choral parts of the score sounding epically grandiose.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on June 3, 2019 at 11:15 am

I saw Hunt in 70mm also, but I don’t exactly where. I usually chose the best venue in the area. If it was exclusively 70mm here, then it was here. If it was also booked in 70mm in a THX cert house, I would have probably saw it somewhere else like Wisconsin Ave down the street, or one of the Multiplex Cinemas in VA. The last 70mm anything I saw here was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in ‘89.

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