Cinema

5100 Wisconsin Avenue,
Washington, DC 20016

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MSC77
MSC77 on April 4, 2018 at 8:04 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.

MSC77
MSC77 on December 22, 2017 at 2:14 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.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on December 6, 2017 at 10:34 pm

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.

Giles
Giles on December 6, 2017 at 10:01 am

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

rivest266
rivest266 on June 27, 2015 at 1:31 pm

March 31st, 1965 grand opening ad in photo section

sguttag
sguttag on August 22, 2014 at 6:51 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.

Giles
Giles on May 17, 2013 at 6:52 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)

raysson
raysson on May 17, 2013 at 7:19 am

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

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on January 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm

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

br91975
br91975 on October 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

The Cinema has been converted into a Crunch Fitness location.

Cobalt
Cobalt on July 29, 2010 at 10:05 am

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).

Giles
Giles on July 29, 2010 at 8:39 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

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 31, 2010 at 5:56 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.

Nunzienick
Nunzienick on May 28, 2010 at 7:16 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

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 28, 2010 at 11:05 am

Thanks Mike and Nick.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Nick, I never throw any theatre stuff away the above info came from the ad you sent me years ago, Hey, now that you can SCAN you can show the ad and the pictures you took in D.C. I hadn’t started in thebusiness yet,it wasSept 12 1974 when i started; I missed the EXORCIST first run,but saw it plenty of times,but only while working,i never saw the whole movie. “JAWS” was my BIG movie.

Nunzienick
Nunzienick on March 8, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Fancy meeting you on this theatre site Mike! This is the theatre where I saw “THE EXORCIST” IN 1974!!! Back then it was called the KB-Cinema. I was living with friends in Alexandria when the film opened. We saw it several times and each time we stood in long long lines in the cold weather. Even the matinee showings sold out continously. And what a powerful film it was too. My friends and I were blown away by it. I remember at least 2 people that had fainted during the showings. I also recall several ladies had left the auditorium and were sitting in the lobby waiting for the film to end. They refused to go back inside.

The film was rated R but the District of Columbia slapped an X rating on the film forbidding admission to anyone under 17. There was a feature article in the Washingon Post about how audiences were reacting to the film. The manager was quoted as saying, “we had a good day today—only one person threw up!” The box office was taking in so much money an armored guard had to stand duty nearby. I remember the auditorium sat below street level. After buying your ticket and entering the small lobby you had to walk down a flight of stairs to the auditorium. It was a very nice theatre as I recall. I remember there were curtains that opened & closed over the large screen. So sorry to see it gone now.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 8, 2010 at 5:31 pm

The K-B CINEMA was showing “THE EXORCIST” on Wednesday Feb.6 1974. it showed daily at 1:00 3:05 5:15 7:30 and 9;45 with Midnight shows on Friday and Saturday, There was a policy that they cleared the theatre after each show,In those days most moviegoers once they bought a ticket they could watch the movie again and again, The K-B Cinema stopped thar. even with the R rating {management stated persons under 17 are not admitted} So much for a rating system. This film played day and date at the K-B Silver Theatre {couldn’t find it on CT}

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on October 30, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I drove by this place yesterday and there is still a for rent sign in the window.

Giles
Giles on June 23, 2009 at 12:19 pm

how ironic. Even at the theatre’s end of run, the theatre and it’s presentations were always the best in picture and sound ‘Chicago’ ‘Finding Nemo’ ‘Saving Private Ryan’

The real memory though was being interviewed by Channel 5, which is right across the street from the theatre on opening day of ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ my friends and I were near the beginning of the queue, enjoying some Armands pizza which we had delivered to us … in line… one friend though wasn’t really much into the antipation of the film, but informing the interviewer how good the pizza was – ah, good times!

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on March 19, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Today, I happened to drive by the theater and noticed the furniture store that was there is now going out of business.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on November 11, 2008 at 7:17 pm

There might be drapes but my guess is not the same as when the theater was open. I think I would have noticed. There was some redecoration.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on November 11, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Jack,
per my Comment above, what you see is the former projecton booth. There was no balcony. You might be mistaken about drapes because I don’t believe theater drapes were still present when I visited as furniture store.

There was no concession stand on the Street level. Downstairs, next to the auditorium, was the concession stand. Opposite were the restrooms, which are still in the same place.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on November 11, 2008 at 6:55 pm

Here is an April 2008 photo of the former Cinema Theatre. Aside from leveling the floor and opening up the projection booth (or was it the balcony) it appears that much of the auditorium is still intact. Although the screen is gone the drapes which adorned it remain. I have yet to ever see a theatre which was configured in such a fashion.
Questions: Did this theatre have balcony seating?
Was there a concession stand on the auditorium level as well as the main level?

Champlin
Champlin on June 29, 2008 at 5:20 am

I’m looking for first hand accounts of seeing The Night Porter at this theater in connection with film history research I am engaged in. Anyone with memories of The Night Porter, however vague, please feel free to get in touch with me. .co.uk