AFI Silver Theatre

8633 Colesville Road,
Silver Spring, MD 20910

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JodarMovieFan on October 11, 2018 at 8:25 am

I’ve been saying the same thing for the last few years. I don’t think they’ve gotten rid of all their projectionists. I thought they had one for those rare 70mm shows. I remember one of the last bookings they only played 70mm on the weekends, thinking they ran digital or some automated showing on the weekdays when attendance is lower.

rl_83 on October 9, 2018 at 8:47 am

“ I’m wondering why this year they hardly had any 70mm anything. I know we’re not in Hollywood and have easy access to the film archives and all that but when I see Portland and some of these other places having more 70mm, I’m jealous. This isn’t right. This is the AFI! ”

Maybe it has something to do with getting rid of their projectionists, or so I read back a few pages. Perhaps the studios won’t let them run prints anymore and they are going to subject their viewers to a diet of digital-only going forward.

Giles on August 31, 2018 at 9:20 pm

‘2001’ – the IMAX DCP is now over at the Lockheed intown Air & Space IMAX screen

JodarMovieFan on August 31, 2018 at 5:28 pm

Howard, so true.

Peter, so this Nolan supervised ‘new’ 70mm print taken from the 65mm original negative, to use a Trumpism…was an ‘alternative fact?’:) GRRR.

Giles had mentioned the IMAX version was at the Chantilly Smithsonian the previous week. I was thinking about attending that to compare but didn’t have the time to check it out. I hope it makes the rounds again to check out (the IMAX version).

PeterApruzzese on August 31, 2018 at 6:39 am

The new “unrestored” 70mm prints are from an IP made in 1999 and are not good at all – baked-in dirt, negative tears, faded color, scratches, etc. The new 4K DCP (and the IMAX derivative) is from a new cleaned-up scan of the original film elements; it is stunning and is the current definitive version of 2001 for large screens.

HowardBHaas on August 31, 2018 at 5:27 am

I’ve noticed just about everything here seems to be shown these days in digital, with the rare exceptions of the 70mm screenings. That’s disappointing!

JodarMovieFan on August 30, 2018 at 9:18 pm

Hooray for me. I caught the last showing of 2001 this evening. This time I bought tickets online to avoid the mess from last time. Turnout was surprisingly decent for a weeknight showing. I guestimate about 200 spread out the Grand Theater.

The theater advertises fresh made Whole Food sandwiches and other items. Unfortunately, they were all sold out. This is ridiculous for a 7:30 pm show. And they stopped selling my favorite stuffed pretzels. And I ain’t paying no $10 for a Costco sized dog that Costco sells for $1.50. Instead, I paid $5 for one oversized cookie and a bag of super crunchy chips. Its funny in that the guy next to me also had chips and as anyone who has seen the film knows its mostly quiet. You can hear audience movement, coughs and whatnot. So he and I were careful to quietly chew our extra crunchy chips, stop when the soundtrack was dead silent and resume chewing when it got loud. :)

Excellent showmanship. They discontinued the slide show and closed the curtain promptly at 7:30pm while the overture or entrance music began. There were some film detracting artifacts such as a sudden drop out as if the film had been trimmed at the beginning of the Dawn of Man scenes. Spotting and lines in certain places led me to believe the film has been shown quite a bit and probably mishandled. Intermission started at 9pm and the show resumed about 15 minutes later. Curtain closed. Audience clapped at the end. After the credits, while many still sat in their seats, curtain closed. ^5s.

Thinking about the ‘experience,’ I have to say it was less than I hoped. While its always great to see a classic on the BIG screen, with a decent audience, there were some other detractions. The color seemed less vibrant from what I thought was a first generation print. For example, the close ups of Dave Bowman. The guy has big BIG BLUE eyes. We’re not talking exaggerated digital blue like Chris Pine in the IMAX-lite Star Trek reboots here. They looked more light blue. My memory of the virgin print from the Uptown viewing from 1990 was more engaging..this is aside from the superior w-i-d-e screen at the theater. BUT..what I did notice this time (for the first time probably) were the red blood veins in Bowman’s eyes.

Another color detraction were the ship monitor readouts as Hal kills the scientists in stasis. The colors looked faded and not properly contrast and sharp. Maybe I’m wrong but I had thought the readouts filled the entire screen not boxed. The sound effect had a less than vibrant piercing beep beep..beep beep. Or, maybe my hearing has, um..lossed some sensitivity after years of THX/Dolby Digital/DTS abuse. :)

On the positive side, in one of the moon shots, there appeared more ‘texture’ than what I remember from before. The space suits by the Discovery looked more blood orange then orange than I recall. Since this print was supposedly made from the original negative would I be correct to assume this was the original intent?

I didn’t spend much time looking at the exhibits, but I did take a minute or two to marvel at the decorations and interior designs and how well things seem to have held up since its reopening some 15 years or so ago.

If Spartacus were shown here in 70mm for the Kubrick retrospective, I would have driven back for it. But for DCP, not so much interest. Might as well see it at home.

Giles on August 11, 2018 at 8:45 am

JodarMovieFan, the AFI must have updated their website, but the return of ‘2001’ is a week long engagement. not one show. The 4K restoration in DCP form will be over at the Lockheed Martin IMAX screen at Air & Space (and at Udvar Hazy).

HowardBHaas on August 10, 2018 at 11:58 am

JodarMovieFan, current 70mm film festival at Museum of Moving Image in NYC. In 2013, I saw the digital Hello, Dolly! as part of the 70mm film festival at AFI Silver, but the actual 70mm print will be in Queens this weekend. The following weekend, 70mm print of Cleopatra, another 70mm print that I don’t think was shown at AFI Silver. And, other films in 70mm.

JodarMovieFan on August 9, 2018 at 10:41 am

Looking at the AFI Silver’s page, they’ve got 2001 booked for only ONE day, Fri 8/24, with just two showings. I figured they would try to get it back especially with the current Kubrick film retrospectives.

I’m wondering why this year they hardly had any 70mm anything. I know we’re not in Hollywood and have easy access to the film archives and all that but when I see Portland and some of these other places having more 70mm, I’m jealous. This isn’t right. This is the AFI!

Giles on July 13, 2018 at 1:42 pm

There were a couple of instances of very minor print damage. Prior prints I saw had the blackness of space shots look ultra deep and inky. The quick overhead shots of the shuttle zipping over the moon’s landscape had a very 3D-esque layer effect, that wasn’t apparent in this newer version. On the plus side, this time around, I was really trying to take note of the five front channel (6-track) mix and it was very exemplary.

HowardBHaas on July 13, 2018 at 1:16 pm

Giles, what was less about this 2001 screening than priors? I’ve seen it in 70mm at Uptown in year 2001, and Seattle Cinerama in 2013, both awesome screenings.

Giles on July 13, 2018 at 1:11 pm

that’s too bad you missed out on the last screening Jodar, I saw this last Friday with a 14 year old family member, he really dug the whole Frank/Dave/HAL sequence of the movie; ‘The Dawn of Man’ sequence he kind of nodded out. As usual for this type of presentation, great use of the curtains and a twenty minute intermission. Of the prior 70mm presentations I’ve seen ‘2001’ here at the AFI Silver, this wasn’t the ‘best’ but regardless, it’s a treat and necessity to see this in 70mm and the Silver delivered.

JodarMovieFan on July 12, 2018 at 10:00 pm

I tried to catch the last showing of new print of 2001 this evening. After fighting rush hour traffic to get to the theater, I was surprised to see a line going to the end of Panera Bread! Still had 10 minutes to show time and then they announced the breakdown of their credit card system. Had no cash. I tried, along with my fellow patrons in line to book tickets online. Not knowing if that system was working, I gave up, since the site was so slow. I doubt the showing was sold out but I’m sure the crowd was a decently sized one.

In my disappointment, I walked around the block and decided to check out what was showing at the Regal theater… :)

moviebuff82 on June 9, 2018 at 6:11 am

Which is crap compared to real film.

Giles on June 8, 2018 at 8:05 pm

the recent Smithsonian screening at the Lockheed IMAX screen was a DCP and not actual “film”

JodarMovieFan on June 8, 2018 at 4:13 pm

Howard, its K-r-n-o Krno in the Czech Republic. They have 70mm festivals, although thats way too far for me to go.

I just looked at the AFI site and discovered that 2001 co-star Keir Dullea will be there on the 7/5th 7:30 showing for Q&A. Cost is $20. I missed the last one he did with Gary Lockwood. Its too bad Doug Trumbull could have made it here, too, instead of the Smithsonian showing a few months back.

HowardBHaas on May 14, 2018 at 7:33 pm

JodarMovieFan, Yes, new 2001 print here. I’m not sure what’s “Kmo” but US cities continue to have 70mm festivals. Google Chicago Music Box 70mm festival for their awesome 2017 festival. Or Sommerville (outside Boston). Or Hollywood Theatre Portland OR. Or, travel to the Museum of the Moving Images in Queens later this year (likely August) for 70mm: Cleopatra, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, and Hello, Dolly, and more!

JodarMovieFan on May 14, 2018 at 7:18 pm

2001 once again at the AFI. I assume its the NEW print. Or, can it be assumed they struck more then ONE? Will the experience be better than the ones previously had here? I guess we’ll find out soon.

Its been years since we had a 70mm festival locally. I’m jealous of the UK and Krno festivals they have every year. Time to have one here again. What do you all say? :)

HowardBHaas on May 7, 2018 at 12:16 pm

The new 70mm print of The Sound of Music starts a 2 week run May 18 at the British Film Institute on the southbank of London. I don’t know of any US engagements yet. I saw the movie in 70mm in a classic series at the DC Uptown in 1991 and a glorious new print in 2013 at Seattle Cinerama. So yes, audiences will be in for a treat with a new print.

moviebuff82 on May 7, 2018 at 12:04 pm

i saw an ad for sound of music on youtube.

Giles on May 7, 2018 at 10:23 am

AFI Silver just announced the 70mm engagement of ‘2001’ will be from July 5th to the 12th. Sounds like Fox has also culled new 70mm prints and 4K DCP’s of “The Sound of Music” for later this year (fingers crossed) – I’ve never seen or heard this in 70mm and would love to hear the original 6-track mix, as I am not a fan of the 7.1 remix done for the bluray.

Giles on January 22, 2018 at 7:48 pm

Howard, I actually went to the 1:40pm screening last Friday – and yes I got a souvenir programme – what a beaut!

Greenbelt is still 5.1 – phase 2 (which has yet to commence), might include the installation/upgrade to 7.1, time will tell.

I asked way back when the Avalon reopened what projector they had and they stated a 4K system was in the main auditorium – maybe they informed me incorrectly [EDIT: upon looking back at my Avalon Theater comment I mis-remembered, it’s a Christie projector that can be upgraded to playback in 4K, but from what I gather they’ve never done the system upgrade].

As to the 6-track soundtrack of ‘Phantom Thread’ it sounded very front heavy, with very little, subtle use of the surrounds and when it did, it was mostly for the music.

Personally I would love to hear a new movie from a director who remembers five stage channel mixed movies bring back that technical aspect – since I think it can be done on current processors (five front plus two surround channels).

HowardBHaas on January 22, 2018 at 3:37 am

Giles, thanks. As to curtain, did you arrive before the last screening stopped as I wrote above? As emails still mentioned free souvenir program while supplies last, you got one? Check the Old Greenbelt’s website “about” which says 5.1, albeit its 4k digital projector is more than the Avalon has (assuming they haven’t upgraded from 2k) & all of these wonderful historic theaters (AFI # 1, Avalon, Old Greenbelt) main screen is about same size: 40 feet wide, which is great. AFI Silver projectionist told me Phantom Thread soundtrack for the 70mm print is 6 track DTS.

Giles on January 21, 2018 at 8:14 pm

^ nice article Howard.

I saw ‘Phantom Thread’ here at the AFI Silver last Friday and they used the curtains only for the conclusion of the movie, usually they do it for both the beginning and the end.

Did the Greenbelt finally upgrade to 7.1 surround sound? I know that for here and the Avalon which is playing on the main screen, the 7.1 mix can and is played back as such.