AFI Silver Theatre

8633 Colesville Road,
Silver Spring, MD 20910

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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.

HowardBHaas on January 21, 2018 at 5:54 am

Phantom Thread is still in 70mm here. My photo on the marquee is included in this interesting article,

HowardBHaas on January 14, 2018 at 4:07 am

JodarMovieFan, yes, curtain used as I’ve seen it usually including last month at European Film Festival. Get there when last showing is finishing. (There’s only a few minutes of trailers so you can calculate using the movie length time). Curtain closes. You can enjoy closed curtain for awhile, but long before new feature time, curtain opens for slides, trailers, etc. then the movie is played, then curtain closes again. The use of the curtain enhances the movie experience. Living in Philly, I’ve yet to visit Greenbelt but it is on my bucket list! So, yes, rather than see The Post in aud 2 here, sure, see it at the Greenbelt. Also, I should mention that souvenir programs for Phantom Thread are only as long as supplies last.

JodarMovieFan on January 13, 2018 at 9:43 pm

Howard, I want to see Phantom Thread this week, along with the Post. Did they use the curtain? If I do, I will keep an open mind. I read a post/review on in70mm that was glowing. I’m avoiding critic reviews until after I see it.

My sense is there is a projectionist for 70mm all the time? I vaguely remember when they played Dunkirk in 70mm on weekends and in DP during the week probably to save money on labor.

Post is playing here, too, but I think I’ll see it at Greenbelt just to support them. :)

HowardBHaas on January 13, 2018 at 6:30 pm

Saw Phantom Thread in 70mm today (35mm blowup), souvenir program included (for ticket price, no discounts, $18). Wonderful presentation of interesting movie. For those like JodarMovieFan who didn’t like The Master, you won’t like this movie. Good movie though.

JodarMovieFan on December 18, 2017 at 10:39 am

Phantom Thread is booked here in 70mm shortly. Looking at the you tube preview and setting, its somewhat interesting. I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be as unsatisfying as The Master.

It appears a new print of Lawrence is making the rounds. Perhaps, AFI will get it here later in ‘18. Its about time for it and 2001 to come back, once again. :) Maybe with luck, something 70mm new? I’m thinking Sleeping Beauty and Brainstorm.

Giles on November 20, 2017 at 11:13 am

Nolan’s soundmixing in general is a mixed bag. I saw Dunkirk at the Lockheed Martin IMAX screen; here and Tyson Corner in 70mm – and each were uniquely different. The IMAX-laser presentation audio wise made me ears want to bleed – way too loud, bass was deep, the treble in the gunshots made me want to jump a foot out of my chair, surround sound felt more pronounced. At AFI, the 70mm print audio playback seemed way more constrained, and the surround sound much more subdued – the print on the other hand looked the best. At AMC Tysons, the audio was boosted and as a result gave the aural illusion it had more dynamic range.

JodarMovieFan on September 5, 2017 at 4:52 pm

I finally caught ‘Dunkirk’ in 70mm. Looking at the showtimes, it appears they run it in digital during the week, automated probably and run it 70mm with a projectionist on the weekends or evening shows?

Customer Service is lacking. No greet either at the box office, upon entering or at the concession stand. I was going to order something at the concessions and was looking at the menu for my favorite stuffed pretzels and just got stares. I just left. The movie was about to start anyway.

This time I sat closer to the screen instead of my usual comfy spot in the back to get that full immersion experience. Bad idea. The flight shots made me a little dizzy. I was not feeling so good after the show. They had the curtain open throughout. Bad. At least I thought they’d close it before the previews.

Speaking of previews, they showed the upcoming Blade Runner 2049 and Justice League. It looked like film as there were the usual spots and artifacts inherent to film projection. Being the best house, I was hoping the film would play on the louder side with the appropriate BOOMs and shakes but I didn’t feel anything. In fact, my experience at BowTie’s refurbished Annapolis Mall BTX 4K #1 was a LOT better.

As far as the film experience, it was like the other Silver 70mm presentations. All the sound seemed up front. I was hoping for some directional sound at least from the fighter planes whizzing and the bullets firing. Even the end credits walking back, no sound from the other speakers. For those who have seen it this way, correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe the low attendance resulted in them not flipping all the sound switches.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I could’ve sworn when I saw the Master, there was a slide presentation or little video about the differences between 35mm and 70mm film and the experience. Looking at the audience in attendance, the younger people (younger than me anyway) would probably not know, much less appreciate the difference.

For an archival organization like AFI, you’d think they’d be able to use one of those 70mm trailers presentation trailers. On the other hand, if you’ve got wide film directors like Tarantino and Nolan utilizing 65mm, no one younger then that group is going to know or appreciate it. May as well buy the movie and watch it on your iPhone/Pad. Why not make a new 70mm trailer with sound?

Looking at the total box office grosses, it seems Dunkirk is doing well. Perhaps, we’ll see more 70mm but if its all like this, I’d rather go see it in 4K Digital even if its IMAX-lite. I can’t believe I’m saying it.. ;)

Overall, I was a little underwhelmed with the Dunkirk experience at the AFI Silver. It wasn’t worth the drive for sure and the lack of customer service doesn’t help either. While I believe in the AFI and its mission on film preservation and all that, on the business end of showing films at this location its just not there.