AFI Silver Theatre

8633 Colesville Road,
Silver Spring, MD 20910

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Showing 1 - 25 of 322 comments

HowardBHaas on February 22, 2017 at 2:51 pm

Looking at the website today, it seems none of the classic movies list the format- 35mm or 70mm, DCP or lesser!

JodarMovieFan on September 11, 2016 at 6:55 pm

Ah hah! Someone must’ve been listening. They have Star Trek: TOS Movie screenings this week at the AFI, but mostly in 35mm and DCP. The Motion Picture is Blu-Ray and is the Director’s Edition. Sadly, no 70mm for anything. The Blu-Ray presentation was underwhelming the first go around even though it was in the Historic Auditorium. III maybe worth a viewing in 35mm. I can’t believe I’m saying that after all the years of complaining about scratched and mishandled 35mm film prints at the local megaplex. Maybe its a studio vault print. Then again, why not the 70mm, if its a vault print. :P Decisions, decisions. To boldly go, or not.

JodarMovieFan on September 4, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Movie, no recliners like AMC. Maybe one day? The back of the original auditorium has very comfortable wide seats and space for your cups and a food item.

I enjoy the rear seating in the original, but lose that sound envelopment unless I’m sitting closer even though its a THX cert auditorium. I’m thinking that many shows just aren’t played loud enough for my taste. I can’t remember the last time they played the THX trailer, probably in the 00s and the Life sound trailer. Then again, I haven’t visited this year, yet, maybe they’ve got the newest space one. :)

moviebuff82 on September 4, 2016 at 10:03 am

are there recliners at this venue?

HowardBHaas on September 4, 2016 at 6:06 am

Very much enjoyed very good 35mm prints of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and 1969 Goodbye, Mr. Chips, both with mono sound, Chips with intermission, Friday, in aud 1, with use of red curtain, which arrived about May 2016.

HowardBHaas on September 1, 2016 at 5:17 am

Thanks! what month was the new curtain installed? I will mention it at the Intro above.

sguttag on September 1, 2016 at 5:02 am

The previous curtain was just some of the wall fabric. There were numerous problems with it when it opened since it has to turn 90 degrees and stack. The heavier fabric would stress the system as it made the turn.

The new curtain should last longer, providing the track system/carriers are maintained.

HowardBHaas on September 1, 2016 at 4:56 am

JodarMovieFan, my photo of old curtain is the profile photo on this page. Many colors like the auditorium, no doubt inspired by the auditorium colors. Not as photogenic as the red curtain.

JodarMovieFan on August 31, 2016 at 10:29 pm

Thats a nice shade of red, Howard. Nice picture ^5.

What was the color of the old curtain? It wasn’t that bright whatever it was.

HowardBHaas on August 31, 2016 at 4:57 am

I was delighted to see in the main, historic auditorium, wonderful 35mm prints of Northwest Passage (1940) and Barry Lyndon (1975) on 8-20-16. I’ve posted photos of those movies on the marquee, and photo of new red curtain in the photo section. I was told new curtain installed a few months ago? Why did the original curtain have to go? Photos are better with the new red curtain.

JodarMovieFan on August 30, 2016 at 6:06 pm

I happened to look at the AFI Calendar today and discovered they’re showing DCP versions of the Star Wars trilogy Fri, Sat and Sun. I wonder if these are the updated updated versions that Lucas tweaked with the last DVD sale..the one where Hayden Christensen is the Anakin image seen at the end of ‘Return of the Jedi’ and not the original guy.

Later in the month, they’ve booked 2001 once again, in 70mm, with the stars Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood for Q&A. I think they were here last year or a couple of years ago for a Q&A. I wonder what the occasion is. I’m also wondering if this is the fresh print that was rumored to have been struck. If so, this may be worth visiting especially with the stars there. To be honest, for me anyway, I would definitely go if the VFX Supervisor Doug Trumbull was there. I would have liked to ask him some questions regarding the film and other projects he has worked on over the years and his current work in hi def virtual reality.

September is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. It would’ve been nice if AFI had a 70mm movie retrospective. In70mm has shown bookings of II, IV and VI, over the year in different venues, so at least those exist. The DC area didn’t get a 70mm booking of VI when it came out. :(

Giles on January 8, 2016 at 8:52 am

I saw ‘Hateful Eight’ here yesterday midday and I thought the presentation was outstanding – typical for AFI Silver in my opinion ~wow!~

Morricone’s score at times was so powerful and suitably loud.

my only gripe is that Tarantino should have had some entre' act music at the beginning of the second part of the movie – it abruptly jumps back into the movie without much of a breather.

HowardBHaas on December 31, 2015 at 4:46 am

Here’s a link to my full report, on experiencing “The Hateful Eight” at the AFI Silver, (

sguttag on December 29, 2015 at 12:29 pm

70mm has a normal ratio of 2.20. At the AFI, like most older theatres, the front-end sort of dictates how big an image you can work with. Also, don’t confuse width with area. I believe that the 2.20 ratio has the largest area at the Silver. 35mm scope is wider but less tall.

HowardBHaas on December 29, 2015 at 7:33 am

JodarMovieFan, yes, I have the movie program. Email sent to everybody stated programs as long as supply lasts, so don’t wait for last screenings. Well, it won’t sell out during business days so they may have enough programs. AS to why 70mm scope doesn’t fill the screen, that’s because 2.2 aspect ratio of the classic 70 mm films rather than 2.35 regular scope. Not as wide- so using full height of the AFI screen, projected not as wide. Less wide I think so 6 track could fit on the film.

JodarMovieFan on December 29, 2015 at 7:25 am

Great posts. I guess I will trek to see H8ful 8 here as opposed to my local BowTie, where it is reported the experience was not good. Still.. $20 for 70mm! At least throw in a free drink. Howard, did you get a movie program?

Steve, why is it 70mm does not fill the width of the (presumably Historic auditorium) screen? Is it the lenses? What do they use? I remember the previous owner of the Senator touting the then lenses used were some German type.. Bauer? I suspect the Bauer lenses are the best.

sguttag on December 29, 2015 at 5:40 am

Not entirely accurate Giles. The AFI/Silver (in all three screens) have both side and vertical masking. Believe it or not, their normal 70mm picture (2.20:1 ratio) does NOT fill the width of the screen but does fill the height. So for the Hateful Eight and all other UP70 presentations, the screen actually DOES get wider as well as less tall to complete the 2.76:1 ratio.

The current Uptown screen tops out at 2.39:1 and hasn’t gone out to the full Cinerama/UP70 ratio for a long, long time. Even if the Uptown were to run Hateful Eight, they’d likely mask it down in height rather than put in a new screen and rig it for the wider format (unfortunately, we’ll never know though I agree the Uptown’s front-end could have made this look pretty special…though lensing may have proven tricky with the deep curve and “modern” lenses).

While I don’t know the reasoning for the pricing on this movie, I guarantee you that more $$$ is being spent on the presentation at the AFI/Silver than Gallery Place. Rumor has it (and I hope they are wrong) that Gallery Place has damaged their print already. The AFI/Silver has full-time professional projectionists. The reports of the presentation quality there isn’t by accident.

HowardBHaas on December 28, 2015 at 9:00 pm

The Hateful Eight was selling out the afternoon & evening screenings over the weekend. I’ve never seen a movie 2 days in a row & almost never see a new movie 2ce, but I attended Saturday & Sunday evenings. Unlike chain multiplexes, full use of the curtain (before, intermission and close) & proper masking was used. Sunday was even better because the curtain was closed until the start, with no slide show before using the curtain. Projection & surround were excellent. The movie was 5.1 surround. Souvenir programs were handed out. Three cheers to the AFI workers each day for the special presentations! And, as to the movie, it was awesome, including the details seen due to 70mm, the widescreen vistas, and the score.

Giles on December 18, 2015 at 7:28 am

the screens drops down vertically to facilitate the wider image (noted when I saw ‘Khartoum’ at the prior 70mm mini-fest) – it sadly doesn’t expand horizontally as the Uptown masking does – now that screen when I saw a reissue of ‘Ben-Hur’ was jaw dropping.

JodarMovieFan on December 17, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Wow, Howard. Thanks for the post. Ultra panavision 70 sounds so h u g e. I wonder if the Silver’s 40 ft screen will do it justice. I’m hoping for the, I’m going to set my expectations low, so if its good, then I’ll say it was great. :)

Giles on December 16, 2015 at 10:09 am

I’m going to support the AFI, but when comparing the pricing of a ticket at Regal Gallery Place it’s $15 matinee / $17 night time.

HowardBHaas on December 16, 2015 at 4:17 am

Here’s the text of the above 12-14-15 article-

The film premieres tonight in New York in 70mm at the Ziegfeld theater. Starting today, moviegoers can purchase tickets for the 70mm roadshow showings at To mark the occasion, Quentin and TWC are commemorating the opening with the “12 Days of Hateful Eight Giveaways,” where each day a different Hateful Eight prize, memorabilia or once-in-a-lifetime experience will be given away to moviegoers who buy roadshow tickets in advance leading up to the Christmas day opening.

The exclusive roadshow engagement that The Hateful Eight is embarking on will replicate the special event releases that films used to receive in the early and mid-twentieth century. They screened a longer version of the film than would have been shown in wide release, including a musical overture to start the show and an intermission between acts, and moviegoers received a special souvenir program. The Hateful Eight roadshow experience will offer moviegoers all three special features. Roadshows were the gold standard for exhibiting pictures like Lawrence of Arabia, Gone With the Wind, Cleopatra, Battle of the Bulge, The Ten Commandments andBen-Hur. TWC and Tarantino’s presentation of The Hateful Eight will mark the widest 70mm release that the industry has seen in over twenty years.

The film will open in 44 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Washington DC, Houston, Detroit, Phoenix, Seattle, Tampa, Minneapolis, Denver, Miami, Cleveland, Orlando, Sacramento, St. Louis, Portland, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Baltimore, San Diego, Nashville, Kansas City, San Antonio, West Palm Beach, Birmingham, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, Austin, New Orleans, Providence, Knoxville, Santa Barbara, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver. Quentin and cast members from The Hateful Eight will be touring the country making surprise appearances in select cities at 70mm roadshow showings.

Not since the 1966 film Khartoum starring Charlton Heston and Laurence Olivier has a film been shot in Ultra Panavision 70 format. In 2012, TWC distributed Paul Thomas Anderson’s acclaimed film The Master in a similar 70mm format. Beloved by filmmakers and cinephilesfor its wide-scope and high-resolution image quality, Ultra Panavision 70mm stock captures nearly twice the landscape of the more common 35mm and digital styles. Because of its unique quality and its importance to the art of filmmaking, Quentin, TWC, and a number of other major Hollywood directors and studios have negotiated deals with Kodak to continue production of 70mm and other film formats despite their higher costs and complexity of use.

The lead cast for The Hateful Eight includes Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained), Kurt Russell (Escape From New York), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle), Walton Goggins (“Justified”), Demian Bichir (A Better Life), Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs), Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs), and Bruce Dern (Nebraska). Written and directed by Tarantino, The Hateful Eight is produced by Richard N. Gladstein, Stacey Sher and Shannon McIntosh. Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and Georgia Kacandes are executive producing, and Coco Francini and William Paul Clark are associate producing.

HowardBHaas on December 16, 2015 at 4:14 am

I can not tell you whether or not this is accurate but this site states souvenir programs are given out, there are prizes somewhere, and cast members will in some theaters make surprise appearances.

JodarMovieFan on December 15, 2015 at 8:50 pm

I just saw that, Giles. That is pushing it. Its outrageous! Now, if this were a DC exclusive, then okay. I’m pissed. Will I still see it here? Yeah. :) If they give out free souvenir programs, I’m fine with it. Something commemorative as this is a special event.

I looked at some Regal prices for the IMAX Star Wars and its $19!

Giles on December 15, 2015 at 12:28 pm

did you see the tix price for ‘The Hateful Eight’ for all screenings – $20 (!!) “whoah”