Langley Theatre

8014 New Hampshire Avenue,
Langley Park, MD 20873

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JodarMovieFan on February 15, 2018 at 7:56 am

I grew up in that area and don’t recall any X films booked there, unless maybe that Brando movie ‘Last Tango in Paris’ somehow played here way back in ‘72?, but I doubt it as this was a suburban community theater. Definitely, no porn. I’m thinking the closest X films that played may have been that Hyattsville Drive-In (demolished but near the Metro) or the Central Ave Drive-in going a little south.

The Hot Shoppes! That brings up a memory. That was where the new bus station/stop is currently set up, that displaced a Taco Bell that was there for years. You remember the Grand Union super market at the left end? :) My family loved the rotisserie chicken they used to make and the waft of it as you shopped in the store.

Mama523 on February 13, 2018 at 11:29 am

Does anyone remember if the Langley Theater showed XXX movies in the 70s? I grew up next to Langley Park and I could swear I remember seeing XXX movies listed on the marquee as a kid, but it’s been more than 40 years now. The only other things I remember about that shopping center are the Junior Mode Bootery shoe store, and I think there was a Hot Shoppes restaurant in the parking lot.

rivest266 on June 22, 2015 at 4:01 pm

March 11th, 1952 grand opening ad in photo section

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 10, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Linkrot repair: The May 3, 1952, Boxoffice article about the Langley Theatre has moved again:

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

eblackman on August 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Kim and Togaze

Thanks for the wonderful memories I never worked for KB but i actually grew up in Takoma Park from 1975-1988. I remember as a child going to see ROLLARCOASTER, STAR WARS and Superman 1 and 2. I also remember movies that i was to young to see but wanted and remember the movie poster in the glass case at the KB Langley : CARRIE and BODY HEAT hahahah I also remember going to see SHarky’s Machine. As i got older and especially in High school it seemed that everyone started going to Beltway Plaza. I remember the C2 Bus right on University BLVD would take you straight to the mall. We also went to Flower Twins and the movie place on Georgia ave in silver spring.

Also does anyone remember the movie place in DC and VA back in the 80’s that use to show the first run kung fu blockbusters. They would show a lot of Shaw brothers movies. I cannot remember the name of the theater but i remember seeing it in the Washington Post movie section as a kid.


Twinkletoes on June 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Thank you for the additional information. I couldn’t ever be 100% certain that the pink glass mirror tiles by the drinking fountain were at Langley, or Hyattsville.

Kim_Daven on June 4, 2011 at 6:30 am

I worked at the Langley Theatre from 1972 until about 1975. it was a great group of guys, most of which i still see. Bobby Hajjar, Jan Erman, David Wolf. There are many i wish i could find again, Maruice Jackson, Stacy Bates, Jimmy P…if any of you are out there gimmie a shout.

togaze on April 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Sorry to hear about Mary Booth. I too managed the K-B Crystal for a few months in 1979. The last film I showed at the Crystal before K-B and I parted company was “Dracula,” with Frank Langella.

Local619 on April 22, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Worked for KB off & on from the late 60s through the late 70s, (ran the Crystal City from 71 to 73).. In Virginia & DC.. KB was the best employer of their time. The Goldman’s and Burkas treated their people well. Am still intouch with three of the managers from that period (Mary Booth died in 2009)

Good company, good people & great times..

JodarMovieFan on April 22, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Thanks KB for sharing your memories. ^5.

togaze on April 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm

K-B had this great logo…I think it had a red and blue shield with the K and B letters in fancy gold caps. I also seem to remember small stars on the fields of red and blue.

Does anyone have a link to a file with the K-B logo? I’d love to see it.

TLSLOEWS on April 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Right on K/B!!!

togaze on April 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I worked for K-B Theatres from 1973-1979, starting at the K-B Langley. I worked as an usher, a cashier, a concessionist, an assistant manager, and a manager. One of the great things that K-B Theatres did for years was to have adult and “junior” prices. “Juniors” were anyone under 17. This gave K-B a competitive edge over other theatres where children were considered 12 and under. After many years, I think the movie studios complained about the income difference between theatres with children’s prices, and K-B’s “junior” prices. K-B finally joined the mainstream and the “junior” price became a thing of the past.

My first night of work at the Langley was on December 21, 1973. “Benny and the Jets” played on my parents' car radio as I drove to work. The first movie I worked at the Langley was “Camelot,” followed by “Magnum Force.” When I worked at the Langley, we were told that the theatre was a “wedding present” when Marvin Goldman married into the Kogod family.

There were 971 seats in the Langley Theatre…920 in the main auditorium, 26 in the Nursery, and 25 in the Langley Room. While we did use the Nursery for families with young children and babies, the Langley Room was mostly used for storage. When I worked at the Langley, the theatre had been redecorated from the original 1952 décor, and everything was painted red and blue, with red and blue carpeting, and a black ceiling in the auditorium. The mirror behind the water fountain had been painted over with red paint, but occasionally someone would scratch off some of the paint to reveal the mirrors underneath. Under the water fountain, a wooden box was covered with carpeting. Small children could pull out the box so they could reach the water fountain and get a drink.

Two of the highlights (?) of working at the Langley were changing the marquee and changing light bulbs in the auditorium ceiling. The marquee at the Langley was huge. There was usually enough room to have a tag line, the film title, and the showtimes. The manager would give us the marquee copy, and then we would go out and look on the existing marquee, and check to see what letters were already on the marquee, and which letters we would need for the new copy. The marquee closet was to the left of the thick glass entrance doors to the theatre lobby. In the closet were the large 18" black letters for the movie titles, and the smaller 12" red letters for the tag lines and showtimes. We would gather the letters we needed and place them in a shopping cart that we had for that purpose. Then, we would get the huge ladder out of the closet and set it up to start changing the marquee. It was part art, part mathematical accuracy to get all of the letters off the marquee, clip on the new letters and be sure they were all centered properly. It was especially fun to change the marquee in the rain or snow.

We would access the ceiling lights in the theatre auditorium by climbing a ladder with bulbs in our hands to get into the ceiling. Then, we would carefully walk on the ceiling catwalks to access each burned-out bulb. The bulbs were housed in a barrel-sized light fixture. Each light fixture contained two bulbs: a mogul-based bulb that was probably about 500 watts, and a regular-sized yellow bulb of less than 100 watts that stayed on throughout the movie so people could find their way in the dark theatre. Most of the staff just left the burned-out bulbs in the ceiling rafters, but I would always bring out the old bulbs and throw them away. The ceiling was hot, dusty, and just a bit creepy. I often wondered if anyone had ever fallen through the ceiling. I made sure that I did not.

Throughout my almost six years with K-B Theatres, I worked in many of the theatres: the Langley, the Flower, the Silver, the Bethesda, Georgetown Square, the Cinema, the Studio, the Takoma, the Fine Arts, the MacArthur, the Janus, the Cerberus, and the Crystal. As a high school/college student, I was able to learn about some of the best and the worst aspects of the working world, and I was able to see almost every movie free that came out during the time I worked for
K-B. Over thirty years later, I still remember lines from some of them, such as “The Sting” or “The Towering Inferno.”

While the theatres of today may have better sound equipment, and the capability to create special effects has improved dramatically, none of the new humongous cinemultiplexopolises can compare with the elegance of the MacArthur or the simple sophistication of the Langley.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Twinkletoes: After you enlarge the pages by clicking on the magazine, then click on the + sign in the bar that will appear at the top of the page, and that will enlarge them. Whether you’re using regular page view or Issuu’s full-screen feature, you must click on the magazine before the bar will appear. Right and left arrows at the sides of the page will turn the pages of the magazine. The Langley article is three Boxoffice pages long.

If the site isn’t working well for you, it might be your web browser. I find that Issuu gets a bit odd when I use Opera, but it works fine with Firefox. I’ve never tried it with Internet Explorer.

JodarMovieFan on February 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm

On my browser, you can get the pics to enlarge to a degree but its not like they are supersized and can see the individual fabric tufts in the seats. :)

Not too sure about my memory but I thought there were columns of a sort either at the entrance to the theater after you passed the concession stand, OR as you entered to the seating area, itself. Then again, maybe it was the MacArthur that had the columns at the entrance to the seating area.

Twinkletoes on February 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I can’t get the pictures to enlarge. Looks like a good article, though.

JodarMovieFan on February 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Thanks for the link, Joe. The pics bring back memories. The interiors look remarkably similar to the original Flower and MacArthur and even Senator with the two crying rooms upstairs.

Chuck, no I do not live in the Balto area, but did grow up in and around here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 16, 2010 at 12:23 am

Here is an article about the Langley Theatre with several photos, in the Modern Theatre section of Boxoffice, May 3, 1952.

The article says that the auditorium had 972 Kroehler Push-Back chairs, and the nursery and private party room upstairs on either side of the projection booth each had 27 chairs, so total seating on opening would have been 1,026.

Architect John J. Zink’s design for the Langley was one of those interesting early 1950s hybrids, the style moving toward Midcentury Modern, but with considerable Art Moderne influence lingering.

marcgerber on July 27, 2009 at 2:09 pm

To: Rhodesian,

Please pass this on to your father Marvin who was one of my father’s (Morton Gerber) best friends. I will always remember your father’s wise counsel and friendship when my father died in ‘75. Please give him and Ronnie my best!
Marc Gerber

Twinkletoes on June 19, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Do any of you remember the water fountain ? It was a drinking fountain nestled by a wall with pretty pale pink mirror rectangles. I was so little, I had to stand on a wood box to sip some ice cold water. I thought it was a classy touch, and I vaguely recall 2 ? small white statues of greek ? women like Venus de Milo. They were up near the screen with a violet light shining on them. I may also recall a clock, too, near the screen, but, it’s easy to confuse memories, since I also frequented Greenbelt, and Hyattsville theaters. I am 62 years old.

JodarMovieFan on May 9, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Thanks Chuck for the picture link. It brings back memories. :)

JodarMovieFan on October 19, 2008 at 7:21 am

Jack, I wish I did growing up since this was my neighborhood theater. My oldest brother was more into photography, as he was the family photographer, but given how strict our Dad was with ‘questionable entertainment’ and moviegoing, I doubt it. If he has some, I’ll try to post somewhere. I can still remember the long lines that went around the block past what was the old Grand Union grocery store, for “The Godfather”, “Sting” and, of course, the first “Star Trek” movie.

JackCoursey on October 19, 2008 at 4:46 am

Does anyone have any photos to share of the Langley made when during the time it was operating as a cinema?

jambo on October 18, 2008 at 5:03 pm

My Father does remember you, Steve. I forwarded him this site today.

sguttag on October 18, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Thanks for the clarification.