AMC Loews Uptown 1

3426 Connecticut Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20008

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Uptown Theater ... Washington DC

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened by Warner Brothers on October 29, 1936, the Uptown Theater is the last movie palace in Washington, DC still showing first-run films. The Uptown Theater is located near the Cleveland Park subway stop on the Red Line of the Metro. Many restaurants are on both sides of the street.

The theater opened with a seating capacity of 1,364 (914 seats in the orchestra and 450 in the stadium seated balcony). The Uptown Theater was designed by theater architect John Zink, a top designer of Art Deco and Art Moderne style movie houses. In 1939, Zink designed Baltimore’s historic Senator Theatre.

In the early-1940’s, the auditorium’s side walls were covered with fabric. In 1956, the auditorium was remodeled to allow films in wide screen Todd-AO. “South Pacific” ran for seven months in 1958 and “West Side Story” ran for nine months in 1961. In 1962, the auditorium was remodeled to show 3-strip Cinerama films. The original projection booth remains at the top of the balcony, but new booths were added at the front of the balcony. Since Cinerama ended, the center front booth continues to be used.

The World Premiere of “2001-A Space Odyssey” was at the Uptown Theater on April 2, 1968, in its original two-hour and 40 minute version. Kubrick trimmed 20 minutes, and the movie was then shown for 51 weeks. Local theater operators Circle tookover, and that company’s founders continue to own the building, though succeeding movie operators lease it. In 1987, Cineplex Odeon tookover, and that company later merged into Loews, which in time merged with into AMC.

Many films were shown in their original 70mm runs, and later, in reissues, to sold out crowds. The restored “Lawrence of Arabia” was shown in 1989, with director David Lean attending the premiere. The restored “Spartacus” was shown in 1991 and the restored “My Fair Lady” in 1994. Cineplex Odeon refurbished this palatial movie house in 1996, reducing the seating capacity to 840 and reopened it with the restored “Vertigo”. In 1997, the Uptown Theater was host to the re-release of the Star Wars saga (aka “Star Wars: The Special Edition”). On opening day, the ticket lines wrapped around the block, turned the corner, and continued several blocks away from Connecticut Street. New prints of 36 classic films, starting with “The Jazz Singer” were shown in 1998 to celebrate 75 years of Warner Brothers movies. The other restored classics included “Rear Window” in 2000, and in 2001, a 20th anniversary run of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”. In 2003, the Director’s Cut of “Alien” was shown, and in 2007, “Blade Runner, the Final Cut”.

Hollywood studios frequently have glittering red carpet film premieres at the Uptown Theater.

First run, blockbuster mainstream movies are the mainstay. Known for having the largest screen in DC (its curved screen measures 32 feet tall by 70 feet wide for ‘scope films), the Uptown Theater has been the best place to see event movies for several decades.

Contributed by Karim Alim, Justin Zagri, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 533 comments)

jeffpiatt on April 14, 2018 at 8:01 am the digital DLP projectors used currently are able to project in both 35 mm and 70 mm. IMAX is also a 70 MM film stock and both Dolby Cinema and Prime @ AMC are also projected in 70 mm. the former Carmike theaters have there internal 70mm large format auditoriums still branded as BigD.the way films are being sent out now are basically just the distributors shipping the film on a encrypted external Hard Disk that docks to the computer hooked up to the Projector.

HowardBHaas on April 14, 2018 at 8:06 am

I don’t understand a word Jeffpiatt wrote above. Digital projectors don’t project 35mm or 70mm film. 70mm Imax is great but is different than regular 70mm film (and projectors).

veyoung52 on April 14, 2018 at 8:13 am

Yeah, Howard, glad you caught this. It’s complete gibberish. Perhaps the poster is confusing 65mm sensors (which collect the incoming light from the lens) with 65mm film. I agree that the practice of calling cameras with enlarged sensors “70mm” cameras is misleading.

jeffpiatt on April 16, 2018 at 4:42 am

I was Quoting from the Wikipedia page on 70mm film. “There are three types of digital cinema cameras with a 65 mm sensor, the Phantom 65, the Arri Alexa 65 and the forthcoming IMAX 2D Digital Camera. Otti International’s Phil Kroll developed the world’s first 65/70 mm telecine transfer system. This camera has been used in Hollywood to digitally master 70 and 65 mm films.”

Looking at a list of theaters that have 70mm projection this theater is not listed so AMC is only projecting 2k Digital here and saving the 70mm for there PLF theaters that project in 4K. the last ones installed are at the LOC, MPAA, and the NCTA.

HowardBHaas on April 16, 2018 at 4:46 am

More inaccuracy! Cameras are used to record, they are not film projectors. This theater has 4k projectors.

MarkDHite on April 16, 2018 at 5:18 am

Jeffpiatt: Hi! The section of the Wikipedia 70mm article that you quoted is actually about digital cinema cameras that are used to capture a moving image similar in size and depth of field as a traditional 65mm film camera. There’s no reference here, in this section of the article, to 70mm film projection in theatres. Thanks!

jeffpiatt on April 17, 2018 at 6:28 am

they do use the same sensor to scan 65mm film for distribution including 2001:A Space Odyssey Based on the IGN article the 2001 50th release will be on film in France then Digital in the US in 4K in May. AMC dos not have the film page up yet or a list of participating theaters.

HowardBHaas on April 17, 2018 at 6:33 am

The IGN article mentions a 4k blue ray release. Whether or not released in 4k in theaters, select theaters nationwide in US already announced 70mm dates of 2001.

MarkDHite on April 17, 2018 at 7:21 am

IGN doesn’t say anything about a theatrical 4K release. It does beg the issue that these articles are so vague. But 2001 on 70mm film is touring the US this summer for sure, with some theatres having already announced dates. It would be nice for an official list, though, as the various venues are engaged for the film.

jeffpiatt on April 17, 2018 at 10:10 pm

so far all we have on 2001 is a teaser trailer with the end card just mentioning that it will play as a special engagement in select theaters in 7mm. so far it looks like the bookings are not done yet. there is also a press rlese with a hi res poster saying it will be on 70mm film. the theaters showing it will more than likely be the same ones that ran dunkirt in that format.

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