Uptown Theater

3426 Connecticut Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20008

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Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on September 6, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Howard when I looked this theater up a few times on AMC web page it showed they only had 1 or 2 shows daily which is what they did with the AMC Palace in Philly before it closed. So I am glad to hear they aren’t looking to close it. I wish I would hit Powerball big I would buy the Ziegfeld and this theater.

Giles
Giles on September 5, 2014 at 9:49 pm

NO —– IMAX-Lite !! [pulls hair out]– in doing that, they’d get stuck with all the crap IMAX exclusive titles i.e, ‘Teenage Mutant Turtles’.

I don’t know why AMC is thumbing it’s nose up at Atmos, when quite a number of past Atmos mixed films have played here. Personally I think Auro’s sound format is akin to the marketing and release of Kodak’s CDS sound all over again – they went tail up. They like to claim they have studio backing, but I don’t see it…

I think AMC is playing it cheap but one, not being more aggressive to the installation of Dolby Atmos – at least two other theaters that have balconies have figured out how to configure Atmos (and the speaker placement) around it.

Two: the Uptown should be considering what the Seattle Cinerama is doing now, upgrading to Christie’s new 4K laser projector system, but again, I don’t see AMC jumping up and down spending MORE money here at the Uptown for additional upgrades.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on September 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm

I doubt they’d close the Uptown. Even if its losing money, as long as its not a ton of money, you’ve got other theaters in the area under AMC that aren’t.

On the other hand, is it confirmed the old 35/70mm Norelcos, or whatever projection they had to play 70mm is really gone? Or just pushed aside to make room for the digital projector? Then we’d know for sure if classics would ever be shown again here..at least in 70mm. The extreme curved screen would be a waste if it were..hint installation of a smaller flat one? Nooooo. ;)

As I’ve said in previous post, IMAX-lite would be a much better fit here, if it can be decently shown on the curve then the other installs, imho. Dolby Atmos installed..hmmm. Think of the possibilities.

If they could do it at the Cinerama in Seattle, why not here? I guess it depends on if AMC has the guts and funds to do it to make it worthwhile. If it becomes something technologically superior (at least until the next BIG thing comes along) to whats shown around the beltway, it could revive this place despite the lack of parking.

No one has blogged about Doug Trumbull’s new higher frame rate super DP system that I believe made its debut at the Cinerama the other month. I wanted to go just to see how immersive the brighter, hyperrealistic experience could be but couldn’t make it :P If he ever gets it commercially going, the Uptown would be a nice place to outfit it if its possible given its current condition.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on September 5, 2014 at 4:22 pm

to richmurphy-

I guess no matter how well reviewed or not a roadshow film was its theatrical shelf life still varied from city to city. now I don’t remember how long Circus World’s roadshow run was at the Warner Cinerama at Bway & 47 St. but it was most certainly longer than 3 weeks. so I’m guessing whatever merits the film may have had were more inviting to NYC moviegoers than D.C. moviegoers. still a roadshow run of only 3 weeks especially for a big well publicized film regardless of whether is was Oscar material still seems inordinately short. hey the biggest roadshow disappointment in the prime Oct. 1955 thru Dec. 1972 period in Manhattan was Half a Sixpence which ran 6 weeks.

Giles
Giles on September 5, 2014 at 3:20 pm

I got a Facebook message from AMC that stated they are in the process of figuring how to upgrade the sound system. It implied that it wouldn’t be Dolby Atmos but nor did the explicitly state Auto 11.1 either

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on September 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Please be clear. Did AMC state they will close this theater?

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on September 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm

It really concerns me that AMC will close this theater. Does it do well?

richmurphy
richmurphy on September 5, 2014 at 3:49 am

Thanks to Coate for bringing back many memories to me. One quibble: I believe the moveover engagement of HELLO DOLLY, the EIGHTY DAYS/WEST SIDE STORY double feature, and at least the beginning of the FIDDLER engagement were all 35mm. Prior to 1981’s RAGTIME, the Uptown manually added masking onto its Cinerama screen for 35mm engagements. I remember being disappointed with DOLLY, since I loved the opulent sets on the Warner’s screen and was looking forward to seeing it on the full Uptown screen.

As for CIRCUS WORLD, this holds a particular memory for me. My father called the Uptown to ask what times the film played, and the person at the boxoffice sarcastically told him, “What time can you come?” My family laughed at that, but later realized why the joke was made when we had the theatre almost to ourselves.

mike8105
mike8105 on August 23, 2014 at 5:47 pm

I recall that Earnest Borgnine attended an invitational premiere of “Ice Station Zebra” in 1969 at the Uptown. It benefited the Navy Relief Fund I believe — a charity of which Mr. Borgnine was fond. Senator Edward Kennedy attended along with many other dignitaries.

raysson
raysson on August 6, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Impressive information. Michael Coate has done it again!

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on August 6, 2014 at 11:45 am

to Coate-

again many many thanks for the list of the other D.C. houses the studios used for roadshow engagements. it was rather kind of you to do so. added to the Uptown list you kindly provided for me I guess this covers all the prime Oct.1955-Dec.1972 roadshow engagements. also when you have a spare moment I would greatly appreciate your take on why Circus World’s roadshow run at the Uptown lasted only 3 weeks whereas other hyped roadshow epics which likewise received critically mixed reviews sometimes lasted 15-20 weeks.thanks in advance.

Coate
Coate on August 6, 2014 at 2:55 am

bigjoe59….

WARNER
THIS IS CINERAMA
CINERAMA HOLIDAY
SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
SEARCH FOR PARADISE
WINDJAMMER
SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
THE BIG FISHERMAN
BEN-HUR
SPARTACUS
KING OF KINGS
JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG
EL CID
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY
CLEOPATRA
THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
MY FAIR LADY
DOCTOR ZHIVAGO
HAWAII
CAMELOT
DOCTOR DOLITTLE
STAR!
HELLO, DOLLY!

APEX
LORD JIM
THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES
IS PARIS BURNING?
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
GONE WITH THE WIND (1967 re-issue)
FINIAN’S RAINBOW
THE LION IN WINTER
GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS
PAINT YOUR WAGON
PATTON
NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA

ONTARIO
RAINTREE COUNTY
THE LONGEST DAY
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
BECKET
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
THE SAND PEBBLES
THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE
THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE
HALF A SIXPENCE
WAR AND PEACE
FUNNY GIRL

MACARTHUR
A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS
OLIVER!
SONG OF NORWAY
YOUNG WINSTON

L’ENFANT
THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN
BEN-HUR (1969 re-issue)

TRANS-LUX
THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI
THE CARDINAL

AVALON
LAST TANGO IN PARIS

CINEMA
FUNNY GIRL (moveover from Ontario)

COLUMBIA
GIGI

KEITH’S
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

PALACE
IN HARM’S WAY

PLAYHOUSE
THE BLUE MAX

TOWN
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on August 5, 2014 at 4:16 pm

to Coate-

many many thanks for your detailed list. it was quite kind of you. since you appear to be quite well versed on the subject a two part question.

*during the prime roadshow era(Oct. 1955-Dec.1972) Manhattan had 7 large 1st run venues that the studios used for roadshow engagements-Criterion, Loew’s State, RKO Palace, Demille ,Warner, Rivoli and the Loew’s Captiol. while it would be nice to have as detailed a list per the Uptown for all of D.C.’s roadshow houses that’s asking a bit much so could you at least name what other D.C. houses were used by the studios for roadshow runs.thanks.

*I’m not saying it was Oscar material or one of the best large scale action epics but Circus World’s 3 week roadshow rum seems inordinately short. I don’t know how long its roadshow run at the Warner Cinerama was but it was way longer than 3 weeks. you would figure with all the pre-lease hype for CW and whatever advance sales were in place before opening night what’s up. again I’m not saying it was Oscar material or one of the great large scale action epics but there were a number of roadshow epics in New York that got a mixed critical response but still ran for 15-20 weeks.
so what’s with CW’s 3 week D.C. roadshow run?

Coate
Coate on August 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm

bigjoe59… Here’s my work-in-progress listing of the time period you’re asking about. The roadshow bookings are in bold.

1956-11-01 … OKLAHOMA! <23 weeks> 70mm

1957-04-08 … AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS <51> 70mm

1958-04-01 … SOUTH PACIFIC <32> 70mm
1958-11-12 … THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA <6>
1958-12-23 … SOUTH PACIFIC <8> 70mm

1959-02-18 … SLEEPING BEAUTY <11> 70mm
1959-05-06 … SAYONARA <2>
1959-05-19 … THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK <5> stereo
1959-06-24 … AUNTIE MAME <1>
1959-07-02 … THE BIG CIRCUS <5>
1959-08-07 … THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK <1> stereo
1959-08-14 … INDISCREET <9>
1959-10-14 … PORGY AND BESS <12> 70mm

1960-01-06 … PILLOW TALK <1>
1960-01-14 … BELOVED INFIDEL <1>
1960-01-21 … A SUMMER PLACE <1>
1960-01-28 … THE LAST ANGRY MAN <1>
1960-02-04 … LIBEL <1>
1960-02-11 … ANATOMY OF A MURDER <1>
1960-02-19 … NEVER SO FEW <1>
1960-02-26 … LI’L ABNER <1>
1960-03-03 … ROOM AT THE TOP <1>
1960-03-10 … SOME LIKE IT HOT <1>
1960-03-17 … ON THE BEACH <1>
1960-03-24 … THE MOUSE THAT ROARED <1>
1960-03-31 … OPERATION PETTICOAT <2>
1960-04-13 … THE SHAGGY DOG <4 days>
1960-04-17 … DAMN YANKEES <3 days>
1960-04-20 … BELL BOOK AND CANDLE <2 days>
1960-04-22 … THE BRAMBLE BUSH <1>
1960-04-28 … WHO WAS THAT LADY? <1>
1960-05-06 … THE SWORD AND THE CROSS <1>
1960-05-13 … WILD STRAWBERRIES <2>
1960-05-25 … CAN-CAN <19> 70mm
1960-10-06 … SUNRISE AT CAMPOBELLO <8>
1960-12-01 … EMBEZZLED HEAVEN <3>
1960-12-23 … THE ALAMO <8> 70mm

1961-02-20 … EXODUS <18> 70mm
1961-06-28 … SPARTACUS moveover from Warner <11 (35)> 70mm
1961-09-15 … FANNY <6>
1961-10-25 … UPSTAIRS AND DOWNSTAIRS <1>
1961-11-03 … CAROUSEL <2> stereo
1961-11-14 … WEST SIDE STORY <42> 70mm

1962-09-04 … theater closed <9>
1962-11-07 … THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM <18> Cinerama

1963-03-14 … HOW THE WEST WAS WON <44> Cinerama

1964-02-19 … IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD <36> “Cinerama”
1964-10-28 … CIRCUS WORLD <3> “Cinerama”
1964-11-20 … LILI <5>
1964-12-25 … FATHER GOOSE <10>

1965-03-10 … THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD <19> “Cinerama”
1965-07-20 … THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL <9> “Cinerama”
1965-09-22 … MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY <6> “Cinerama”
1965-11-03 … THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY <18> 70mm

1966-03-09 … BATTLE OF THE BULGE <15> “Cinerama”
1966-06-23 … KHARTOUM <13> “Cinerama”
1966-09-21 … JOHN F. KENNEDY: YEARS OF LIGHTNING, DAY OF DRUMS <5>
1966-10-26 … THE BIBLE: IN THE BEGINNING… <29> 70mm

1967-05-24 … GRAND PRIX <21> “Cinerama”
1967-10-19 … FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD <14> 70mm

1968-01-26 … LOVE MATES <3>
1968-02-16 … GRAND SLAM <2>
1968-03-01 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO <5>
1968-04-02 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY <52> “Cinerama”

1969-04-02 … ICE STATION ZEBRA <12> “Cinerama”
1969-06-25 … SWEET CHARITY <13> 70mm
1969-09-24 … A MAN AND A WOMAN / BELLE DE JOUR <1>
1969-10-01 … JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN <1>
1969-10-10 … CAN HEIRONYMUS MERKIN EVER FORGET… <1>
1969-10-17 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO <1>
1969-10-22 … THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT <4>
1969-11-19 … DON’T DRINK THE WATER <5>
1969-12-24 … MARRY ME! MARRY ME! <2>

1970-01-07 … TRILOGY <?>
1970-??–?? … GONE WITH THE WIND <?> 70mm
1970-02-08 … MAROONED <10> 70mm
1970-04-22 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY <5> 70mm
1970-05-27 … HELLO, DOLLY! moveover from Warner <17 (40)> 70mm
1970-09-24 … TORA! TORA! TORA! <20> 70mm

1971-02-10 … THE LAST VALLEY <2> 70mm
1971-02-24 … MY FAIR LADY <6> 70mm
1971-04-07 … WATERLOO <7> 70mm
1971-05-26 … RED SKY AT MORNING <2>
1971-06-09 … DR. NO / FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE <3>
1971-06-30 … MURPHY’S WAR <3>
1971-07-21 … EVEL KNIEVEL <5>
1971-08-25 … GONE WITH THE WIND <4> 70mm
1971-09-22 … WINDJAMMER <2>
1971-10-06 … AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS / WEST SIDE STORY <5> 70mm
1971-11-10 … FIDDLER ON THE ROOF <57> 70mm

1972-12-13 … MAN OF LA MANCHA <18> 70mm

1973-04-18 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY <8> 70mm
1973-06-13 … FIDDLER ON THE ROOF <2> 70mm
1973-06-27 … JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR <14> stereo
1973-10-03 … THIS IS CINERAMA <6> 70mm

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on April 11, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Hello From NYC-

I was under the assumption that the Uptown was a 1st run venue from the get go. but I read it was actually built as a grand neighborhood theater and
only became a 1st run venue with the advent of the modern roadshow era in the fall of 1955. so is there a way of finding a list of all the roadshow films that played the Uptown?

Giles
Giles on April 10, 2014 at 9:02 pm

I can’t tell if it was a shoddy 3D presentation or what, but the non-3D presentation of ‘Monuments Men’ looked fantastic here at the Uptown. ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ though, today, was another matter entirely. The image seemed too dark at times, like not enough light was being thrown on the screen. Secondly, for a 2.35 film, the image on the sides were somehow slightly cropped, as well as the top looking a tad too cramped in a couple of scenes. This wasn’t the case for the 2.35 AR of ‘Monuments Men’ so I’m sure why this was happening at today’s screening – for the most part I was underwhelmed (thankfully the movie itself was a blast and negated the negative technical flaws). AMC I seriously doubt would do this, but the Uptown could be a top notch theater if they upgraded to feature Dolby Atmos sound – if the Dolby theater and the El Capitan (which has balconies) can be outfitted as such, the Uptown could also be upgraded. Since the screen is on the tall side – the extra height channels and the reinstallation of the left/center, right/center channels of sound could provide better pinpointing of sound on such a large screen … anyhow that’s just a pipe dream in my mind.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on January 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

Mike, a week ago, I enjoyed American Hustle here. Of course, you can google for the film listings. There are often 3 D films showcased here.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on January 6, 2014 at 8:36 am

Are films still being shown here?

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on May 23, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Uptown is currently showing new Star Trek Into the Darkness movies, in 2D & 3D showings. Last I asked, late 2011, the curtain motor had broke & the company wasn’t repairing it.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on May 23, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Does AMC still use the curtains at this theater? LAst i looked they only had one show a day.Not a good sign.

DC
DC on May 21, 2013 at 7:17 pm

This theater holds so many memories for me. The premiere’s of many great films including 2001:A Space Odyssey, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, and Fiddler On the Roof, all in the 1960’s. The mother of my school mate at the time was a child herself during WWII in Japan, and some of the scenes in Fiddler reminded her of wartime in Japan bringing tears to her eyes as the lights came up at intermission.

In the 1980’s and 90’s I also saw the restored re-release of Rear Window here and Vertigo. Spartacus was also shown here with Jean Simmons in attendance.

terrystephen
terrystephen on December 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Hello, fans of The Uptown! Some years ago I took a snapshot of The Uptown, and I’ve turned that snapshot into a painting. To view, go to Facebook.com/ArtByTerryStephen

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on September 15, 2012 at 8:47 am

Classic films, including 70mm always looks better on bigger screen venues like here, unless its a true 70mm film..filmed in 65mm and NOT a blow up. I remember seeing many 70mm films here, almost all blow ups and wondering why there was so much grain. Grain is one of those detractions that hinder the best theatrical experiences. On the other hand, the saving grace was the six-track stereo sound track that envelopes and draws you into the movie. Even some of the worst movies I’ve ever seen were decent theatrical ‘experiences’ because of the immersive sound and picture.

Raiders would’ve been nice to see again on the Uptown’s bigger screen. Unfortunately, I had to miss it this time around. A one week run is too short.

Giles
Giles on September 14, 2012 at 11:11 am

or let Cinemark run it and let them do their great Thursday ‘Classic Series’ film showcase.

Giles
Giles on September 14, 2012 at 11:06 am

but even AMC’s non-booking of say the one off ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ screening on the 4th of October or even the Indiana Jones marathon (tomorrow) convey’s that AMC doesn’t care or want to make the effort to present alternate programming on a screen that needs (and deserves) it. Honestly, I kind of wish AMC would wipe it’s hands of the theater and let someone like the folk over at the Avalon take over and book films like the Castro does.