Bethesda Theatre

7719 Wisconsin Avenue,
Bethesda, MD 20814

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2ndStix
2ndStix on March 28, 2014 at 4:38 am

A terrific theater. Saw a handful of movies there as a kid when it was part of the KB chain. The last movie I saw there before it became the Cinema ‘N Drafthouse was a truly abominable print of “2001: A Space Odyssey” in the autumn of 1981.

Giles
Giles on April 29, 2013 at 6:15 am

so the theater space is up and running again – for live music this time. (wonder how long it will stay open?)

Giles
Giles on March 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

the marque now states the theater will reopen in the Fall (2012) as a Jazz/Blues music venue – I think they’d also might want to branch out and include other musical genres as well – it actually might work.

Giles
Giles on July 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm

the NBC channel 4 story (which they misspelled auction as “acution”) stated that the theatre is to remain, if and when a bid/purchase is made, as a performing arts venue

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on June 17, 2010 at 12:09 am

This theater is going on the auction block as the current owners are in default on a mortgage: View link

Giles
Giles on June 8, 2010 at 9:09 pm

well… um…. even converted to showcase ‘live’ plays/musicals – this theatre is not surviving. I’m not sure where the fault lies, but it’s not able to operate under current management (or lack there of). Personally I’d book concerts and comedy acts/comedians – or even, (shock!] put a screen back up and show movies! Even in it’s current configurement, which I must admit isn’t well suited to live performances – the stage is set way too back.

sott68
sott68 on March 2, 2010 at 7:38 pm

The Cinema & Drafthouse was a great place to hang.. saw many movies there in the late 80’s, early 90’s… On Sundays they showed Redskins games and once I remember the Greaseman doing a live show – I was pretty drunk that night, so dont remember much.. there were a ton of creepy dudes there that night.
A good place to watch a cheap movie and have a few drafts. The pizza was pretty crappy but edible after a few pulls on the glass.

cshartsis
cshartsis on March 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm

I spent nearly every Saturday for several years of my childhood (the 60’s) in this theater. My mother would give me from 75 cents to a dollar and I would pay 50 cents for a double feature (usually old monster or Sci-Fi movies) and spend the rest of the loot on popcorn and candy. Kids from blocks around would come and spend their Saturday in the same place. It was here that I first learned to cope with fear. The first time I saw a monster feature there, I was frightened like I always prevously had been at monster movies. I was amazed to see that the other kids were laughing instead of being afraid. Pretty soon I started laughing with every one else. The Bethesda is where I learned to overcome fear (of monsters) as a child. This theater meant a lot to me.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on January 12, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Here, here, and here are photos from January 2008 of the Bethesda Theatre.

rlvjr
rlvjr on October 7, 2007 at 5:14 am

I saw about 2 dozen movies at this fine theatre during its heyday. One thing: Most theatres back then discounted their matinees by about 30%, but not Sidney Lust Theaters, hence not the Bethesda. I was in high school and usually near broke, so paying the higher price wasn’t easy. These days kids are rich and don’t care about prices, but learning thrift young has made me very wealthy.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on September 7, 2007 at 4:58 am

This is great news. I thought the front was just a facade leftover from what was the theater and that if you were to go past the doors, you’d be in the apartment complex! I guess I was wrong! I’m looking foward to checking out this place when it does open.

Giles
Giles on September 6, 2007 at 2:29 pm

The theatre is reopening October 8, with the ‘live’ production of the longest running off-broadway musical “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”

harrynicc
harrynicc on September 6, 2007 at 12:03 am

looks like it’s haunted to me

Giles
Giles on May 31, 2007 at 1:54 pm

what’s up with this theatre? I thought there was mention/rumour that it would reopen after the adjacent new apartments were completed as a complex for ‘live theatre’/touring productions like ‘Blue Man Group’.

teecee
teecee on September 27, 2005 at 10:59 am

National Register information & photo:
View link

BeltwayBrian
BeltwayBrian on May 24, 2005 at 10:38 pm

Will this theater reopen? Does anyone know a time schedule?

William
William on November 21, 2003 at 5:40 pm

As a movie theatre the Bethesda Theatre seated 949 people.

unknown
unknown on November 5, 2003 at 1:40 pm

As a kid in the 40’s and 50’s, we went to we see a lot of movie’s there. Please bring her back!

Thank you Fred

PaulDrury
PaulDrury on June 8, 2002 at 6:01 pm

The Bethesda Theatre is doing very well indeed under all the construction. The current owners are working diligently with the historic architects and the theatre marquee itself is currently being restored to a snapshot in time immediately after the theatre changed from BORO to Bethesda some 63 years ago.

The steel erected over the theatre to support the apartment complex is unreal. It was designed so that there will be no weight placed upon the theatre itself.

It is anticipated that the completely restored marquee will be reinstalled sometime between August 15 and October 15 subject to the current construction conditions. I’ll send new photos of the completed marquee when ready.