Janus 3 Theatre
1660 Connecticut Avenue NW,
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The Janus I & II opened on July 2, 1965, on the first floor of a late-1950’s-era office building located in the DuPont Circle neighborhood of Washington. The opening film was Michel Auclair in “Symphony for a Massacre” (aka The Corrupt). It was designed by architects John Louis Field and Hugh N. Jacobsen as an independent twin theater, one of the first twins to be built in the DC area. Its auditoriums sat 180 and 153. It was known for showing off-beat and avant garde films, and the Janus Film Society hosted midnight Saturday and noon Sunday screenings in its earlier years.
In late-1980 a third screen was added. It was acquired by Cineplex Odeon (later Loews-Cineplex) in March 1994. The theatre was nicked named the “Heinous Janus” by Washingtonians due to the theatre’s less-than-stellar decor, its strangely sloped floors which were not quite stadium seating, and a column in the center of one of the original auditoriums. Still, it was one of the few theatres in the city which, even after ceasing to operate as an independent, screened a varied mix of first-run and more unusual films until the end.
When the Janus 3 Theatre was shuttered in 2002 by Loews, ironically, one of the last films playing there was “Hollywood Ending”. A restaurant has since taken over the former theatre space.
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