Metropolitan Theatre

934 F Street NW,
Washington, DC 20004

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DavidZornig on March 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Just added a circa 1920 photo. Might be the same one that was posted by Lost Memory in 2007, but that link is now dead.

BobFurmanek on October 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm

The Metropolitan was one of two theaters in Washington to play Alfred Hitchcock’s DIAL M FOR MURDER in 2-D, without glasses. I’ve posted an ad for opening day, May 27, 1954.

More information can be found in this article:

sconnell1 on March 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I made a mistake. I should have said the Metropolitan played “Brothers Grimm”, and not the Ambassador.

sconnell1 on March 30, 2012 at 11:30 am

In 1963 when the Ambassador ran “Brothers Grimm” the Uptown theater was the only D.C. theater equipped to show 3-Strip (3 camera, 3 projector) Cinerama. It was running “How the West Was Won” which continued there until January of 1964 when it closed for approximately six weeks. During that time the 3-strip Cinerama equipment was removed and replaced with the 70mm projection system that had been there before. I don’t know if the Metropolitan had any 70mm projection sysem for “Cheyenne Autumn”, but I doubt it.

dickneeds111 on March 30, 2012 at 9:42 am

Having been to the Metropolitun in 1960-61 I would like to know if it was 70mm Equipped. According to the listing above they played 1st run on Cheyenne Autumn and a re-release of Brothers Grimm(I imagine this was a general release anamorphic print). I don’t know of anyone anywhere running Dial M For Murder in 3-D. I don’t believe it was ever released in that format until the 1990’s. It played here in Boston at the Coolidge Corner in the 90’s in 3-D and was advertised as being the 1st time being shown in 3-D.

kencmcintyre on June 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm

This site has some vintage exterior photos:

sconnell1 on June 10, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Between June 15-June 24 of 1961, the Metropolitan played THE RAT RACE while the Ambassador played BECAUSE THEY’RE YOUNG.

The Metropolitan was closed between September 6 and October 4 of 1961. The Ambassador played COME SEPTEMBER.

Between June 12-July 2 of 1963, the Metropolitan played THE WONDERUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM while the Ambassador played WEST SIDE STORY.

Between May 20-July 7 of 1964, the Metropolitan played the first run of WHAT A WAY TO GO while the Ambassador played a series of second-run features.

Between November 18-December 22 of 1964, the Metropolitan played the first run of GOODBYE CHARLIE while the Ambassador played a series of second-run features.

Between April 14-May 11, the Metropolitan played the first run of CHEYENNE AUTUMN while the Ambassador continued with its first run of JOHN GOLDFARB, PLEASE COME HOME.

jflundy on February 12, 2009 at 12:59 pm Link will take you to large format photo from January 1921, attraction Poli Negri in “Passion”.

BobFurmanek on October 4, 2007 at 7:39 am

“I remember seeing Hitchcock’s DIAL M FOR MURDER here in 3-D. It was the only 3-D ever made by Hitchcock, but after the first 3 days the 3-D version was pulled and replaced by a regular print.”

Sorry rlvjr, you’re mistaken. We’ve been trying to locate documentation of any 3-D playdates for this film. When I read your post, I arranged to look at microfilm from Washington.

DIAL M opened flat at the Metropolitan, just as it did in every other major city across the country. In fact, the newspaper ads emphasized that you can “See it without glasses.”

Bob Furmanek
Vice President
3-D Film Preservation Fund

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 29, 2007 at 10:48 am

Far be it to me to defend anything printed in the Washington ComPost (pile), but perhaps what the reporter described as a “mezzanine” at the Metropolitan Theatre was actually the front of the big balcony. It was common in many theatres with only one balcony to refer to the front section as the “mezzanine”. This only applies if there was a cross-aisle spanning the width of the balcony behind the front section. I don’t know if such a cross-aisle existed at the Metropolitan. Also note the difference between the actual seating capacity and that reported in the newspaper article.

rlvjr on August 18, 2007 at 1:54 pm

Obviously the Washington Post wasn’t any more accurate in 1918 than they are today. The Metropolitan never had a mezzanine AND balcony, just a balcony —– but a big one. Anyone reading the Post ought to know they insist on calling CASABLANCA a “B movie.” When a reader tried to set them straight, the tenaciously pig-headed Post once again spat out the same nonsense, calling it a B movie — albiet the best B movie ever.

I remember seeing Hitchcock’s DIAL M FOR MURDER here in 3-D. It was the only 3-D ever made by Hitchcock, but after the first 3 days the 3-D version was pulled and replaced by a regular print. If you ever take the Universal tour they’ll tell you DAIL M never played anywhere in 3-D even though made in that process.

kencmcintyre on December 12, 2006 at 3:04 pm

Here is an article about the Metropolitan from the 1/06/18 edition of the Washington Post:

Crandall’s Metropolitan Theater, now in the course of erection at F and Tenth streets, in which all right and title was purchased by Harry M. Crandall, Barry Bulkley and R. W. Bulkley, will throw open its doors to the public of Washington about the middle of February. This new and handsome addition to the amusement houses of the nation’s Capital covers approximately 10,000 square feet. The entrance is on F Street, the lobby extending back 30 feet to a rotunda promenade leading directly to the auditorium proper of the theater, which, extending at a direct right angle, covers the remainder of the property to Tenth Street. This affords an immense area on the first floor, the plans calling for 1,200 seats on the orchestra level alone.

Extending over half of this space is hung the cantilever balcony and mezzanine. Private boxes and loge seats will occupy the entire mezzanine. The arrangement of the balcony is novel in that it consists of a series of rises reached by a system of ornamental fireproof tunnels or promenades. This is declared to be utilizing such manner of balcony approaches for the first time in theater construction in the United States.

The mezzanine floor will have a seating capacity of more than 300, while the balcony will seat approximately 700, giving the theater a total seating capacity of over 2,200. This makes the Metropolitan the largest theater in Washington. The house is of fireproof construction throughout, and the general lines and architectural plan is of the Adams period. The front of the theater on F Street is of Pompeian art brick with Tennessee limestone trimmings. The foyer and rotunda promenade are of highly polished grey—veined Vermont marble finished with carved ornamental New Hampshire granite. The interior decorations will be in rich tones of old rose and medieval ivory heightened with gold. On each floor of the theater will be a broad, spacious promenade handsomely appointed and lavishly furnished.

The Metropolitan Theater will be strictly a motion picture house and Mr. Crandall has already arranged for the first Washington showing of many photographic productions featuring the well known stars of the film and stage worlds. The theater was designed by Reginald W. Geare and was built by Frank L. Wagner. In the transaction P. A. Drury has conveyed to H. M. Crandall nineteen parcels of real estate for a consideration of $175,000. The negotiations were conducted through the real estate office of Moore & Hill, Inc.

rlvjr on June 17, 2005 at 5:30 am

Amazingly, the STANLEY WARNER company spent the money in 1961 to restore the multi-colored trim-painting throughout the building. Almost all such things (whether in banks or any other old buildings) are usually just painted-over in white. Beautiful job. WARNER’s usually put the best films at the nearby WARNER THEATRE (now open and thriving). The MET closed in 1968 when Washington DC’s theatre district was killed by the Martin Luther King Riot when vandals and thieves took it upon themselves to burn and loot at will. This area would remain a mess for 20+ years, and NO, I haven’t forgiven the vandals, or those who allowed and excused their crimes.