Circle West End Theatre

1101 23rd Street NW,
Washington, DC 20037

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Loews Cineplex

Previous Names: Circle West End 1-4

Nearby Theaters

In the Spring of 1975, Circle theatre circuit purchased a 368 seat theatre that had been converted in 1969 from a church into a moviehouse. The movie theatre opened on August 17, 1977 with Craig Russell in “Outrageous”. Later, three more, smaller auditoriums were added, making this the Circle West End 1-4. In 1985, a separate theatre, the West End 5-7 was built. By the 1980’s, movies shown were mostly mainstream as arthouse films were shown at the movie theatres at Dupont Circle. Cineplex Odeon tookover when they purchased the Circle chain late in 1987. As early as the opening in 1988 by AMC of the Union Station multiplex, this theatre became obsolete. It has since closed and been demolished. The Ritz Carlton residences (next door to the hotel) was built in its place.

Contributed by Jack Coursey, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Giles on February 8, 2011 at 6:36 pm

JodarMovieFan: I remember seeing ‘Tron’ at this theatre too, but was in 35mm or 70mm, THAT aspect I can’t remember?

westendcinema on February 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Unlikely that you saw it here in 70 mm — when I took over the space, there were only three 35 mm projectors. However, cool that you saw Tron here!

Giles on February 8, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I must be confused, I’m thinking of the theatres that were closer to L Street Screens 1-4 – screen 1 to be exact, the one with the raked seats (early ‘stadium seating’) So, only Fine Arts was the closest screen that was equipped with 70mm, not at the West End 1-4 – right?

westendcinema on February 8, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Your memory is better than mine — I don’t recall seeing 70 mm in 1-4, but you might be right!

JodarMovieFan on February 8, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Sorry for not responding. Evidently, my name got booted off the contact list. As I stated above, Tron was in 35mm Dolby here and probably was the best of the venues that booked it.

If you recall in ‘82, the 70mm films in summer at the downtown theaters were: Star Trek II at the MacArthur (which I saw there more times than I will admit, but it didn’t have an entire summer run as it ran Raiders in 70mm for a week or so before closing for a remodel..I’m thinking August?), E.T. at the KB Cinema, which ran forever..I"m sure for the entire summer and probably all of fall., Poltergeist at the Embassy in 70mm, too.. I think that was it for summer. I know I saw Star Trek II in 70mm, at the Uptown, in Dec., just before Gandhi opened in 70mm.

Giles on February 8, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Poltergeist at the Embassy? – 70mmm!!, crap! why did my mom take me to see this at the Alexandria Virginia theatre – mind you there, the sound (the rear speaker we sat under) was near assaultive – I went to all the wrong theaters :( … well not all, Star Trek II. E.T., and Gandhi (70mm for all three) at the right theaters.

thebigfoist on October 31, 2011 at 2:05 am

Anyone have an idea how many seats this place had in total after expanding? And what year did it formally close?

righter40 on January 6, 2014 at 10:23 pm

I managed this theatre in 1989. Theatre #1 was a true stadium seat theatre. Theatres 2,3,and 4 were upstairs. Lobby was small but complex held regional offices for Cineplex Odeon.

rivest266 on July 1, 2015 at 12:32 pm

August 17th, 1977 grand opening ad in photo section.

smalzz on August 5, 2016 at 2:35 am

I broke my heart the day I drove by here and discovered it had been torn down. This is the place where I got turned on to independent films such as Raising Arizona and Slamdance and Kiss Of The Spiderwoman. Saw a few films at the sister location, including one of my all-time favorites, The Hidden.

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