Uptown Theater – The Old Time Hollywood Place In Washington, DC
December 25, 2009 Leave a comment
I just saw the movie AVATAR in Uptown theater and decided to write about such an iconic movie theater of ours in DC. I am surprised there are still many people in Washington, DC metro have no knowledge of the place.
Uptown theater boasts an old school Cinema-Scope screen and the splendor and the majesty of a film shown on it aren’t lost on me–ever. I love this theater. The first movie I watched there was “Sea of Love” back in 1989. If you’ve never seen a movie at Uptown, you got to give it a try, and then have dinner at one of the great restaurants in the area – very Metro accessible, so no excuses!
Uptown theater is one of the finest screen in DC area and I would say in the country. It opened by Warner Brothers in 1936. The theater is the last movie palace in Washington, DC still showing first-run films. It is located near the Cleveland Park subway stop on the Red Line of the Metro (map).
The theater opened with a seating capacity of 1,364 (914 seats in the orchestra and 450 in the stadium seated balcony). The Uptown Theater was designed by theater architect John Zink, a top designer of Art Deco and Art Modern style movie houses.
You have to see at least one film in this old school one huge curved screen per theater, velvet tassels on red curtains that open and close for film showings, downstairs + balcony seating, film title and showings out in the front, stand in lines on the side-walk outside, theater. There are a few historic theaters in DC like the Avalon, but only this one consistently shows big blockbusters on a gigantic screen!!
The theater has a nice design scheme so that most people can get a nice unobstructed view of the screen. Factor in that it’s a great facility to begin with, and you’ve got a nice movie experience. If I ever care to see another movie while it’s still in theaters, it should be at the Uptown.
I usually sit in the balcony, but downstairs is as great as the balcony. Only for those movies I chose to fully immerse myself in the experience by sitting down low. But the balcony offers such an amazing view and the screen really shows its stuff off when you are up there. The best part of the balcony is when I can sit in the front row and put my feet on the edge in front of me. The huge curved screen makes it a great place to watch action movies, or scary movies, or Where the Wild Things Are. Even though this is my neighborhood theater, going to the movies here feels like more of an event than going to any megaplex in the area. Watching movies in Uptown theater is truly the way movies ought to be watched. Where else can you sit in the balcony and soak in tons of old-school charm?
Here is a TIP – If you’re a huge fan of a movie, you’ll want to come to this theater opening weekend. Come super early for big blockbusters, like AVATAR films may require coming an hour or slightly more early with tickets in hand to get the best seats. Then enjoy watching a movie with the people that also love watching movies. The community is the one of the theater’s best perks for going here on opening weekends. If you are truly a fan of a certain movie, there will be others like you here and you may have similar tastes in movies. Applause is normal when like-minded audiences enjoy a beautifully cut trailer AND there’s little peanut gallery disturbances.