Uptown Theater (Washington, D.C.)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Uptown Theater
Uptown Theater, Washington, D.C.15084v.jpg
Uptown Theater (Washington, D.C.) is located in Washington, D.C.
Uptown Theater (Washington, D.C.)
Location within Washington, D.C.
General information
Architectural styleArt Deco
LocationNorthwest, Washington, D.C., United States
Coordinates38°56′06″N 77°03′31″W / 38.9349°N 77.0585°W / 38.9349; -77.0585Coordinates: 38°56′06″N 77°03′31″W / 38.9349°N 77.0585°W / 38.9349; -77.0585
Roof171 feet (52 m)
Design and construction
ArchitectJohn Jacob Zink

The Uptown Theater, known as The Uptown (formerly Cineplex Odeon Uptown or AMC Loews Uptown 1), was a single-screen movie theater in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Opened in 1936, it hosted the world premieres of such movies as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Jurassic Park. It closed in March 2020.[1][2]

Its screen was the largest commercial movie theater screen in the DC Metro area outside of the Smithsonian Institution.[1]


Opened on October 29, 1936,[3] the theater was designed by architect John Jacob Zink, whose firm designed over 200 theaters across the United States, and the 14th built by Warner Brothers in Washington, D.C.[4] The exterior is constructed of yellow and red brick and the facade is partially faced in limestone fluted panels. The limestone features typical Art Deco motifs, including zigzag patterns and floral reliefs. The marquee includes streamlined aluminum bands. The main entrance to the theater is below this marquee. Two one-story storefronts flank the theater entrances.[5]

The Uptown has a curved screen, 70 feet (21 m) by 40 feet (12 m), one of the largest in the area. The theater originally seated 1,120, but a $500,000 renovation in 1996 decreased capacity to 850. Nothing remains of the original decor.

In December 2010, the theater's Norelco 35mm/70mm projector was dismantled and replaced with a Christie Dual-Projector 3D system for the opening of Tron: Legacy.

In March 2020, AMC Theatres announced the closing of the 84-year-old theater, as AMC's lease on the space was about to expire.[6] Unlike many temporary closures hitting the D.C. region in 2020, the closure of the Uptown Theater is permanent and does not seem connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.[7]

Film premieres[edit]

Uptown in Neon Letters
Detail of Uptown Theater sign

External links[edit]

  • "Three Big Movies at the Uptown". Ghosts of DC. August 14, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2012.


  1. ^ a b Alim, Karim; Zagri, Justin; Haas, Howard B. "AMC Uptown 1". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  2. ^ Fraley, Jason (March 13, 2020). "Uptown Theater, historic host of '2001,' 'Jurassic Park' premieres, closes in DC". WTOP. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  3. ^ "Cineplex Odeon Uptown". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2005.
  4. ^ van der Tak, Jean (Spring 1994). "The Uptown Theater" (PDF). Cleveland Park Historical Society. 8 (1): 7. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  5. ^ Wood, Kathleen Sinclair (February 13, 1987). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Cleveland Park Historic District, Washington, DC" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  6. ^ "Uptown Theater, an iconic D.C. movie palace, shuts down". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  7. ^ "The Historic Uptown Theater Just Closed". DCist. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  8. ^ Sherrill, Martha; Thomas, Dana (June 11, 1990). "THE FILM, THE FLASH THE SMILE". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  9. ^ Roberts, Roxanne (June 10, 1993). "NIGHT OF THE LIVING DINOSAURS". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  10. ^ Weinraub, Judith (October 20, 1990). "COSTNER'S SIOUX CEREMONY". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  11. ^ Martin, Karen (November 23, 2018). "Dances With Wolves (1990)". Flashback. Northwest Arkansas Gazette. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  12. ^ "'The Guardian' Has Premiere in D.C." MSN Movies. MSN. Archived from the original on October 19, 2006. Retrieved September 17, 2007.
  13. ^ Klimek, Chris (August 2, 2018). "An Oral History of the Uptown Theater". Washington City Paper. Retrieved September 9, 2018.