District of Columbia

By Matt Slovick
Washingtonpost.com Staff
August 2001


    Uptown The Uptown from its main level. (Courtesy Cineplex Odeon)
Uptown Theater (Cineplex Odeon)
3426 Connecticut Ave. NW

It's still the place to go to see a movie in Washington. Heck, George Lucas chose it as one of the 75 theaters in the country to premiere the "Phantom Menance" trailer. The Uptown has the biggest screen – about 70 feet by 40 feet – the largest seating capacity (840 seats), a balcony with stadium seating and state-of-the-art sound. It's also the last of the 15 art deco-style theaters that were built in the District during the '30s and '40s. Parking isn't great, but the Cleveland Park Metro stop is a block away.

Mazza Gallerie (General Cinema Corporation)
5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW

The theater is the only venue in the District with all stadium seating and all digital sound. All seven houses have THX certification for top-quality sound. Its special Club Cinema has leather seats, a full-service bar and sandwiches. It's also the most-expensive theater in the region, charging $9.75 after 6 p.m. and $12.50 for the Cinema Club.

Cinema (Cineplex Odeon)
5100 Wisconsin Ave.

Another single-screener that's hard to beat. It ranks second to the Uptown in screen size and number of seats, and its excellent sound is cranked out of 24 speakers. Renovations in 1997 made the place wheelchair accessible. A rear lot has free parking after 6 p.m., and the Friendship Heights Metro stop is less than two blocks away.

Wisconsin Avenue Cinemas 6 (Cineplex Odeon)
4000 Wisconsin Ave.

The multiplex has two standout theaters. They seat 495 and 450 people and have earned THX certification, a label reserved for houses with top-quality sound. Even its small theater has 190 seats. The concession stand spans one side of the big lobby, and the wide hallways outside of the theaters have places to sit. The theater is also easy to access: A parking garage is next door; the Tenleytown-American University Metro stop is about six blocks away.

Union Station (American Multi-Cinema)
50 Massachusetts Ave. NW

The largest of the multiplexes in the District has Digital sound, fantastic access plus all those shops and restaurants at Union Station. The wide hallways have high ceilings, and each house is named after a former Washington theater and is fronted by an old-fashioned facade. All nine theaters can show films in SDDS, two have DTS and two SRD. The large Grand has been stamped with THX certification. Of course, Union Station means Metro, MARC and Amtrak all stop there. Plus, an adjacent parking garage is available 24 hours.

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