The 36-year-old MacArthur Theater reopened its doors last night, with a new three-theater interior and new management.

"We completely stripped the theater, gutted it, down to the bare brick walls and the girders in the ceiling," said Ted Pedas, co-owner of Washington Circle Theatre Corp., which in August acquired the 1946 Art Deco theater, a Washington institution, from Marvin Goldman's K-B Theater chain.

Pedas said Circle spent $750,000 to divide the building into three separate screening rooms, including a large theater with 70 mm film capability and a seating capacity of 550, and two theaters that can accommodate 180 each. The MacArthur also has a new roof, new heating, air-conditioning and plumbing systems, and new carpeting, landscaping and outdoor lighting, as well as a repaved parking lot.

The theater was inaugurated last night with a reception and the opening of three first-run movies, "The Verdict," "The Dark Crystal" and "Airplane II: The Sequel." "Our booking policy will be first-run films for all three theaters, with some foreign films and special events in the smaller theaters," Pedas said.

Pedas said the MacArthur, along with the Jenifer Theater, has booked George Lucas' "Revenge of the Jedi" for May.