3426 Connecticut Ave. NW
The interior of the Uptown in Cleveland Park doesn’t exactly match this magnificent building’s art deco exterior, but no one seems to care; the Uptown is the most popular place in DC to catch a movie, mainly because it boasts the very definition of “big screen”—a 40- by 70-foot curved screen designed to show Cinerama and widescreen Panavision films. It hosted the world premiere of 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968.
The Uptown also offers that rarest of movie-house seating options nowadays: a balcony.
The Uptown is the one place in DC where theatergoers are likely to encounter attendees in costume; for days following the first screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, audience members showed up in wizard finery or sporting Gryffindor scarves.
The Uptown is far from a movie palace, however. The lobby and the concession stands are tiny, although a moveable cart that sells sodas and candy helps sate the hungry, and the bathrooms, on the second floor, while clean, are the only ones in the theater and nearly always have a line.
During the world premiere of The Guardian, actress Sela Ward joined the mass exodus from the theater to the restrooms, but she looked less than happy. No one was willing to ask whether this was because she very publicly had to stand in line or because much of her performance wound up on the cutting-room floor.