Avalon Theatre

5612 Connecticut Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20015

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DavidZornig on November 10, 2021 at 7:53 pm

Two 2014 Flickr photos.


DavidZornig on February 8, 2020 at 8:59 pm

Article about saving D.C. theatres.


Giles on June 2, 2019 at 6:52 pm

This comment is more reference to JodarMovieFan’s comment way back in 2004 in mentioning the HPS-4000 sound system installed for ‘Fantasia’ as a re-release in 1985; and I also remember the Richard Dreyfuss/Emilio Estevez comedy pic ‘Stakeout’ being presented as such here.

What’s interesting in doing research over the system online, is that a variant and progression of the system actually never fully went away but merged and reconfigured to newer digital systems and theaters:

2010: The HPS-4000 theatres at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor are converted to digital cinema. John F. Allen upgrades the sound systems with all new processors as well as amplifiers and personally supervises the soundtrack preparation.

and nearer on the East Coast close to the Washington DC area:

2017 The National Museum of the the United States Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia opens a new large format theatre. High Performance Stereo is chosen to provide the sound system. John Allen designs a new 15 channel sound system that employs 11 channels behind the 70 by 50 foot screen, plus four surround channels. This marks the first time such a large screen image has had an equally large sound image behind it. This installation has the acoustic power of 36 symphony orchestras and is the most powerful HPS-4000® sound system in the world. https://www.hps4000.com/pages/history_.html

Anyhow, I just thought this was interesting cinematic ‘sound’ history, part of which included the Avalon Theatre.

Giles on January 6, 2015 at 11:42 am

not real recent comment but I have say, ‘Gone Girl’s immersive 7.1 surround soundmix really showed off auditorium 1’s sound system to fantastic effect.

My fingers are crossed that the acclaimed Russian film ‘Leviathan’ which is opening later in the month will be shown on screen 1, since Sony is releasing the DCP’s of this in 4K.

Giles on May 3, 2014 at 10:35 am

was at Thursday’s screening of the new Kevin Spacey documentary film with him in attendance and during the Q&A the curtains were used to conceal the screen – with light streaming up, the redness of the curtains was just beautiful – wish I had gotten a picture of that.

HowardBHaas on June 14, 2013 at 4:44 am

from Avalon email yesterday- On June 24th, the Avalon will begin the project to install elevator access to Avalon 2 as the final project funded by the Avalon Legacy Campaign. In addition, the downstairs and upstairs lobby areas of theater 2 will be renovated, and new, fully accessible bathrooms will replace the existing restrooms.

Giles on May 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm

saw ‘Renoir’ on screen 1 last night via the new Christie DLP digital projector and it both looked and sounded fantastic. Great brightness, color and the lossless audio complimented and brought out the best of what digital projection can do with a film that is actually shot in 35mm. Technical note: screen one’s projector is upgradable to playback 4K DCP’s and supposedly set up to also feature 7.1 audio (although I wasn’t able to hear ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ which did play on screen 1, but was bumped to screen 2 for this week). Screen 2 projector is also a Christie projector; a Solaria One to be exact.

Giles on April 4, 2013 at 7:16 am

on April 28th, the Avalon Double Anniversary Celebration is occurring with the screening of ‘Side by Side’ followed by a post film Q&A with the Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday (and others) to support the theaters transition to digital projection.

Giles on July 28, 2012 at 9:37 pm

holy batman! The presentation of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ really demonstrated the loudness levels the speakers could handle here at the Avalon – even though the Dolby Digital 5.1 is not lossless audio when compared to sound from digital projection – the bass was powerful and relentless.

Giles on December 30, 2011 at 7:50 pm

as I recall I think the Swedish version only played at E Street, I could be wrong though. Fincher’s version though really has a great 5.1 soundmix and the 5K photography transferred to 35mm looked equally impressive. Interesting to note that the presentation of Aki Kaurismaki’s ‘Le Havre’ (one of favorite films of this year) is digital – which is odd since E Street’s projected 35mm, I’d be very curious to compare the two since the film in ‘film form’ has striking bold ‘technicolor’ look to it.

HowardBHaas on December 30, 2011 at 10:20 am

Enjoyed the new “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” at the Avalon on Wednesday. The surround system is excellent! Was the Swedish version of the movie shown here?

dickneeds111 on December 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I saw HUGO in marvelous 2D and could not see why it was even in 3D. Only 2 scenes in the whole movie that I saw would have needed to be seen in 3D if at all. 3D movies are so overrated. I am glad that my local twin does not have 3d capability. I remember 3D in the 50’s and 70’s when you didn’t have to pay extra. What a ripoff.

Giles on December 15, 2011 at 12:36 pm

the train wreck scene in ‘Super 8’ sounded amazing on the Avalon’s soundsystem – now if that had been 7.1 lossless digital sound it would have torn a hole in the walls

HowardBHaas on December 15, 2011 at 10:54 am

Great surround sound is important! And, yes, I’d hope for 4k rather than 2k for the main auditorium.

Giles on December 15, 2011 at 10:54 am

speaking of ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ Landmark’s website is advertising for it’s DC theaters that the film will be opening down at the Lincoln Theater (!?!) next Wednesday: “whAAAAt?!”

Giles on December 15, 2011 at 10:37 am

the only ‘War Horse’ DC engagement I see so far is over at Landmark Bethesda. I already saw ‘Hugo’ (in 3D and in 7.1 surround sound) anyway, so it’s a moot point for me. The Avalon doesn’t need 3D conversion but it’d be nice if they get a 4K DLP / 7.1 system to really push it toward’s state of the art status.

HowardBHaas on December 15, 2011 at 9:22 am

Giles, many people including myself aren’t bothering with 3D. As I will be in DC for a few days, I’m looking forward to seeing “The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo” at the historic Avalon. Interesting enough, “The Girl” will also be at Baltimore’s Senator. AMC’s website indicates the new “Mission Impossible” will be at the Uptown. I didn’t see “War Horse” yet online in DC, but since it is listed that it will be at the Ziegfeld….

Giles on December 15, 2011 at 8:12 am

interesting to see the theatre desperately advertising ‘Hugo’ on it’s webpage as “Projected in glorious 35mm 2D” – obviously since Scorsese shot it in 3D. 35mm 2D might seem as a letdown. Shame that the Avalon was supposed to get both ‘The Descendants’ and ‘War Horse’ but didn’t – at least they successfully booked ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’

Giles on December 4, 2011 at 10:33 am

they are also weighing in the cost/budget for the eventual digital conversion of both screens – sad but true, 35mm is on it’s last legs – and for one studio 2012 is the last year they will strike movies in film (35mm) print form

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on December 3, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Beautiful theatre, so good to see it is being taken care of and loved by the people of Washington DC. Maybe they will even fix the curtain.

Giles on April 29, 2011 at 5:17 am

Dear Friend of the Avalon,

We are writing to share two exciting announcements:

• The Avalon Legacy Campaign has reached $1.8 million!
• The Give Us a Lift initiative to fund the elevator project has been completed!

We are hopeful that we can complete the elevator project in 2012. This will be an exciting and challenging process and we will keep you informed as progress is made.

The next focus of our fundraising efforts will be the funding of new HVAC systems. The current system is a high maintenance, low energy efficiency unit that is operating well past its useful life. An upgrade is an essential infrastructure improvement and cost-saving opportunity for the theater.

The list below shows what we have already accomplished and the work that lies ahead:
• Completed- Jun 2008! Reduced the building mortgage by $200,000
• Completed- Apr 2009! Built out and opened the Avalon Theatre Café
• Completed- Oct 2009! Repaired the crumbling vault space and Café sidewalk
• Completed- Nov 2009! Replaced the building’s electrical infrastructure
• Completed- Sep 2010! Restored the Avalon 1 ceiling
• To do: Install an elevator to Avalon 2 â€" funding obtained
• To do: Install an enhanced lighting system in Avalon 1
• To do: Upgrade to energy efficient heating and cooling systems
• To do: Reduce the building mortgage by an additional $350,000

We are $200,000 away from the $2.0 million goal and we are hopeful that we can reach that goal in 2012, the 90th anniversary of the building of the Avalon!

There is another piece of great news! Stone Soup Films recently produced a promotional film for the Avalon. I invite you to view it at: theavalon.org/about. I hope you will agree that this is a wonderful marketing tool as we carry on with the Campaign.

We are so grateful for your interest in and support of the Avalon. If you would like to learn more about the Campaign or make a donation, click on the links below.

See you at the Avalon!

Bill Oberdorfer, Executive Director
Sarah Pokempner, Campaign Manager

Giles on October 2, 2010 at 8:05 pm

saw ‘The Social Network’ last night and the repainted ceiling and mural look fantastic!!

CSWalczak on October 2, 2010 at 5:16 am

An article about the experience of going to the theater: View link

Giles on June 1, 2010 at 2:17 pm

special martini drinks are on sale at the concession/bar in with the theme of ‘Sex and the City 2’

Giles on May 26, 2010 at 8:35 pm

on a different topic, the restored ‘Metropolis’ will be shown a week starting July 9th – woohoo!!