56 Comment

  • Honestly, if they aren’t going to restore it to be an arena as it historically was, I’d rather see it sit empty than be further bastardized.

    • Why would someone spend in the range of a hundred million bucks to build something DC doesn’t need, nor will get any use. They might as well simply create a 100 million dollar pile of money in the parking lot outside and set it aflame.

      DC isn’t exactly lacking in arena space, and with it being next to the metro I would prefer something with more density, some more office/residential etc, but a large cineplex and associated retail would certainly be an upgrade over whats there

      • Nope, an arena this size would be nice. To attract bands for which places such as the Verizon Center are too large, but venues like the 9:30 Club or Black Cat are too small. And don’t say Constitution Hall, because that place sucks for music.

  • Its right off a metro, but if Union Station couldn’t hold a theater I’m not sure this will work. I’d frequent it though as I work a few blocks away.

    • Agreed, I would rather go to Union Station to see a movie, you have other options of things to do there as well and a beautiful building. the Uline is nothing special unless it spurs major redevelopment in NOMA which would be cool.

      • Have you seen NoMa lately? I guess since I work down there I have a different perspective, but the boom is on. The area around New York Ave Metro has several shops including Harris Teeter and Tynan with more to come.

        I think that a multi-use facility- maybe a movie theater and/or music venue and/or club- would be a great addition and solidify this area as a destination in the District.

  • Awesome! For those of you who are new to DC (or not so new)this is where the Beatles played their first US concert in 1964 when it was called the Washington Coliseum. Appears there was talk at some point of making it a Beatles museum.

  • I think another version of the 930 Club would be better use of the space, esp for that part of town.

    • agreed. not sure a movie theater would be a good fit with this space/area, without more shopping/entertainment/restaurants (other than lunch spots) nearby.

    • Yes, this. I am not sure on the capacity, but renovate it and turn it in to a mid sized venue seating more than 9:30 but less than Verizon, etc. No more driving out to the Patriot Center for bands that draw that size crowd.

  • big enough space for a stadium for DC United?

  • This would be awesome, and there’s no way they would build it except as part of a development with additional retail and restaurants. (As the article says, if you read it)

  • Nope… Lets turn it into a giant Z burger!!!!!!

  • With attendance at movies down and 3D proving not to be the draw studios thought it would be I kind of question this as a sound investment.
    Which would lead me to wonder what would its life be after the theater closes?
    I agree a 930 club venue would be better – as having to travel to the ‘burbs to see biggers shows is annoying.

    • A movie theater would be great! NOMA is getting increasinly dense as buildings go up – so there is a growing population in the area that would patronise it. And, presumably, it would draw from the surrounding older neighborhoods as well. As someone who lives on the eastern side of Shaw, I would love to have a theater within walking distance!

  • Movie theater? those dont make money anymore.

    Why dont they make it a food court full of cupcake places and frozen yogurt places?

  • PoP: Stop monitoring my thoughts!!!! Just yesterday I drove by it and thought it was a chame that it i being used for indoor parking…

    So please stop with the mind probing! Don’t make me have to put my Aluminum-lined hat on!!!!

  • They should turn it into public housing.

  • They should not turn it into public housing.

  • I would love a movie theater! It would be nice to have the option to go somewhere other than Georgetown or Chinatown, especially on a Friday night when popular shows are likely to be sold out. Perhaps some sort of combo of a major multiplex that also offered some indie fare would do well in that neighborhood. I also like the idea of a concert venue.

  • Two words:


    (in 3-D)

  • A movie theater there would flop, for the same reason why the Union Station flopped and why Chinatown’s is a flop. The neighborhood is changing, but there aren’t enough people to support a theater. They should just level the place and build a soccer stadium for DC United or build more condos and townhouses.

    • I don’t see how Chinatown’s Regal is a flop. Seems to be the most popular movie theater in the metro area.

      • It’s absolutely not a flop, it’s the only multiplex in DC that’s on a Metro line. Sure, they might suffer if someone actually decides to open a multiplex in the DCUSA complex, but until then, they’re fine.

        • Being on the Metro is no garantee of long-term success – the Union Station theaters were on the Metro and where are they now? I think if the Union Station theaters died, there’s no way movie theaters in Uline will even get built, much less succeed.

          • UMMM HELLO?! Union Station’s theatre being defunct is not a representation of how movie theatres can perform in the District. Yes it was once DC’s only major movie theatre, but it closed because it became VERY GHETTO! This new theatre is not going to be ghetto just because it’s in a Black neighborhood, I agree that it needs to be accompanied by other retail, new housing and an overall multi-use complex….but comparing this to UNION STATION is like comparing Adele to Britney Spears.

          • Remember though the Union Station theater was a total mess in many, many ways. There’s no speaking to the clientele who would attend movies in NoMa, but maybe it could at least be a nice, state of the art theater.

          • it closed because it became very ghetto?

            so what measures are in place now that would eliminate that possibility?

  • That area is desperate for public housing. I really think they should convert it into some sort of public housing complex. They could probably still make part of it a movie theater. maybe one or two screens under ground and the rest public housing.

    • No, it’s not. It’s desperate for some gentrification.

      • so every neighborhood must be gentrified? full of white people jogging and walking dogs at midnight? please. That building has more character than any metal and glass condo midrise on U street

        • Yes, gentrified. except full of people -of all colors- jogging and walking dogs at midnight.

        • you smal world view could use expanding. gentrification is not just for the whitey.

          you should see that at a distance before it blindsides you.

  • Union Station flopped because everyone got sick and tired of trying to watch a movie while a bunch of fucking teenagers scream and shout their way through it.

  • Good God, I saw the Beatles there when I was a little nothing. It was snowing like hell and my father sat beside me with cotton in his ears to block the screaming. When I looked at him he was asleep. When I got older I’d spend my weekends there watching the roller derby. Despite all the nostalgia, I can’t see any reason to keep it.

    • Ringling Brothers used to play there too, in the olden days when they were still feuding with Abe Pollin and he wouldn’t let them play the Cap Center. They used to hire high shcool kids to usher and I used to be jealous of my older brothers who got to do that.

  • Dude they should totally tear this down and build a ampitheater/pavilion like the one in Charlottesville. Yes we have Carter Barren, but that is hard to get to unless you have a car. This could host bands bigger than the 930 club could allow and plays/shows smaller than Verizon/Kennedy Center.

  • andy

    looks like the right size for a Wal-Mart to me!

    (I have closer movie theaters so I don’t actually care.)

  • It really needs to be an indoor, reasonably rentable turf field. Soccer, kickball, football whatever.

    As long as it’s not dominated by youth leagues.

  • do people still go to movies?

  • I’d say it’s a little early in the “scuttlebutt” cycle, as Dan regularly calls such things, to say this is a possibility. I’d put it at 11.35%. Does that square with your numbers? 🙂

  • Its been landmarked, so it won’t be torn down.
    Music venues already looked at it, and no go.

    Next idea please.

    If it wasn’t landmarked I would just tear it down.

    • yea, landmarked with Graffiti. Tear that mess down and build a proper music venue or public indoor ice skating/roller skating rink

  • How about an Eataly!
    Mario – are you listening?

  • austindc

    Could it be a mixed use space? I know it’s a really big building, so maybe it could cater to different kinds of events. I am thinking of the Coolidge theater in Boston which plays movies, has concerts, and hosts seminars and authors and stuff like that. Alternatively, I would love to see a cinema draft house here in the district where you can get some chow and beers while watching movies.

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