The Uptown – In Festival Run

The Uptown Theater is a historic touchstone waiting to be brought back to life. Once an original 3-projector Cinerama theater, The Uptown hosted the premieres of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Jurassic Park” on their opening nights, with crowds stretching around the block and over some. It was a cherished landmark to both cinephiles and DC neighbors for almost 100 years.

In March of 2020, The Uptown closed its doors and has remained shuttered ever since. What remains is a single vacant auditorium seemingly devoid of any life — decades of history wrapped up and settled in whatever walls remained.

But despite its locked doors and concealed windows, The Uptown Theater still has screenings of its own. Every afternoon, apparitions come to life on the curved screen, dancing in a horizontal choreography — growing, shrinking, spinning –– without anyone to see them, creating spectacular scenes without any projectors at all. Just refracted light and an extensive blank screen.

The Theater still has life left. It is just waiting for someone to unlock it again.

dir. Izzy Rael
dp. Peter Hou

35mm 4-perf


Director / Cinematographer