March 3, 2006

With drama only equal to that of the "Rocky" film series, DC movie theaters are about to undergo yeat another transformation. Just as theaters open downtown, others are now threatened. As part of the deal to merge AMC Entertainment with Lowes Cineplex, AMC agreed to divest its AMC Union Station 9 and 4000 Wisconsin Ave. theaters. The merger is expected to close in April.

One has to wonder what the fate of the Union Station theater will be and what impact the change will have on Union Station itself. We have never really enjoyed the film going experience at Union Station. The trains rumble and the theater has always attracted a talkative crowd. (OK sometimes the comments are amusing.)

How much of an anchor is the movie theater to the Union Station development? If the theater gets a class B operator or it closes will Union Station become just a train station again? Perhaps the movie space would work better as a K Mart, like the one operated out of Penn. Station in NYC. Considering how often the tenant mix changes at Union Station, one has to question how effectively the whole project orginally was conceived back in 1988.

pix by zizzybaloobah

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