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While movie theaters all over the country—including the AMC Union Station 9—showed the new Star Wars film, The Phantom Menace, at precisely midnight last Wednesday, the projector at Cleveland Park’s Uptown Theater remained silent. The Force had apparently met an immovable object: the determination of Cleveland Park NIMBYites. Neighbors pummelled the theater with complaints when it featured midweek late-night showings of the Star Wars trilogy in the spring of 1997, says Bob Jones, a regional director for Loews Cineplex Entertainment. And they went “absolutely bonkers” when the Uptown ran consecutive showings of Independence Day 24 hours a day three summers ago, says advisory neighborhood commissioner Alan Blevins. After years of complaints, Jones says Loews decided to do away with the late-night shows during the week, but the Uptown still has 1 a.m. showings on Friday and Saturday. “It’s kind of a goodwill gesture to the people of Cleveland Park,” he says.
Reporting by Dan Avery, Laura Lang, Amanda Ripley, and Michael Schaffer.
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