The UPTOWN Sign *UPDATE 7/31: AMC will keep the sign!*

Uptown Theater opening night, October 1936AMC Theaters spokesman Ryan Noonan issued this statement this afternoon: In response to community feedback, AMC will maintain the Uptown signage, with an upgrade to LED lighting for better energy efficiency and to ensure the sign remains in good working order. We continue to evaluate additional exterior signage plans, including the addition of the AMC brand on the theatre. We appreciate the passion and feedback from the community, and look forward to serving moviegoers at AMC Uptown 1 for years to come.”

The DC Historic Preservation Office (HPO) has canceled AMC’s application and will require a new application from them for any further signage they may propose, as well as for the proposed change to LED for the Uptown sign. Once HPO has received an application with the specifics of the proposed change, if they determine that a change in lighting technology would not alter the character of the sign, they will approve it administratively. If they believe there would be a change to the character of the sign, they will send it to the neighborhood (ARC and ANC) for review. We will update when we know more.

Thanks to everyone who wrote to AMC, contacted them via social media, and expressed concern to us and love for the Uptown’s iconic sign. And special thanks to ANC Commissioner Emma Hersh for being out in front on this issue all weekend.

Original post:

CPHS is aware of the application by AMC to replace the iconic sign on Cleveland Park’s 1936 Uptown Theater. We have received an outpouring of concern and support for saving the sign, which has graced the theater through 81 years and many changes of ownership. We are working with ANC commissioners and the Art Deco Society of Washington to respond. The next steps are to determine exactly what is proposed and the timeline for its review.

The Uptown is part of the Cleveland Park Historic District and any change to its exterior is subject to review by the DC Historic Preservation Review Board. (Read more about review procedures here.) We will post here as soon as possible a schedule of public meetings and other ways for concerned neighbors to respond.