No, McLean Bible Church isn’t buying the Uptown

There was some hullaballoo this afternoon on DC Drinking Liberally, and the Cleveland Park Yahoo Group about the McLean Bible Church buying the Uptown Theatre. Not happening. The Uptown is merely being rented on Sunday mornings as an outreach service to the public.

Fear not, you can still get your Godless Heathen on while watching Transformers.

For now.

6 Comments so far

  1. darpino (unregistered) on July 19th, 2007 @ 12:49 am

    “Fear not, you can still get your Godless Heathen on while watching Transformers.”

    If only that were true…

  2. James (unregistered) on July 19th, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

    This is kind of exciting. McLean does a lot of community service in the areas they are and I think a location in DC will do a lot to build community in our notoriously individualistic city.

  3. James (unregistered) on July 19th, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

    This is kind of exciting. McLean does a lot of community service in the areas they are and I think a location in DC will do a lot to build community in our individualistic and transient area of DC

  4. Robert (unregistered) on July 19th, 2007 @ 6:03 pm

    Some other blogs are going crazy about this and I posted on them, but thought I would share more than one time today. As a student in DC and a follower of Jesus one of the things that is most talked about in my circles is that Christians don’t follow the example of Christ. The famous quote from Gandhi saying something like: “I would be a Christian if I ever saw someone living it out” is said time and time again. After all of this blog frenzy started (DCist is going crazy) I decided to go to their website and take a look ( and under their missions section is talks about how they are involved in development programs in Africa…bono would be proud! One of the first links on their website is for a program that works with disabled kids, they are even building a whole center out in VA for kids that are disabled. I also saw that they box up 8000 or so thanksgiving dinners for people in need in DC. One comment I always hear from my friends is that people don’t like Christians because they don’t act like they are supposed to. People always say..Ya Know Jesus hung out with prostitutes…why don’t Christians today? I think we should all give the folks out at McLean a chance and hear from them what they have to say and what they have to offer…

  5. Kelli (unregistered) on July 19th, 2007 @ 8:29 pm

    As a resident of Cleveland Park and also an attendee of McLean Bible Church I just want to say that I think having McLean here will be a good thing. I don’t think the traffic will be that bad, the church is telling everyone to ride the metro or take a bus. Most of the Church’s activities will be done before the majority of Cleveland Park residents even wake up and it will add an influx to business in the area. Honestly, look down our strip…there are five empty store front locations. Maybe church goers will add more buisness to our local restaurants. Also I know many friends who wish they could attend Mclean services both from Cleveland Park and also from other areas of DC and MD but cant because it is too far away or they don’t have a car. I think this location of the church can actually be good for many of our residents.

  6. Jon Q. (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 2:51 pm

    I just started going to Mclean last December, and overall, I like it–though it is a rather large church, meaning you could get lost in the crowd if you aren’t careful, which is why they emphasize getting into a small group. And I would think expanding into more locations would help that as well.

    While I think that concerns about parking may not be entirely misplaced, I would imagine that the majority of people who would attend MBC at the Uptown would be coming via Metro–after all, the stop is right there, and there are a lot of people who would find that more convenient than driving. I know I would.

    Also, this actually is an interesting situation, historically speaking. When movie theaters (and their predecessors, the magic lantern show) were in their early stages–think late nineteenth/early twentieth century), many proprietors would actually rent out church halls, schools, etc. to show their movies when services weren’t being held. One might be surprised to learn that, in the 40s and 50s, many churches throughout the country also used drive-in theaters on Sunday mornings to attract a different demographic–primarily those who were handicapped, or unable to attend a regular church service. If you’re interested, check out Kerry Segrave’s Drive-In Theaters: A History from their Inception in 1933, and Kathryn Fuller’s At the Picture Show: Small Town Audiences and the Creation of Movie Fan Culture. (Yes, I’m a history grad student, and those were some sources I used in a paper last fall. I know, geeky. But still interesting)

    It does seem unfortunate that there was no communication with the community (as far as what I’ve read, anyways) regarding the use of the Uptown for services. Hopefully this won’t become a sore point in the relationship between the church and the community as a whole.

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