the chorister's c

Washington detours



last update: Wednesday, 18 May 2005

last link check: Monday 31 March 2003

With 1996's closing of Georgetown's Biograph (to be ignominiously converted into a CVS drug store), and 1997's loss of the Key Theatre, there precious few commercial art houses remaining in the metro area. With all of its quirks, the Key was one of my favorite places in the city. Hélas. But no one mourned, including me, the passing of the dank, cramped Foundry.

The Landmark chain has recently opened stadium-style theaters in Bethesda and downtown D.C. The movies return to Georgetown with a multi-screen Loews, which mixes commercial and indie/foreign releases. Neighborhood activists have resuscitated the Avalon in Northwest D.C. And a Cineplex Odeon property was taken independent as the Cinema Arts Theatre in Fairfax, Virginia.

AFI SIlver For foreign and repertory films, there are a couple of other choices. The American Film Institute has moved into the old Silver Theatre in Silver Spring with a three-screen facility. Films are also screened, less frequently, in the East Building Auditorium of the National Gallery of Art. The National Gallery offerings are wildly eclectic, and have included the Kieslowski Decalogue, L'avventura, and (of course) artists' documentaries. Movies at the National Gallery are free, and seating is general admission: for a popular film, plan to arrive about 45 minutes before showtime.


AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center
8633 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD
redSilver Spring


National Gallery of Art, East Building
4th Street & Constitution Avenue, N.W.
redGallery Place  greenyellowArchives   blueorangeFederal Triangle

The Loews Cineplex chain has dominated the District cinema landscape, and has a strong presence in the suburbs too. As multiplexes go, the seven-screen Shirlington location is not bad, specializing in independent flicks.


Loews Cineplex Shirlington
2772 S. Randolph Street
Arlington, VA

Filmfest DC happens every spring.

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©1997-2003 David L. Gorsline.
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