Best of D.C.: Movie theaters
On Stands Now
In Washington D.C., there’s no shortage of ways to entertain yourself. Entertainment venues run the gamut from concert halls to theater companies and more. When it comes to movies, D.C. can be a movie town with most first run films on display as well as a healthy amount of art house films which pass through town. Here’s a rundown of some of the best locations to get your film fix.
1. Landmark E Street
Huddled deep in the center of D.C. is a megaplex movie house dedicated to the best films that don’t make it to the big corporate spectacle levels of AMC and Regal cinemas. Midnight showings of films often include Tommy Wiseau’s shlock classic “The Room” to a retrospective of the films of Hayao Miyazaki. Washington D.C. can seem sometimes like a town that doesn’t love its movies since the realm of politics is such a large influence. Nonetheless, Landmark E Street managed to host almost every Oscar nominated film in 2014, along with shorts and documentaries, and continues to bolster the cinematic experience with great films and a great atmosphere.
Where: 555 11th St NW #2, Washington, DC 20004
2. West End Cinema
This small and quaint theatre on M Street is tucked away inside a corporate structure. However, they manage to make sure people know they exist with ample signage. West End Cinema boasts a couple features that other theatres dream of: a dry bar as well as “the best popcorn in D.C.,” according to TBD.com. West End Cinema caters to the same tastes of potential audiences seeking an offbeat selection of films from the far reaching corners of the globe.
Where: 2301 M St NW, Washington, DC 20037
3. AMC Mazza Gallerie
Big explosions, big popcorn and big refreshment cups. Despite the large corporate atmosphere of AMC’s theatre, the Mazza branch is rather comfortable. The chairs can be your best friend with theatres so large that you could put your feet up and manage to not bother anyone. Also, AMC has begun an attempt to gather films that might not be seen at boutique movie houses, but are simply too large to have them slip away.
Where: 5300 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20015
4. Regal Gallery Place
If these AMC and Regal theatres were characters in literature, they’d both be in “A Tale of Two Cities.” With roughly the same accommodations as AMC Mazza Gallerie, this theater often outdoes the size and scale of AMC Mazza’s screening rooms. But Regal Gallery Place has the benefit of a more humane mall to walk into when you’re finished with your film. Outside is the crowd-pleasing Chipotle and a stand for frozen ices. The selection of films runs largely into the conventional first run status. But if you’re going to see a large big budget comic book film, this cinema is an ideal place.
Where: 701 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
5. Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema
Nestled in a wonderfully ornate and busy square, the theatre boasts a smaller selection of films, but larger screening rooms. Bethesda Row offers a condensed selection of films which veer toward independent and art house tastes. The more quaint surroundings lead to far more personal viewing experiences and a narrower selection than Landmark E Street, but it also means less rabble. However, Landmark Bethesda Row is a cosy area for those looking for a less dialed in experience than Landmark E Street.
Where: 7235 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814