Alamo Drafthouse Opening New D.C.-Area, Aviation-Themed Theater This Month

Breaking News, Film News

Alamo Drafthouse Crystal City, the chain’s newest location and its fourth in the Washington, DC metro area, will open October 24 as the exhibitor continues to roll out sites.

This latest entrant is a 49,000-square-foot, 915-seat, aviation-themed theater at 1660 Crystal Drive in Arlington, Va., joining the Alamo Drafthouse Bryant Street in D.C. proper, and the Alamo Drafthouse One Loudoun and Alamo Drafthouse Woodbridge locations in Northern Virginia.

Crystal City features the company’s premium large-format standard called The Big Show (a 100% recliner, 237-seat auditorium with 4K laser projection system and Dolby Atmos audio).

Every Alamo cinema has a motif. In July, the chain opened a kung-fu-themed location in Staten Island, its fourth in New York City. The Flying Guillotine, a collaboration with Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA, is part bar and part martial arts museum.

Crystal City, close to the historic Washington National Airport, incorporates aviation and aviation-movie design elements throughout the lobby and hallways, including a horde of snakes attacking a plane at the entrance to The Big Show. A blue-and-white second-floor bar, Departures, with an oval bar and round booths, is meant to evoke the feeling of a vintage lounge found within an airport gate. “An outdoor patio provides views up and down Crystal Drive with the sights and sounds of nearby airplanes departing in the distance,” the company said.

Other new Alamo theaters are planned for Boston, Chicago and St. Louis.

As exhibition recovers post-Covid — a revival that’s been especially slow for arthouses — there’s been a push to make theatergoing an experience beyond just the movies. Alamo theaters, which run a mix of first-run films (both wide release and traditional arthouse), curated programming and series like Brunch Screenings, Terror Tuesday and Epic Sunday, tend to be strong industry performers with a younger demo than traditional arthouses.

The Alamo venues all serve food and drink, with Crystal City offering 25% off select items in a soft opening through October 30.

“After more than five-plus years of looking for the right location and another five-plus years of development, we are happy be opening the doors to our part of the transformation of Crystal City and National Landing as a whole,” said Anthony Coco and Joseph Edwards, co-owners of the new theater, referring to the downtown Arlington district encompassing parts of Crystal City and Pentagon City

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