DC’s Movie Theaters

All cities have their different flavors of movie theaters. The nice ones, the not so nice ones, the old ones, the new ones, the one that shows “artsy fartsy” movies, the one that shows blockbusters, the one with the giant screen, the one with the dollhouse sized screens. Here’s my breakdown of the theaters in DC:

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs
Union Station: Wow. I got suckered into going to a movie here once and thankfully it was a matinee. This is probably the worst place to see a movie in town, IMO. The theaters are dirty, uncomfortable (how old are those seats?), and LOUD. The cell phone activity and audience chatter is off the charts here. The only thing this place has going for it is that it’s Metro accessible, but really, they should be paying you $8 to see a movie here.

Gallery Place (China Town): Definitely an improvement on comfort over Union Station. This theater is relatively new, thus you get comfortable seats and stadium seating. The customer service has gone way downhill over time though. I remember my first visit there and how amazed I was that every employee smiled and said, “Thanks, and enjoy your movie!” Now it’s more like, “Thanks, and I hope you don’t get stabbed later!”

Gallery Place is my last resort for seeing a movie, and I’ll only go to a matinee. Night showings are so distracting that I can’t even enjoy the show. People are talking to each other and not using their “inside voices”, answering their cell phones, passing cell phones back and forth to each other, yelling out commentary on the movie. What ever happened to “Silence is Golden”? NOT my idea of a good theater experience. Oh, and good luck bringing your own food or drink into the theater. I had a $4 latte from Starbucks that I’d just purchased and they refused to let me in with it. Other theaters will let you bring in a turkey dinner for all they care.

Dupont: When I see a movie here I feel like I’m in someone’s unfinished basement. The biggest theater here would be considered tiny when compared to other movie theaters. Their smaller rooms seat about 40 people which is fine, just make sure you get there early to get a decent seat. The comfort factor here is quite low, but for me, the location makes up for it since it’s right down the street from me. I haven’t quite figured out their movie scheme though. They show small budget and foreign films but also blockbusters like Harry Potter and Ocean’s 13. Whatever. People stay off of their cell phones here which is a huge bonus in my book.

Georgetown: I was just there today in fact to see The Simpsons Movie (hilarious). This is probably my overall favorite theater in town. The seats are comfortable and clean (as clean as a theater can be), people generally keep their mouths shut during the movies and turn their cell phones off, there is ample parking if you drive, they have a good selection of movies and times, and there is a lot to do before and after the movie in Georgetown. The only drawback, which actually works in this theater’s favor, is that it isn’t Metro accessible. I usually walk there from my house which takes about 25 minutes and is good exercise (a good way to burn off the gallon of Cherry Coke I just drank).

E Street Cinema: This is a very close second for me. I mean any theater that serves beer has got to be good right? Unless that theater is the Cinema Draft House whose sound system was last updated in 1976 I think. Anyway, E Street is the place to see your “artsy fartsy” films as well as a few mainstream movies (just saw Sunshine there last night). While I like small, independent, and/or foreign films, I can only take so many subtitles before I need to see something like Batman where my brain can be idle.

Uptown: I’ve only been to this theater a couple of times, mainly because when they show a movie they really show A movie, for like two months. I’m not a Harry Potter fan or a Johnny Depp of the Caribbean fan, so it’s rare that I make the trek to this theater. One thing that draws me here though is Indique, probably my favorite Indian restaurant in town.

I’m sure I’m missing a theater or two here, but I’ll let you guys fill in the blanks. What about you, DC? What theaters do you like and why?

Photo by krisetya

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Hailing from the Mile High City, Max has also lived in Tinsel Town, the Emerald City, as well as the City of Brotherly Love. Now a District resident, he likes to write about cool photos by local photographers, the DC restaurant and bar scene, or anything else that pops into his mind.

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