Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is planning to open its Crystal City location about a year from now.
Set to be located at 1660 Crystal Drive, the nine-screen, 50,000-square-foot Alamo Drafthouse National Landing will be near a new CVS, Solidcore, and likely linked to a specialty grocery store (perhaps Amazon Fresh).
Just last week, the Texas-based movie theater chain announced it was emerging from bankruptcy and poised to open a number of new theaters, including two in the D.C-area. The Crystal City location is currently expected to open in May or June 2022, theater representatives confirm to ARLnow.
The other new theater will be in Northeast D.C.’s Edgewood neighborhood. That one is planning a November 2021 opening.
Founded in 1997, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has nearly 40 locations while marketing itself as a movie-lover’s oasis, complete with craft beers and locally-sourced snacks.
The theater in Crystal City will be operated by a franchisee, Cojeaux Cinemas. The company operates three other Alamo Drafthouse franchises in Virginia as well as the new D.C. location.
Cojeaux Cinemas has had an eye on the Arlington market for the better part of a decade, but jumped at a deal a few years ago amid an opportunity presented itself.
“We signed this deal in 2017 when JBG Smith gained control of Crystal City,” Joseph Edwards, co-owner Cojeaux Cinemas, tells ARLnow. “We had confidence in their vision and their people to transition the market by bringing tenants like us in to rebalance the overall mix of office, residential, retail and entertainment, creating a more modernized urban area that will draw from all the surrounding areas.”
Just last week, JBG Smith released an investor relations video detailing its ambitious plans for National Landing.
JBG Smith has nearly finished its portion of the work on the building that will house the movie theater, and Cojeaux Cinemas will start the interior build-out within the next couple of months, Edwards said. The theaters will all have laser projectors, large recliners with individual tables, and call buttons to request service (“quietly and seamlessly during the show”).
There will also be a themed bar with the exact concept still in development.
As the operator of other Virginia theaters, the last year has been an immense challenge, Cojeaux co-owner Anthony Coco concedes. But they are confident that folks are ready to go back to the movies.
“Having seen some fantastic box office numbers, like we saw last weekend, it is clear that movie goers are ready to get back in cinemas,” writes Coco. “And enjoy the craveable, one of a kind experience that Alamo Drafthouse provides its guests.”