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Alamo Drafthouse Cinema aiming to have its Crystal City premiere in October

Rendering of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Crystal City (Photo courtesy of Cojeaux Cinemas)

The new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Crystal City is hoping to open in October.

The Texas-based movie theater chain expects to complete construction on its nine-screen, 50,000-square-foot complex at 1660 Crystal Drive by late September, co-owner Joseph Edwards tells ARLnow, meaning it could open to the public in October.

Franchisee Cojeaux Cinemas will operate this location, as is the case with the other Alamo Drafthouses in Virginia and D.C.

The October debut is a bit of a push from its original timeline. Last year, it was initially hoped the movie theater would open by late spring. Edwards told ARLnow back in February that supply chain issues and “construction feasibility” were the cause of the several-month delay.

At the moment, the exterior of 1660 Crystal Drive remains rather blank, but signage is currently being manufactured, Edwards says. Interior construction, though, is progressing.

“The inside is moving along nicely and starting to look like an Alamo Drafthouse. We have risers ready and drapes installed in the auditoriums,” he says. “We will begin installing seats, screens and projectors in early July then as the kitchen continues to take shape through July, equipment will begin delivering in August.”

Many of the features at the Crystal City theater are already installed in the D.C. locations. That includes Barco Laser projectors, a QSC sound system, and what’s being deemed the “Big Show” — a large format auditorium with a 66 foot screen and more than 70 speakers.

A few other items have been updated since the theater chain first announced its expansion into Arlington last year, says Edwards. There will be a rollout of new recliners complete with a swivel table (as opposed to fixed) and server call buttons.

The theater recently applied for a state permit in order to serve alcohol at a themed bar, complete with cocktails, wine, and local craft beers on tap. The bar’s exact concept has yet to be announced, however.

Cojeaux Cinemas had been looking to bring an Alamo Drafthouse to Arlington for about a decade before signing on the dotted line with property owner JBG Smith in 2017. The theater is opening in a newly-renovated retail plaza known as Central District, which also includes a Solidcore, a CVS, and a now-confirmed Amazon Fresh. It’s 3-4 blocks from the future, 25,000-employee Amazon HQ2.

The Crystal City location is one of four Alamo Drafthouses that are set to open in various parts of the U.S. over the next 18 months. It will be the third in Northern Virginia.

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