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Alamo Drafthouse to open in Crystal City next week

Alamo Drafthouse Crystal City (photo courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse)

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is finally making its Crystal City premiere next week.

The upscale theater chain announced today (Wednesday) that it’s opening its Crystal City location on Monday, October 24. The theater first revealed its move to Arlington more than five years ago.

The nearly 50,000-square-foot complex at 1660 Crystal Drive is framed by an exterior marquee and a lit-up vertical sign. Inside, it has 9 theaters and 915 seats, all equipped with swivel tables, power recliners, and server call buttons. There’s one particular large theater called “The Big Show,” essentially a large format screen with lots of speakers.

The Crystal City location is also aviation-themed, taking its cue from the theater’s proximity to Reagan National Airport.

“Each Alamo Drafthouse location has a unique interior theme, and the D.C. team was inspired by the theater’s proximity to the historic Washington National Airport when designing Alamo Drafthouse Crystal City,” says a press release. “From aviation design elements throughout the lobby and hallways, to a horde of snakes attacking a plane at the entrance to The Big Show, the theme continues throughout the building and completely takes flight in the theater’s specialty bar, Departures.”

The 50-person second-floor, airport-themed bar overlooking Crystal Drive “evokes the feeling of a vintage lounge found within an airport gate.”

Departures’ blue and white coloring, wallpaper, and design of the round booths adjacent to the bar itself are intended “to transport guests back to the heyday of air travel.” It also will have a menu full of “signature aviation-themed cocktails.”

Flight-inspired movie posters and props decorate the entire theater as well.

Alamo Drafthouse is known for its special programming and events and the Crystal City location is planning its own assortment, including brunch screenings and “Terror Tuesdays.”

“Terror Tuesday uncovers an eclectic mix of horror and strange discoveries from the genre fringes,” notes the release.

The theater in Crystal City has been a long time coming. It was initially supposed to debut in the spring, but supply chain challenges and “construction feasibility” pushed the opening back about six months. ARLnow first reported over the summer that the plan was to open in October.

This will mark the fourth Alamo Drafthouse in the region, with other locations in D.C., Ashburn, and Woodbridge.

“After more than five plus years of looking for the right location and another five plus years of development, we are happy [to] be opening the doors to our part of the transformation of Crystal City and National Landing as a whole,” wrote co-owners Anthony Coco and Joseph Edwards in the press release.

“The theater’s theme, lobby bar Departures, and The Big Show spaces have come together to create something special and unique to this location, the co-owners continued. “Add on the Alamo Drafthouse’s top-of-the-line audio/visual presentation, unique programming, and unparalleled food and beverage service, and the Crystal City theater will provide an unrivaled out-of-home experience that we can’t wait to deliver to our guests.”

The first screening is set for 4:30 p.m. on Monday. It will be “Black Adam,” a superhero movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

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