This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.
Where can you watch the latest blockbuster movies, attend a local film festival, or catch a live comedy show, all while enjoying a modern, full-service restaurant and bar? If you live in Arlington, it’s right around the corner!
The Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse is a unique combination of a full restaurant located inside a screening theater. Here, customers can enjoy a full restaurant and bar menu, complete with tableside service, while relaxing in oversized, lounge-style chairs. The “Drafthouse” replaced the Arlington Theater or “Old Arlington” as it was affectionately known in 1985.
The building itself is over 90 years old. Tucked behind the large movie screen, you can find the original theater stage equipped with lighting, storage and a green room.
This theater has had a rich history of entertaining D.C. and Virginia residents with great movies and local, live entertainment. According to the owners, if you look back over the last 70+ years and picked your most favorite movies, it is likely they have been featured here. Even better, the Drafthouse in 2016 expanded to launch “Drafthouse Comedy,” a unique comedy arts theater featuring everything from local standup to Comedy Giants like Carlos Mencia and Chris Kattan.
The very first thing you’ll read — in bright yellow — on the Drafthouse restaurant web page is to “Arrive Early And Order Early.” That’s because you, your date and the other 270 plus guests the Drafhouse accommodates will want to taste every section of the expertly-curated menu.
Start with appetizers like the Bavarian Pretzels with Spicy Queso, or the oversized Drafhouse Breadsticks dripping with cheese, pomodoro sauce, and marinara on the side. For your entree, you can’t go wrong with the hearty Asian Chicken or Beet salads, or the California Dreamin’ Flatbread, bursting with flavor thanks to its spicy pesto, grilled chicken and artichoke hearts.
Carnivores will love the BBQ Bacon Burger or the Buffalo Chicken Wrap, while vegetarian and vegan guests will appreciate the Spicy Veggie Burger — also available as a wrap — and the optional gluten-free Cauliflower Crust for vegan flatbreads.
Wash your delicious food down with Drafthouse signature drinks like the Pulp Fiction cocktail with grape vodka, casis, Sprite, and Blue Curacao; or the Sex & The City Martini, with cosmo citrus vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and fresh lime. Watching your favorite sports team?
Drafthouse has you covered with pitchers, bombers and tallboy cans of seasonal and local draft beers including Devil’s Backbone, Flying Dog and DC Brau — and also a full wine list for a lighter refreshment. You don’t even have to take our word for it — just ask one of the dozens of Yelp reviewers, like Louise:
“I’m usually not at all a fan of “bar/Bavarian-style pretzels” as they are typically too doughy and flavorless – but the pretzels are AMAZING. Flavorful, buttery, fluffy – they taste like larger versions of Auntie Anne’s pretzels. YUM.”
Wow! The Drafthouse’s reviews are almost as glowing as ours.
According to Owner Tim Clark, it’s the comedy that makes the Drafthouse truly special — from the national headlining acts to the local artists. Tim, who is partial to the seasonal and local draft beers at the theater, says his goal is to create a casual, relaxing environment where people can take a break from the stress of their day while enjoying the convenience of a full-service kitchen and bar at their seat.
So whether you need a good laugh, a date night, or a friends’ night out, come join us at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse — click here to plan your visit!
The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse is closing out the winter with a full lineup of popular comedians.
The Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) will boast a fair number of familiar faces over the course of the next month.
- Ricky Velez, of “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” and “Master of None,” tonight and Saturday (Feb. 16)
- Carlos Mencia, of “Mind of Mencia,” Feb. 21-23
- Hal Sparks, of “Talk Soup” and “Queer as Folk,” March 1-2
- Brian Posehn, of new Netflix special “The Fartist,” March 7-9
- Chris Kattan, of “Saturday Night Live” and “Night at the Roxbury,” March 15-16
- Ahmed Ahmed, of “Sullivan and Sons” and “Swingers,” March 22-23
- London Brown, of “Ballers,” March 29-30
The Drafthouse will also hold another edition of its regular “Spoons, Toons & Booze” series on Feb. 23-24, offering select episodes of popular Saturday morning cartoon series along with boozy beverages and an all-you-can-eat cereal bar.
The DC Film Society also plans to host its 27th annual “And The Winner Is…” Oscar watch party at the Drafthouse, starting at 8 p.m. on Feb. 24.
Comedians from hit TV shows and movies are coming to Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) over the next month.
Aasif Mandvi from The Daily Show is set to perform mid-December. He joins a lineup of comedians featuring Darrell Hammond, one of the longest running cast members on Saturday Night Live, and Bobby Lee from Chelsea Lately.
The Drafthouse schedule includes:
- Natasha Leggero of Comedy Central and He’s Just Not That Into You (Nov. 16-17)
- Alonzo Bodden of Last Comic Standing and Scary Movie 4 (Nov. 23-24)
- Bobby Lee of Chelsea Lately and The Dictator (Nov. 29-Dec. 1)
- Darrell Hammond of Saturday Night Live and Law & Order: SVU (Dec. 7-8)
- Aasif Mandvi of The Daily Show and A Series of Unfortunate Events (Dec. 14-15)
In addition to the stellar comedy lineup, the Drafthouse is holding a holiday-themed cartoon viewing event for grown-ups. The “Spoons, Toons & Booze Christmas Special” will offer holiday-themed episodes of popular Saturday morning cartoon series along with boozy beverages and an all-you-can-eat cereal bar.
Audience members are encouraged to dress in their “ugliest holiday sweater or coziest PJs” for photos with Santa Claus. They also can compete in contests to choose what to watch from the selection of more than 100 cartoon series from the 1940s to early 2000s. The event is scheduled for noon Dec. 8-9. Tickets are $15.
For even more Christmas cheer, an all-day movie festival on Dec. 16 will show half of a dozen holiday favorites.
The list of movies features:
- The Polar Express
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas
- Miracle on 34th Street
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- Bad Santa
Tickets are $10.
Photo via Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse
Mediterranean-themed restaurant Caspi is replacing the Moroccan eatery and hookah bar, Mazagan Restaurant, next to the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse.
Located at 2901 Columbia Pike location, Mazagan Restaurant was purchased last week and will be replaced with a restaurant featuring a menu of Mediterranean and European cuisine, one of the owners told ARLnow. He added that the restaurant is aiming for a soft opening this coming weekend, followed by a grand opening in late November.
A peek inside the windows reveals a torn apart inside with construction tools and signs of major renovation. A Virginia liquor license application from Huseynov and Sam LLC is posted in the window facing Columbia Pike.
The Found Footage Festival is coming to Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) with a new “After Dark” show.
The festival is a touring showcase of VHS footage, from the strange to the hilarious. Many are found in garage sales, thrift stores and dumpsters across North America, then curated by The Onion and The Colbert Report veterans Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher.
The After Dark show compiles 25 years of footage collections into a show that includes live commentary and where-are-they-now updates.
The show at the Drafthouse is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $14.
Highlights of “After Dark” include:
- The intro video for a hunky tag team wrestling duo from Memphis called The Fabulous One
- A fitness program featuring Angela Lansbury in a bubble bath
- The foul-mouthed outtakes of Winnebago pitch man Jack Rebney
- A young Arnold Schwarzenegger seductively feeding a woman a carrot in a 1984 travel video for Rio de Janeiro
Photo via Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
The Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) has confirmed performances from a variety of well-known stand-ups over the coming months.
Darrell Hammond, a staple of “Saturday Night Live” with a famous impression of President Donald Trump, will swing by from Dec. 7-8.
The venue will also play host to Natasha Leggero from Nov. 16-17. She’s the creator and star of Comedy Central’s “Another Period,” and recently co-starred in the Showtime series “DICE.”
Earlier that month, SNL veteran and longtime TV actor Jay Mohr will appear at the Drafthouse. He’s slated to perform from Nov. 1-2.
The Drafthouse has its full lineup of events available on its website.
The Arlington Cinema Drafthouse’s marquee may be gone with the wind, at least temporarily, but that likely will not diminish the boldfaced comedy names coming to the theater over the next couple of weeks.
Next week, on Friday and Saturday (March 16-17), T.J. Miller will perform. The Silicon Valley and Deadpool star, who has been in the news recently for the wrong reasons, will bring his brand of “absurdist observational stand-up” to the Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike).
The following Friday and Saturday (March 23-24), actor and comedian David Alan Grier, of In Living Color fame, will perform.
Tickets for each range from $25-35.
The westbound lanes of Columbia Pike are temporarily closed due to damage to the outside of the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike).
On traffic cameras, the front panel of the Drafthouse’s marquee sign, which announces upcoming acts, could be seen dangling precariously in the wind. Firefighters are currently working to secure it and reopen the roadway ahead of rush hour.
While traffic is being diverted, there is another road hazard nearby. According to scanner reports, a large tree has fallen across 8th Street S. near the intersection with S. Walter Reed Drive.
More views of the dangling Drafthouse sign:
— Marcos W (@HockeyTarheel) March 2, 2018
#Windmageddon strikes again! Damage to the Arlington Cinema Draft House, caused lanes of the Pike to be shut down while crews cleared the hazard. All lanes of Columbia Pike are now open. pic.twitter.com/kozDkGUz1u
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) March 2, 2018
Update at 3:20 p.m. — All lanes of Columbia Pike have reopened. A photo of the tree down on 8th Street S. is below.
Next week the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse will be hosting an alternative to the traditional Valentine’s Day sit-down dinner: stand-up comedy and a showing of “The Princess Bride”
There will be two showings of both on Wednesday, Feb. 14. Doors will first open at 6 p.m., with the stand-up starting at 7 p.m. and the movie beginning at 7:30 p.m. For the second showing, doors will open at 9:30 p.m., the stand-up will start at 9:45 p.m. and the screening will begin at 10:15 p.m.
Tickets are value-priced, according to the Drafthouse’s website.
“Only $10 — inconceivable!” the website says.
The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Douglas Park resident Dan Hauser.
I wanted to thank Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse for a really lovely gesture.
I took my four-year-old son to see the Last Jedi on December 30. (If any of the staff at the Drafthouse happen to see this, he was the kid wearing the army clothes and army helmet… it looked like he was going to the premiere of Saving Private Ryan.)
He was so excited! He was sitting on the edge of his seat, eating popcorn and drinking lemonade, and giggling all throughout the movie.
When the movie ended and the credits started to roll, Pete, the manager, asked my son if he might like something from Star Wars. He walked us across the stage and into a little office. He then gave my son a lightsaber and a bag that contained the original Star Wars trilogy on Blu-ray, a Star Wars puzzle, a Star Wars book, and four free movie tickets for the Drafthouse!
My son was over the moon, and I was really touched. We’ve read the book twice and have had some epic lightsaber battles.
My family loves going to see movies at ACDH. In fact, this was the second time I’d seen the Last Jedi here. The Drafthouse was a huge draw for us when we were looking for a neighborhood to buy a house. We’ve had so many nice memories laughing, having snacks, drinking some beers (well, my wife and me), and watching movies.
The Drafthouse is a verifiable Columbia Pike institution. Maybe one day my son will take his children here.
ARLnow.com occasionally publishes thoughtful letters to the editor about issues of local interest. To submit a letter to the editor for consideration, please email it to [email protected]. Letters may be edited for content and brevity.
Flickr pool photo by TheBeltWalk
The Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) is expanding its Christmas Movie Festival for the first time this year.
The festival usually takes place on one day, but instead will last for three weeks, starting on Friday, November 24 with showings of Elf and It’s a Wonderful Life. It wraps up on December 13 with Gremlins.
Paying for one $10 ticket will get attendees unlimited admission to all the scheduled festival movies across all three weeks, depending on space.
Dates for each movie screening are as follows:
- Elf (November 24-27, December 2-4, December 10)
- It’s a Wonderful Life (November 24, November 27, December 2-3, December 10-11)
- Home Alone (November 25, November 26, December 7, December 11)
- Miracle on 34th Street (November 25, November 26, November 28, December 3, December 9, December 12)
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (November 26, November 30, December 2, December 5, December 10)
- Scrooged (December 3, December 4, December 6, December 10)
- Gremlins (December 13)
Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards