(Updated at 8:30 p.m.) An older office building in Crystal City may be converted into apartments, and developer JBG Smith is soliciting public feedback on the project.
JBG Smith is looking to convert a 12-story office building at 1750 Crystal Drive into a 21-story residential building. The building, across from the Crystal City Water Park, would be 257 feet in height.
In the first phase of the “Central District” project, a new 74,000 square foot, street facing retail area would be built, reportedly anchored by an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. The retail area may also include a smaller-format grocery store, like a Trader Joe’s.
A JBG Smith presentation says the project would include “delivery of nine screen Alamo Drafthouse Theater that shows first run and art house films as well as dining, entertainment, and event space hosting.” According to the feedback website, JBG is hoping to start construction in the fall and to have the theater open by the spring of 2020.
As part of the project, a two story, 16,000 square foot retail building would be built at the corner of 18th Street S. and Crystal Drive — next to a proposed second Crystal City Metro entrance — with renderings showing an sizable outdoor dining area adjacent to it.
Feedback from JBG’s online portal is helping to shape the development, said a representative for the company that created the portal.
“It’s a new approach for the developer, which added online outreach to the traditional process involving community meetings,” said the rep. “Over 1,600 people have interacted with the Central District at Crystal City website… Based on the feedback, JBG Smith has committed to providing seating, plantings, and seasonal events in the plaza.”
“The developer is also recruiting a full-service grocery store, which online voters said was the most important element to make the spot a neighborhood destination,” he added.
An Arlington filmmaker is back on the film circuit, this time showcasing a film tackling end-of-life care issues.
The movie, “Nothing to Do,” centers on a radio D.J. who has take care of his dying father. Director Mike Kravinsky was inspired in part by taking care of his own father during his final weeks.
“It was frightening and challenging, but unbelievably rewarding, to be there for my dad at the end,” Kravinsky said. “Even though this very sad thing is happening, life goes on.”
To prepare for filming, Kravinsky interviewed doctors and funeral directors about a family’s experience at the end of a parent’s life, including the inevitable and emotional fighting that was a reoccurring scene in the movie.
Filmmaking was a career change for Kravinsky, a Lyon Village resident who worked for ABC News in D.C. as an editor for 30 years before accepting a buyout in 2010.
“In the back of my mind I always had this thing, like ‘film making is so cool,'” said Kravinsky. “I just gave this a shot and it’s been really gratifying, really rewarding for me.”
The film will be screened this Friday and Sunday (March 2 and March 4) at the Durango Independent Film Festival in Colo., and it was just screened at the Beaufort International Film Festival in Beaufort, S.C., where it was nominated for best actor/director.
Kravinsky said more film festivals have been interested in “Nothing to Do” than his previous film “Geographically Desirable” which came out in 2015.
“Nothing to Do” won the Special Jury Award at Virginia’s Alexandria Film Festival. It was also a finalist at the Cinequest Screenplay Competition in San Jose, Calif., and an honorable mention at the TrackingB Screenplay Competition in Los Angeles.
Kravinsky said he hopes he can bring the film back to the D.C. area and is currently applying for different screenings nearby.
Photos courtesy of Mike Kravinsky
The Rosebud Film Festival, which honors the “innovative, unusual, experimental, and deeply personal” in film, will run Friday (January 26) through Sunday (January 28).
The festival, put on by Arlington Independent Media, will screen 34 films across three different showings — Friday at 7:15 p.m. and Saturday at 8:15 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for one film screening block cost $15, or viewers can pay $40 for the whole weekend. The screenings will be held at the Miracle Theater in Washington, D.C. (535 8th Street SE).
On Sunday, AIM will host two free panel discussions, entitled “Student Filmmaking: From the Classroom to the Real World!” at 12 p.m. and “What Critics Look For?” at 2 p.m. An awards ceremony at the Clarendon Ballroom will follow that day, with the top five films set to each receive a $1,000 cash prize.
This year was a bit different for the festival as it expanded accepted entries from the world. Before, it only accepted films from people living in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
As a result, festival director Kevin Sampson said the submissions nearly doubled. Some of the themes in this year’s films include politics, identity, gender and sexuality.
One film titled “A Name that I Admire” follows a seventh-generation dairy farmer in Virginia as he decides who to vote for in 2016 election. An animated film also reflects on today’s politics in a project titled “Trump’s Got No Tact.”
Another film “Spectrum” is a documentary focusing on the social, political and spiritual world of 10 transgender people living in Israel.
Sampson said one of the best things about Rosebud is that it’s different from other mainstream festivals and movie viewings.
“Coming out to Rosebud you really get to hear from these artists that are speaking from their hearts,” he said. “I think if people want to be entertained as well as challenged that Rosebud is the perfect fit in terms as a festival to come out to and check out.”
Photo via Rosebud Film Festival
By Greg Godbout
37 years ago the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse opened as a second-run movie theater (1 to 3 months old) and has never played first-run movies (released in the first week). Until now! Next week — we are proud to present Star Wars: The Last Jedi. At the same release date as other theaters. Although it almost didn’t happen.
A year ago this month, we made the decision to become a first-run movie theater, because online streaming of films has cut out the second-run theater window. Our style of showing films vanished from the industry. The switch to first-run was made this summer (May 2017), and the timing was bad. This was the worst summer for the entire movie industry in 25 years. We could have done without that.
While suffering through a tragic summer movie season we experimented with arthouse films and top box office films. The top box office films performed better. The goal was to also try some first-run films in their first week of release — unfortunately, the studios wouldn’t give us early access to films. It was a difficult uphill battle. Many studios insisted that we pick between movies or live comedy. Fox Studios and Warner Brothers were the most difficult.
For the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse to thrive, we need both movies and live comedy. We are the only theater in the country to balance top national release films and top national touring comics. Our unique balance puts us at odds with the large corporate movie studios, even though we depend on them.
Disney came to our rescue. After politely declining our request to play Star Wars a couple of times, Disney ultimately agreed. They too wanted to see how we could do with a first-release blockbuster. After months of experimentation — the largest and most dominant studio helped us out.
Our experiment with Star Wars will inform many programing decisions as we move forward. So please join us and let us know what you think. This winter our programing will center on national live comedy and Oscar nominated films. If Star Wars does well, we will add stretches of movies to our line up in the summer — that are true first-run films.
Based on current pre-sales for Star Wars, it is going to be a successful experiment for us. We provide an amazing social movie experience and can’t wait to see you here. We will have Star Wars drink specials and, as always, full tableside service. Tickets will be $10 with $8 matinees.
Please help us out by purchasing tickets in advance and plan on watching Star Wars at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse this holiday season. We do not show ads or trailers so the movie start time is the actual start time. Please arrive early.
The iconic local business will show “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” from December 14 until January 11. Customers are being asked to buy tickets in advance due to high anticipated demand.
Due to what organizers called the “special screening nature” of the film, tickets cost $10 in the evening and $8 for matinees.
It comes as part of the Drafthouse’s decision to shift to playing movies on a first-run basis, meaning it has quicker access to films.
Owner Greg Godbout has said that the rise of video on-demand services has hurt its previous business model of showing mainstream movies several months after the initial release.
Income from the movie could be small for the Drafthouse, however, as like all movie theaters it reportedly must turn over at least 65 percent of revenue generated by ticket sales to Disney, which owns the Star Wars franchise.
The Drafthouse is making the most of its Star Wars deal, holding dozens of screenings and even offering the chance to host Star Wars-themed parties for businesses. Via a Drafthouse email forwarded to ARLnow.com:
Host a STAR WARS PARTY!!! Is your company looking for a fun alternative holiday party? The Drafthouse can accommodate your group with our restaurant style seating, giant screen, no hassle buffet style catering options as well as our FULL BAR!! Give your employee’s the gift of a private screening.
Availability: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm. December 15th – January 11th.
Contact us: [email protected] for a full offering of catering, bar and rental options.
The Arlington League of Women Voters is hosting a free screening of a new Zach Galifianakis film.
Better known for comedies like The Hangover and The Campaign, Galifianakis tackled the serious topic of gerrymandering and money in politics in his new film, “Democracy for Sale.”
The League is sponsoring the film’s screening at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) on Wednesday, Sept. 27.
More from an email from LWV:
A border and barbeque aren’t the only things Virginia and North Carolina have in common. The two states also have some of the most gerrymandered districts in the country. Cozy relationships between regulators and industry are another commonality. A new film called Democracy for Sale featuring NC native and comedian Zach Galifianakis puts a spotlight on the ways big money political interests have influenced the drawing of district lines and led to a lack of environmental protection and tax cuts for the upper class and corporations, education cuts, gerrymandering, and laws designed to decrease voter turnout.
After a successful tour of Democracy for Sale in North Carolina, we’re excited to bring the film to Virginia on a statewide tour beginning on September 19th. The showings are presented by the Virginia Civic Engagement Table in partnership with local organizations throughout the state. Each screening event will be followed by a Q&A and discussion with local leaders.
While the film focuses on NC as a case study, the parallels to Virginia are innumerable. We hope these screenings will shed light on the similarities and show audiences how to get involved in demanding reform.
Come and bring your friends!
Photo via League of Women Voters
Author, actor and musician Daryl Davis is scheduled to host a discussion entitled “Klan We Talk?” at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre (125 S. Old Glebe Road) on Monday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.
During the event, Davis — who authored the 1998 book “Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan” — will discuss “how his approach caused several Klan members to walk away from those beliefs.”
As detailed in his book, Davis has devoted decades of his life to converting members of the KKK through friendship and discussion. His efforts have been notably chronicled on The Atlantic and in an episode of the Love + Radio podcast.
Davis has also widely discussed his mission on media outlets such as CNN, PBS and NBC. He was most recently the subject of a documentary called “Accidental Courtesy,” a film featured as a New York Times Critics’ Pick.
Civic Federation Debate — The candidates for Arlington County Board, School Board and Congress took the stage at Tuesday’s Arlington County Civic Federation meeting, marking the unofficial kickoff of general election campaign season. During the County Board debate, independent challenger Audrey Clement went on the attack against “backroom deals” allegedly facilitated by incumbent Libby Garvey. [InsideNova, InsideNova, InsideNova]
September Heat Wave — Temperatures are expected to soar into the upper 90s today, and the heat and humidity will stay mid-summer-like through Saturday. [Capital Weather Gang]
New Flight Path Closer to Arlington? — To appease unhappy Northwest D.C. residents, the FAA is considering a new northern departure flight path for Reagan National Airport that’s closer to Arlington. A community meeting will be held to discuss the plan on Tuesday, Sept. 13 from 6:30-9:30 p.m., at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington. [WUSA 9]
Outdoor Movies on the Pike — Four films are left on the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization outdoor movie calendar. Tonight, the critically-acclaimed film Brooklyn will be screened outside the Arlington Mill Community Center. [CPRO]
Clement Against Lubber Run Plan — County Board candidate Audrey Clement says it’s “inappropriate and unnecessary, given the county’s current 20% office vacancy rate,” for Arlington County to be planning to spend $46 million on a new four-story Lubber Run Community Center that will include new offices for the Dept. of Parks and Recreation. [Audrey Clement]
Beware the Cute Puppy Scam — Scammers are active on some local Facebook groups, trying to convince people to part with their cash and personal information to adopt a (fake) cute puppy from a (fake) man who can no longer afford to take care of it. [Fox 5]
From 6-8 p.m., the group Jewish Voices for Peace, together with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Committee for Peace and Justice in Israel/Palestine, is showing the film “The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States.”
The viewing is taking place at the library’s second floor meeting room. (Outside groups often rent out rooms in the library, which does not imply a county endorsement.)
Opponents describe the film, which is narrated by rocker Roger Waters, as anti-Semitic, saying that attacking the legitimacy of Israel as a country lends credibility to terrorism. A protest is planned in response to the film screening.
“A group of concerned, pro-Israel advocates, led by Citizens Opposed to Propaganda Masquerading as Art (COPMA), plans to protest at the event, including distributing literature inside the room,” says the conservative activism website Truth Revolt.
A familiar red and white converted hearse/ambulance stopped at the Clarendon Metro station earlier this afternoon.
Ride-hailing service Lyft parked the Ghostbusters’ ride of choice, Ecto-1, outside the Metro station just after 12:30 p.m. today. The driver, clad in the drab Ghostbusters jumpsuit, posed for photos with passersby.
The vehicle was there to promote a partnership between Lyft and the new “Ghostbusters” film called “ghost mode,” a feature slated to run later this week where riders can hail an original Ecto-1 or a replica.
“We have one Ecto-1 on the road and we will have four other vehicles that will be replicated to look much like this,” said Lyft’s Morgan Gunter. “There will be some fun giveaways such as Twinkies and Hi-C. It’s a fun promotion around the opening of Ghostbusters.”
Riders can use “ghost mode” across the D.C. and Arlington area this Friday and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Additional reporting and photos by Jackie Friedman
Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.
Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.
AFAC Bar Olympics
Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Join AFAC for a night of fun and fundraising. Two-person teams compete in six bar games in a tournament-style competition. Entry fee is $10 per person ($20 per team). Top five teams qualify for cash prizes or gift cards.
Wine Pairing Dinner*
Osteria da Nino (2900 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-11 p.m.
Join Nino for a Campania wine pairing dinner at Osteria da Nino in Shirlington. The event will feature five courses and five wines for only $60 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required.
Feel the Heritage Festival
Drew Community Center (3500 23rd Street S.)
Time: 1-6 p.m.
Celebrate Black History Month at the 24th annual Feel the Heritage Festival. This FREE event features live music and dance, a “Hall of History,” free children’s activities, delicious soul food and a great selection of vendors.
PAL Block Party
Duck Donuts (2511 N. Harrison Street)
Time: 3 p.m.
A bike-centric event in a car-heavy spot. Take a couple seconds from a stressful day and chat with ambassadors from Arlington’s PAL (Predictable, Alert, Lawful) program. There will be chairs, hot cocoa and incense.
And the Winner Is… Oscars Party
Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7 p.m.
Watch the Oscars broadcast live on the big screen at the D.C. Film Society’s 24th annual party. There will be a predict the winners contest, trivia contests, giveaways and a silent auction. Tickets are $20.
ACFD Battles Fire on Patrick Henry Drive — On Thursday morning Arlington County firefighters assisted in battling a two-alarm blaze at an apartment building on the 3000 block of Patrick Henry Drive, just across the border in Fairfax County. [Twitter, Twitter]
Arlington Doubling Down on Startups — Arlington Economic Development plans to use the $1.5 million in one-time additional funds it’s allocated in County Manager Mark Schwartz’s budget to target early-stage tech companies and help them lease offices between 5,000 and 20,000 square feet. [Washington Business Journal]
W-L Alum to Direct Sci-Fi Film — Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has selected Washington-Lee High School alum Julius Onah to direct “God Particle,” a new sci-fi thriller being produced by Abrams’ production company. Onah was named one of the top 10 “Up and Up Feature Directors” in 2013. He’s also signed up to direct an upcoming Universal Pictures film, “Brilliance.” [Blackfilm.com, Indiewire, Twitter]
Local Chef Nominated for Big Award — Peter Chang, whose eponymous restaurant opened last year in the Lee-Harrison shopping center, has been nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.” [Patch]
Shirlington Profiled by Post — As part of its “Where We Live” series, the Washington Post has profiled Arlington’s Shirlington neighborhood. Shirlington earns high marks for having a variety of walkable entertainment, dining and shopping options, and for having only six crimes of note over the course of 12 months. [Washington Post]
More on Nauck History Project — Arlington County’s Nauck Green Valley Heritage Project has already received dozens of photos in its new online photo archive. A vibrant, historically black neighborhood since before the Civil War, Nauck has been changing — some say gentrifying. “Today, we’re probably less than 32 percent African American,” noted the community’s civic association president. [WJLA]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Transit Displays Installed in Crystal City — Real time transit data displays are being installed around Crystal City as part of the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway project. The signs display bus arrival data and have text-to-speech capability for the seeing impaired. [Twitter]
Valentines Day Cards for Bus Drivers — Arlington Public Schools students are being encouraged to give their school bus drivers Valentines Day cards this week. [Twitter]
Stratford Anniversary Memories — Participants in the integration of Arlington’s Stratford Junior High School in 1958 recalled memories of the event during an anniversary celebration last week. “None of the four 12-year-olds then realized the national significance of their action,” writes Charlie Clark. “They viewed it like a day job, after which they returned to real friends on the neighborhood playground.” [Falls Church News-Press]
ACFD: Bring Pets Inside — Given this weekend’s bitter cold forecasted temperatures, the Arlington County Fire Department is reminding residents to “make sure to bring our four-legged friends inside.” [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by John Williams
A Catholic church near Clarendon is holding a series of films, dances and concerts as part of a new cultural series called Forum Arlington.
Every Friday, the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church (3304 Washington Blvd) will hold either a music concert, dance class or film screening. The Forum kicked off last week with a performance by Marie Miller and will hold a film screening tonight.
All events start at 7 p.m. with a happy hour followed by the film, concert or dance class at 8 p.m. Tickets can either be purchased online or at the door, depending on the event.
Forum Arlington also has a photography exhibition about South America from Oct. 16 to Dec. 18.
The idea for the cultural series came from the church’s pastor, Father Donald Planty, who wanted to do more cultural outreach, said Terrence McKeegan, the head of Arlington Forum.
“He had this idea to have a cultural series that is a cultural outreach program for Arlington residents,” McKeegan said.
McKeegan has helped organize multiple cultural events, including large music festivals, and realized he and the pastor had the same vision. Together, they worked to find different acts and films, drawing from McKeegan’s wide network, he said.
“We try to pick bands or films or dance instructors and types of dances that appealing to widest range,” McKeegan said.
The events are held in the church’s gym, which McKeegan and church staff spruced up to make it look more like an event space instead of a typical gym, he said.
The concerts, dances and films will continue through the winter. For the spring, Arlington Forum will introduce a lecture series in addition to the concerts. McKeegan did not know at this time if the films and dance classes would resume in the spring.
Forum Arlington is open to the entire Arlington community, McKeegan said.
“The target audience is the entire community,” he said. “It’s not all the parishioners or an age demographic.”
Henninger Media Services, a production company with ties to Discovery Channel, National Geographic and Oscar-winning documentaries, has found a new home in Courthouse.
The production company is responsible for “finishing” videos, whether it be a show on National Geographic or a documentary that wins an Academy Award. In finishing, or post production, specialists at the company edit the film, color and audio in order to make a show look cleaner. It’s very much a behind the scenes job — if it’s done correctly, a viewer wouldn’t realize that anything had been done.
In addition to editing, the company also does design work, such as creating the main menu on a DVD, and archive work, including helping the National Archives.
The company’s new space is tucked away at 1320 N. Courthouse Road, near the Arlington County Police Department and county government offices. It was previously located on Wilson Blvd, next to Earl’s Sandwiches. Although slightly hidden, the company’s new office on the first floor of the building is anything but small.
The company has 13 editing suites, six audio studios, three color correction suites, two quality control rooms, a voice recording studio, various administrative and design spaces and the “core,” where it hosts all the servers and technology needed to run a production company. Henninger bills itself as “the largest production/post-production company in the Mid-Atlantic.”
“It is relatively rare that one company houses all the expertise,” said Mike Weiss, vice president of Business Development.
The new move allowed Henninger Media Services to have a fresh start when it came to the technology in the office, said CEO Robert Henninger. The space now uses fiber glass cables with the capability to run videos in ultra high definition, one of the newest trends in video.
“It gave us a lot of flexibility in terms of technical capability,” Weiss said. “It modernized us.”
Innovation and embracing new technology is one of the five core values of the company, Henninger said, with the other four being quality, service, teamwork and creativity.
These five values have helped Henninger Media Services, which was founded in 1983, become the company it is today, he said.
Today, the company works with big names like Discovery Channel, National Geographic and PBS, where they put finishing touches on shows and documentaries run on the networks. It also works with corporations, such as Capital One, small businesses, colleges, such as American University, and political campaigns.
The company declined to list some of the well-known television programs it works on, citing confidentiality agreements, but one such program — verified independently by ARLnow.com — is “Gold Rush: Alaska,” one of the Discovery Channel’s top-rated series.
Henninger Media Services worked with President Barack Obama’s first campaign to help edit a 30-minute paid ad. They also worked with Sen. John McCain when he ran against George W. Bush in a presidential primary.
Political campaigns are a specialty because they have an intense workload and very quick deadline.
“You have to really be prepared to do what it takes,” Henninger said.
The company has also worked with Oscar-winner documentary “Innocente.” The company has done multiple projects with directors Sean and Andrea Fine, as well as Sean’s father, who was also a director.
“We were part of the team that won an Oscar,” Henninger said.
In addition to the many non-fiction films that company works with, Henninger said he would like to get involved with feature films.
“Doing some fiction work would be fun,” he said.