Arlington, VA

A month into Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse’s (2903 Columbia Pike) reopening “test drive,” the venue is moving forward with more programming, but also adapting for some of the bumps in the roads.

“We’re coming into the fourth weekend,” said owner Tim Clark. “We have kept capacity right around 25% and that seems to be working pretty well. I’m really happy with how we opened. Staff has been great in keeping things sanitized and clean, and making sure people have been adhering to policy.”

While Clark highlighted safety measures like cleaning and distancing, the truth remains that going to theaters amid a pandemic remains a risk. Despite the successful reopening, Clark said it hasn’t been easy maintaining business as customers have stayed away from the indoor venue.

“Everything is quite a bit down,” Clark said. We’ve seen a stronger attendance for the comedy shows. Movies have been hit or miss. Some have done really well, like Back to the Future. Our largest attended show was 20 people.”

Other movies, like 40 Year Old Virgin, didn’t do nearly as well as Clark was hoping, and some reliable blockbusters have also had a disappointing showing.

“Empire Strikes Back didn’t do as well as I thought last week,” Clark said. “It’s more of the cult classics that are doing well.”

The new schedule of upcoming shows highlights the shift towards 80s and 90s classics, mixed in with the Drafthouse’s bread-and-butter live comedy shows and occasional special event.

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Jay and Silent Bob — aka Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith — are coming to Arlington this fall to screen their new film, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.

The long-time comedic duo are set to screen the film (NSFW trailer here) at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) on Sunday, Nov. 10, as part of a cross-country roadshow from Oct. 21-Dec. 12. Tickets ranged from $50 for general admission to $750 for a VIP meet-and-greet, but all are now sold out.

Per a description of the event:

Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith come to YOUR town to show their latest and greatest motion picture, the star studded Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. The New Jersey stoner icons who first hit the screen 25 years ago in CLERKS are back! When Jay and Silent Bob discover that Hollywood is rebooting an old movie based on them, the clueless duo embark on another cross-country mission to stop it all over again!

Jay and Silent Bob are among the bold-faced comedy names coming to the Drafthouse this fall. Silicon Valley’s Jimmy O. Yang, 2 Dope Queens’ Phoebe Robinson and Flight of the Conchords’ Rhys Darby are also set to perform.

The current comedy lineup at the Drafthouse through the end of the year is below.

Image via Arlington Cinema Drafthouse

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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.

Performers include:

  • 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.

File photo

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From now through January of 2019, Washington Improv Theater is offering a record number of free improv workshops to the public. Twelve “Improv for All” workshops are currently on the books (in seven out of eight wards in DC), with more being added every week.

What’s an Improv for All workshop?

  • It’s a high-fun, low-stress class designed to show you how improvisers create spontaneous, off-the-cuff theater.
  • It’s for everyone: You don’t need theater experience. You don’t need to be a “funny person.” Just come in ready to have a good time.
  • It’s a way to learn about yourself: Whether you’re a nonprofit employee, a corporate lawyer, a software engineer or a teacher, you’ve got something to gain from taking improv. Trying something new that makes you laugh is good for your brain and for your soul.

You can find workshops at places like Anacostia Arts Center (Ward 8), Deanwood Library (Ward 7), Petworth Neighborhood Library (Ward 4), Source Theater (Ward 1) and more! For a full list of locations and times, check out the calendar.

If you like it and can’t wait for more, you can sign up for an eight-week Foundations of Improv class starting in the new year!

Want to catch WIT on stage as well? Use the code TICKETSFORTWO to get two tickets to the winter improv spectacular Seasonal Disorder for just $25.

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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
  • Elf 
  • Bad Santa

Tickets are $10.

Photo via Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse

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There’s good news for lovers of laughter — Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse is rolling out its lineup of comedians for the fall and winter.

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.

Yvonne Orji, co-star of the HBO comedy “Insecure,” will perform from Oct. 5-7. Alex Moffat, a current SNL cast member, will appear tonight (Aug. 24) and Saturday (Aug. 25).

The Drafthouse has its full lineup of events available on its website.

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Indulge in some self-care: Washington Improv Theater’s Summer Escape provides relief from 100% humidity and grueling daily headlines. Make WIT part of your night out on 14th Street with our series of improvised shows running through August 5.

Use the code ARLNOW to get two tickets for just $25. What’s in store?

  • Your audience suggestion could end the world in Apocalypse How?, a new show by WIT’s hit musical improv ensemble iMusical.
  • Inspired by the movie School of Rock, WIT debuts the improvised rock comedy Heavy Rotation where the actors play live instruments.
  • A two-night-only guest! Karaoke Storytellers, currently running at Chicago’s iO theater, is the brainchild of D.C. native Connor Gorman. On July 27 and 28, experience a show that blends improvisation and storytelling with full-throttle karaoke!
  • The razor-sharp all-female cast of WIT company ensemble Hellcat base their shows off of cringe-worthy readings by special guests. From long-lost AIM conversations to teenage journal entries to angst-ridden poetry, come revel in the awkwardness, shame and hilarity.

Summer Escape can save you from your daily summer struggles with pesky tour groups, pit stains and Metro delays. Get out of your world and step into ours.

Want to escape even further into improv? You can always sign up for a free two-hour workshop or one of our life-changing eight-week classes (no experience required).

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You’ve never seen improv like this before: Washington Improv Theater’s Interplay series features dynamic artistic mash-ups between WIT’s own improvisers and artists from the worlds of music, dance, poetry, puppetry and more.

Each mash-up will take a different shape and every show will be completely different (it’s improv, after all). Interplay also features the debut of WIT’s original show In Lieu of Flowers.

What are these collaborations?

  • All-female ensemble Hellcat mashes up with artists from Super Art Fight, a group that blends visual arts with the theatrics of professional wrestling.
  • Long-running WIT team Commonwealth improvises off the tales of storytellers from Story District
  • Eccentric ensemble Love Onion gets physical during an improv collaboration with a four-piece dance ensemble

Interplay will also feature collaborators like The Puppet Co., percussionist Tom Teasley, as well as poets like 13 of Nazareth and John MacDonald.

Improvised Funeral In Lieu of Flowers Makes World Premiere

Interplay also includes the debut of In Lieu of Flowers, an improvised funeral based on an audience member interview.

“Until Elon Musk defeats time itself, we’re going to experience the deaths of people we love and ultimately, our own deaths. I think comedy is the perfect way to have this conversation,” said co-director Lura Barber.

Check out our interview with directors Lura Barber and Zach Mason and get tickets for one of the show’s five performances.

Want to give improv a try? Summer classes are registering now! You can also bring improv to your office with a [email protected] organizational training.

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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.

Monday, March 19

Conversations with Tyler: Martina Navratilova*
George Mason University Arlington (3351 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Listen to record-setting tennis player and communist defector Martina Navratilova for an across the board conversation on her activism, professional accomplishments, and personal life.

Free Home Buyer Seminar: Get $1,500 Towards Your New Home*
Orange Line Living (1600 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Attend the Rosslyn class with wine and cheese and receive a $1,500 credit toward a new home or lease termination. The first three registrants and attendees will receive a Google Chromecast.

WordPress: An Introduction
Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Learn how to create, navigate, post on, and customize your own blog or basic website with WordPress.com (not WordPress.org). Registration required to attend.

Tuesday, March 20

Homebuyer Seminar with Fulcrum Properties Group*
Keller Williams Metro Center Arlington (2101 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Looking to buy your first home, or at least thinking about it? Join this free event to learn how to take the first steps from on-hand experts. Registration required to attend.

Wednesday, March 21

CACI Ballston Toastmasters Club Open House
CACI (1100 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

If you need to improve your public speaking, Toastmasters is the place for you.  Attend the spring open house to meet members and ask questions over refreshments.

Thursday, March 22

Beer & Donuts with Vanish Farmhouse
Sugar Shack (1014 S. Glebe Road)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

Vanish Farmhouse Brewery of Leesburg, Va., brings a selection of craft brews to Sugar Shack. Board games, beer-glazed donut holes, and paninis will also be at the family friendly event.

ARLnow March Madness Watch Party
Latitude Apartments (3601 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

Come watch the Sweet Sixteen on Latitude’s rooftop terrace with ARLnow staff with free drinks, snacks, and swag. You won’t miss any of the action — we’ll have four TVs on.

Friday, March 23

St. Agnes Fish Fry*
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

The annual Lenten fish fry is upon us, and don’t miss out on the sides, beer, and other beverages as well. Registration required, and all are welcome to join in the Easter Sunday mass as well.

David Alan Grier Live
Arlington Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30 and 10 p.m.

Join comedian and actor David Alan Grier, of In Living Color and Comedy Central fame, for an evening of stand up. Tickets start at $25. Additional performances on March 24.

Saturday, March 24

National Chamber Ensemble – Brahms and Mendelssohn*
Unitarian Universalist Church (4444 Arlington Boulevard)
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Enjoy masterful chamber music from Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn, performed by National Chamber Ensemble artists. Reception with the musicians to follow.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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Be spontaneous — do something fun for yourself today and jump into a class at Washington Improv Theater. Folks from all over the DMV take WIT’s improv classes for all sorts of reasons.

Washington Improv Theater is DC’s oldest and only nonprofit improv theater. Chances are you know at least one person who has taken (and loved!) our Foundations of Improv class.

Here are four reasons to get off the fence about taking a WIT class:

1. Meet new people (outside the bar scene) — WIT students come from all walks of life — but they all come to improv with open minds, daring to try something new. Abandon your iPhone and share face-to-face laughs with a dozen strangers who will quickly become friends.

One student told us “you make instant friends, and you push yourself in ways that you might not initially believe possible.”

2. Unlock your creative potential — Everyone has untapped creativity — unleash yours with one of our eight-week classes. A testimonial: “You get to exercise your imagination in a way that most adults don’t get to do on a regular basis.”

3. Find yourself – without having to scale Mt. Everest — From the way you communicate in your relationships to learning about the choices you make in life, improv spurs personal breakthroughs. Learn how you can change your life when you eradicate the word “no” from your day-to-day. 

4. Up your game at work — Show your boss you’re taking your skills to the next level. Improv gives you the confidence to speak up, the positivity to collaborate, and clarity to communicate — it’s the best and most versatile professional development ever!. (Side note: You can also bring us to your office for a [email protected] training.)

Get off the fence — spring session starts March 26! A couple hours a week with WIT can change your whole perspective!

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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 Drafthouse is in the midst of a weekly comedy lineup that includes comedian Josh Blue, slated to perform this weekend, and Carlos Mencia, who will perform March 29-31.

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