Why Route 1’s Arthouse Cinema Is Thriving

Old Greenbelt Theatre movie cinema arthouse indie Maryland

One of the more interesting arthouse cinemas in the greater Washington area is not far from Route 1.

Built in 1938 as part of a New Deal-era planned community, the Old Greenbelt Theatre has survived as a single-screen movie theater long into the multiplex era.

That’s in part by offering an old-fashioned experience for indie filmgoers. The theater is currently showing the hugely popular “Lady Bird,” a coming-of-age movie directed by indie darling Greta Gerwig. (Next, it hopes to land “Murder on the Orient Express.”)

For classic movie buffs, the theater offers free matinees on the first Monday of the month with films like “Sullivan’s Travels” and “A Place in the Sun.”

It also offers fare for families, including “Miyazaki Mondays” featuring classics such as “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Spirited Away” from beloved Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki every third Monday.

Initially run as a co-op, like the nearby grocery store, the theatre was remodeled by the city in 2014-2015 and is now managed by the nonprofit Friends of Greenbelt Theatre.

That’s appropriate for Greenbelt, one of three U.S. cities planned by the Roosevelt Administration in the 1930s as an experiment in cooperative living, and the only one to form a co-op to buy the homes from the federal government when it divested from the projects in 1952.

This entry was posted in Hyattsville and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply