Arlington Cinema N’ Drafthouse

The Arlington Cinema building opened in August 1940 as the Arlington Recreation Center which was  for whites-only. It including a bowling alley on the upper floors and a pharmacy on the corner. Architect Fred Bishop, who also designed Byrd Theatre in Richmond, designed this structure. The opening night film was My Favorite Wife, starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. Arlington Cinema & DrafthouseThe theater desegregated in 1963, and was operated until 1975 by Richmond-based Neighborhood Theatres Inc. It was converted to Arlington Cinema N’ Drafthouse in 1985 and still serves up movies and food. The bowling alleys are now a tae kwon do school and artists’ studios.


One Response to “Arlington Cinema N’ Drafthouse”

  1. I wonder if this business model (sans the bowling alley space) would work for U Street’s Lincoln Theater or the soon-to-be-renovated Howard Theatre.

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