A sign in Downtown Wheaton. Photo by IntangibleArts.
Thayer Avenue pointed us to news that the Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse will be taking over the Loews Cineplex 11 in Westfield Wheaton (also known as Wheaton Plaza) later this summer. The newly re-named Montgomery Cinema 'N' Drafthouse will have six screens playing a mix of first-run, second-run and independent movies, along with some stand-up comedy. There will also be table service, as is currently the practice at Arlington and the former Bethesda Cinema 'N' Drafthouse, now a live theatre. And it won't the first time that art-house films are playing in Wheaton, as the Loews Cineplex 11 tried to compete with the AFI by showing indie movies a year or two ago.
The Drafthouse folks are particularly giddy about their new location, as seen by the venue's new website (emphasis added):
The centrally located new 6-Theater Entertainment Complex, located in Silver Spring in Montgomery County is a very short distance from Potomac, Rockville, Bethesda, North Bethesda, Kensington, Chevy Chase, Olney, Beltsville, Laurel, Burtonsville, College Park, NW Washington DC and Downtown Washington DC.Frankly, I'm surprised they didn't find a way to name this venue "Far, Far, Really Far Northeast Bethesda Cinema 'N' Drafthouse." Not only do they slap "Montgomery" on the name, ignoring the community it happens to be located in, but they don't seem to know what community that is, either. Real nice. I suppose all of those people coming from Northwest D.C. and Potomac just wouldn't feel right spending their evening in Wheaton, and even the idea of going to Silver Spring makes their skin crawl just a little.
One could say that the Drafthouse folks merely typed their new address into Google Maps and it spat out Silver Spring. But, I mean, as vague as the boundaries of Wheaton and Silver Spring are - both being unincorporated - you could ask anyone where the center of Wheaton is, the place where Wheaton is at its Wheatonest, and they would point to Wheaton Plaza. (But if there is any justice in the world, they will actually point to El Pollo Rico.)
Oh, well. At least I can have beer at the movies now.