Wednesday, January 24, 2007

AFI Silver Theatre Cultural Center

8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 495-6700
AFI Silver Theatre

Posted by Brett on 01/24/07.

The AFI in Silver Spring is a terrific movie-going experience; it may well be the best public theater I've had the privilege of sitting in. I saw Pan's Labyrinth there on opening night; I was immediately regretful that I hadn't been to the theater in the two years I've lived here. Rest assured that I will be making up for lost time.

The film was bright (where appropriate; this is one of the darkest films I've seen in years -- del Toro demonstrates a mastery of the dark palette in this film).

The audience was quiet.

The seats were comfortable, stadium-style, but the theater was sizable and did not feel cramped.

Other amenities included two snack bars: one for traditional film fare, and the other serving beer and wine alongside popcorn and some adult-oriented foodstuffs (good selections, too!), the popcorn was just right, and the lobby/snack area included blown-up print reviews of the films being shown, in addition to a small monitor showing previews (at a non-intrusive but crisp size).

All in all, one of the best experiences I've had in years. In addition to quality first-run films, the theater also carries classics, often in retrospectives or other thematic groupings. It is also home to several runs of foreign films and documentaries throughout the year.

An absolutely splendid theater.

Cinema Grade = A

Comment by: Hayes Preston from Home Theater Forum 02/10/07

A few words about the AFI Silver in Silver Spring MD. The AFI Silver is a rare thing, a modern theater with state of the art projection (to include but not exclusively digital) and sound, combined with the film choices of the American Film Institute. You are just as likely to see a new "art house" film as you are to see a classic Kurosawa or Kubrick. The main theater in the AFI Silver is also equipped with 70mm (they show Lawrence of Arabia once a week every summer!)

Comment by: Rich D. from Home Theater Forum 02/13/07

I also concur with Hayes opinion about the AFI Silver in Silver Spring, Maryland with one clarification; it’s not a modern theatre so much as it is a restored/renovated theatre. The Silver goes back decades, in fact, one of the shots in the lobby features The Silver showing Marie Antoinette (1938).

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