Movie Magic

Sit back, relax and enjoy Virginia’s coziest art house theaters.

Photo courtesy of CineBistro 

These are high times for cinephiles. Across the Commonwealth theaters are screening indie films, cult classics and blockbusters in the comfort of plush seating, chair-side service and special offerings that make movie-going an event.

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which pampers movie-goers in Winchester with reclining seats, in-theater dining, full bars and lengthy beer lists, recently announced that a new location will soon open at the new commercial development 5th St. Station in Charlottesville. We don’t yet know what the Charlottesville menu will look like, but here’s just a taste of what’s available in Winchester: bottomless popcorn, gourmet milkshakes, baked-to-order cookies, all-day brunch items like créme brûlée French toast and entrees like burgers, wraps and spaghetti squash.  

As for what’s playing at the Alamo, the Winchester location will host a Queen Sing-Along Thursday, Aug. 25. The event will feature live performances, movie montages and music videos. Adult audiences are encouraged to pay tribute to Freddie Mercury by belting it out with the performers. For the political crowd, Hillary’s America, a documentary about the history of the Democratic party, will play at 11:00 a.m. this Friday and Saturday. Upcoming features at the Ashburn Alamo include a Princess Bride Quote-Along tonight and the Totally ’80s Sing-Along Monday, Aug. 29. 

Here are some other cinemas around the state making an art of a day at the movies:

Hampton, Richmond

Movies up until 8:00 p.m. are family-friendly, and after that the theater is only open to adults 21 and over. The Hampton location hosts trivia night every Tuesday, and on Tuesday, Sept. 14, the Richmond CinéBistro will show Snowden Live, a film by Oliver Stone about former CIA employee Edward Snowden.

Grandin Theatre

Operated by nonprofit organization Grandin Theatre Foundation, this historic art deco theater became Roanoke’s first suburban movie house when it opened in 1932. It has since been renovated and gone entirely digital, and it shows first run, classic and independent films. Current showings include WWII thriller Anthropoid and American drama Indignation.

Naro Expanded Cinema

Originally opened in 1936, Naro has been through several iterations, including a brief stint in the ’70s as a playhouse called the Actor’s Theater. The theater now shows independent, foreign and classic films, and it hosts regular screenings of Rocky Horror Picture Show every second and fourth Friday. Upcoming showings include Leonardo da Vinci: The Genius in MIlan and Dying to Know, a documentary about ’60s Harvard professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert.

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