Indie movie theater to open near campus

A new movie theater showcasing independent films is set to open near campus Friday.

The West End Cinema – located at 2301 M St. – will offer patrons a similar experience to the Landmark E Street Cinema, serving up beer, wine and non-mainstream films.

Josh Levin and Jamie Shor are co-owners of the theater, and said they wanted to bring independent movies to patrons after the previous theater at the location closed in 2003.

“We both have a lot of experience in film and hospitality; this business brings both of these common skills we have together,” Levin said.

The space has been used as a movie theater since 1957 but has changed names and owners over the years. The Inner Circle Theater was open from 1985 to 2003, but closed due to corporate consolidation, Levin said.

Levin said theaters like West End Cinema have become rare in D.C., and said he is excited for the theater’s grand opening.

“There used to be 30 theaters in the city during the 1980s and now there are five to six left, with most of the remaining ones being controlled by one or two companies such as Regal or AMC,” Levin said. “We think there is room in D.C. for a small theater to bring people movies that aren’t going to be shown in the multiplexes.”

While he is not an alumnus, Levin said he feels connected to the University because his father and uncle attended GW.

“We are Colonials first, but we will serve Hoyas in an as-needed basis of course,” Levin said jokingly, referring to Georgetown University students. “Our admission price for tickets is $11 but we sell tickets for college students at $9.”

Theaters like AMC and Regal charge $11 per adult ticket.

This Friday the public will be able to check out all the cinema’s renovations and have the option of viewing recently released films like “Howl,” “Budrus,” “Gerrymandering” and “Let Me In.”

The concession stand will feature the usual fare of popcorn, candy and soda, as well as sandwiches and salads. Tea and coffee will also be sold, along with beer and wine to those of legal age.

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