Old Greenbelt Theater is back in action

Old Greenbelt Theater

Night time at the Old Greenbelt Theater

We took in a movie this past week at the newly refurbished Old Greenbelt Theater located in the historic Crescent Shopping Center in Old Greenbelt. We discovered the theater about two decades ago and it has been our go to movie theater ever since. Although a bit run down, the theater offered a bigger screen than you would find in most other theaters and offered first run films at a substantially lower price than the current cinemaplex fare. We loved the low key approach and did not miss the 20 minutes of crap that you are forced to watch before seeing a movie at a commercial theater. Tie it in with some music and Lebanese food at the New Deal Café across the way and you could not miss a nice evening out. To our regret (and joy) the theater has been closed for over nine months while undergoing a major renovation. Long underused and underfunded the theater has changed management and is now in the hands of a non-profit organization under the leadership of Caitlin McGrath-an English professor at the University of Maryland.

Old Greenbelt Theater

Lobby and concession stand

The theater will continue to screen mainstream movies at night, but it will now hold events, film series and special screenings for the first time, McGrath said. For example, she hopes to start by showing Oscar-nominated movies and other notable films from the nine months during which the theater was closed for renovation. (Diamondback)

Old Greenbelt Theater

Old Greenbelt Theater ticket window

I took some photos for you to see because they have done an amazing job. The dumpy old theater is no more and a beautiful gem has emerged. The front and lobby have been renovated to show what the theater looked like when it opened over 75 years ago. The concession counter has it old Art Deco flavor. More  important is that the horrid old bathrooms have been enlarge and modernized in lovely Deco accent. The Old Greenbelt Theater was not built as a high end showcase as was the lovingly restored AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, but as a budget minded building to reflect the blue collar community that Old Greenbelt was designed for. Still, it is a gem to see and offers a theater going experience reminiscent of  your grandparent’s day and time.

Old Greenbelt Theater

Old Greenbelt Theater lobby

I highly recommend that you find time to check out the place and go see a move there. You won’t regret it. For a schedule of films and special activities you can go to their website.  http://greenbelttheatre.org/

Old Greenbelt Theater

Old Greenbelt Theater’s new bathrooms

I am amazed how few area residents know about Old Greenbelt. The City of Greenbelt has gone into the history books as the first community in the United States built as a federal venture in housing. From the beginning it was designed as a complete city, with businesses, schools, roads and facilities for recreation and town government. Greenbelt was a planned community, noted for its interior walkways, underpasses, its system of inner courtyards and one of the first mall-type shopping centers in the United States. Modeled after English garden cities of the 19th century, Greenbelt took its name from the belt of green forestland with which it was surrounded and from the belts of green between neighborhoods that offered easy contact with nature.  (greenbeltmd.gov)

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.