The 96th Academy Awards are just under a month away, which means there’s still time to catch up on this year’s nominees.
To help out, ShowPlace Icon Theatre in Tysons will host upcoming, “special” screenings of “Barbie” and “The Holdovers,” two of the films seeking to upset “Oppenheimer” on its steady march toward winning the Oscar for Best Picture.
Greta Gerwig’s record-breaking comedy will screen on Thursday, Feb. 29, while Alexander Payne’s Christmas-set throwback to the 1970s will screen on March 7, just days before the Oscars ceremony on March 10. Both screenings will start at 7 p.m.
With both movies available to watch at home, either on physical discs or online, The Boro theater is banking on a discount to attract audiences. With a $15 ticket, patrons can get a small popcorn and their choice of a soda, beer or wine.
Per its website, the theater typically charges $18.75 for evening showings, and drinks range from $6.50 for a beer bottle or can to $15 for some of the wines.
Tickets for the special screenings can be purchased through Eventbrite.
Located at 1667 Silver Hill Drive, ShowPlace Icon originally opened in February 2020 — just before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Fairfax County. After a one-month attempt at reopening, it officially reintroduced itself to the community in April 2021.
Tysons is also home to an AMC at Tysons Corner Center and CMX CinéBistro in Tysons Galleria.
A popular tradition for local cinema-loving seniors is returning to Reston Town Center this month.
In conjunction with Reston Association, Look Dine-in Cinemas will host “Senior Movie Day” for the first time since it opened at 11940 Market Street late last fall. The event offers free screenings of popular films for adults aged 55 and older on the fourth Wednesday of each month.
The event’s revival will kick off on Feb. 28 with a showing of “Downton Abbey: A New Era.”
In a statement, RA Director of Recreation Laura Kowalski said the association is excited to bring back the event in partnership with Look Cinemas and Reston Town Center.
“Not only has Senior Movie Day been one of RA’s most long-standing events, it’s also one of the most anticipated and popular all year,” Kowalski said.
No registration is required, and the event is free. Doors open at 9:15 a.m. for refreshments and socialization, followed by the beginning of the movie at 10 a.m.
The next scheduled screening will be “Top Gun: Maverick” on March 27.
Senior Movie Days were put on hold after Bow Tie Cinemas, the space’s previous occupant, closed in May 2022. Started in 1994, the program had attracted more than 100,000 patrons over the years, RA previously told FFXnow.
Look Cinemas opened up its dine-in movie theater on Nov. 1. The 11-screen venue is the company’s first and, so far, only location in Virginia.
Some local families got an early holiday present this past weekend, courtesy of the Mouse House.
Disney offered an advance screening of its latest animated film — appropriately titled “Wish” — at Tysons Corner Center on Saturday (Nov. 18) to beneficiaries of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the nonprofit that grants requests from kids with critical illnesses.
The 11 a.m. screening at the AMC Theatres in Tysons drew more than 150 attendees, according to a Disney spokesperson.
“At Disney, we’ve always believed in the magic of making wishes come true,” Lisa Haines, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility at The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement to FFXnow. “Our relationship with Make-A-Wish has spanned over four decades, and it’s a testament to our commitment to delivering joy to children and their families.”
Launched in 1980, Make-A-Wish began in Phoenix, Arizona, after the community united to support a 7-year-old boy with leukemia who wanted to become a police officer. The nonprofit has now granted more than 520,000 wishes worldwide, according to its website.
The Mid-Atlantic chapter, which encompasses the D.C. area, was founded in 1983 and has granted more than 11,000 wishes to kids diagnosed with cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses.
According to Make-A-Wish, it has been partnered with Disney since its inception, and one out of every two requests from kids in the U.S. are fulfilled by the company that has become synonymous with childhood entertainment.
Disney conceived of “Wish” as an homage to classics like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and “The Little Mermaid” to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney Animation Studios, though early critical reviews suggest it struggles to capture that past magic.
Directed by “Frozen” alums Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn from a script by Jennifer Lee and Allison Moore, “Wish” follows a girl voiced by Oscar winner Ariana DeBose who must save the fictional kingdom of Rosas from its villainous king. She gets help from “a little ball of boundless energy called Star” that she brought into existence with the titular wish.
The movie officially opens tomorrow (Wednesday), but screenings will get underway at the AMC in Tysons and other local theaters this afternoon in anticipation of Thanksgiving weekend, which is typically a busy period for moviegoing — at least in pre-pandemic times.
A new dine-in movie theater option debuts tomorrow (Thursday) in Reston Town Center.
James Meredith, LOOK’s CMO, told FFXnow that the theater’s dining experience sets it apart from other moviegoing options in the area.
“The new LOOK Dine-In Cinema in Reston offers an elevated dining experience where our made-to-order, chef inspired menu items and craft cocktails are delivered directly to your seat,” Meredith said. “Additionally, every auditorium offers luxury reclining chairs and crystal clear presentation.”
The 11-screen cinema is the company’s first in Virginia. It features luxury seating and dine-in mobile technology that allows guests to order from menus and craft beverages. Items are then delivered to the guest’s seat.
Items on the menu include chicken tenders, crispy wings, loaded mac and cheese, burgers, quesadillas and a honey sriracha salmon bowl.
Those features will help the theater maintain its competitiveness, Meredith said.
“Our guests are looking for a full-service experience that includes great food, their favorite cocktails, state-of-the-art presentation, comfort and variety. At LOOK, we are part of the community and offer favorite content for all of our guests,” he said.
Customers can order more items up to 30 minutes before the show ends.
“I couldn’t be more excited to bring LOOK Dine-In Cinemas to Reston Town Center,” CEO Brian Schultz said. “Our theater is a place for this great community to enjoy, laugh, cry, be inspired, and most importantly, come together. It’s not just about movies; it’s about creating memorable moments and a shared experience that unites us all.”
Tomorrow’s grand opening features only evening showtimes from 5-9 p.m. Movies will include Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla,” the horror flick “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” “PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie” and Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour concert film.
(Updated at 6:35 p.m.) Movie watchers in Reston will officially have a new place to experience the cinema next month.
LOOK Dine-in Cinemas will launch in Reston Town Center (11940 Market Street) on Nov. 2 with a grand opening and “ticket tearing” ceremony, the company confirmed to FFXnow.
This is the first location in Virginia and the D.C. area for the company. The self-described “luxury” brand offers dine-in service for all screenings with a food, beverage and cocktail menu, according to its website.
“I couldn’t be more excited to bring LOOK Dine-In Cinemas to Reston Town Center,” LOOK Dine-In Cinemas CEO Brian Schultz said in a statement. “Our theater is a place for this great community to enjoy, laugh, cry, be inspired, and most importantly, come together. It’s not just about movies; it’s about creating memorable moments and a shared experience that unites us all.”
The Reston theater will have 11 screening rooms ranging in capacity from 45 to 120 seats. All auditoriums have reclining chairs and digital surround sound.
More from LOOK on the new venue:
Through its modern, elevated experience, LOOK sets itself apart from the average dine-in cinema, offering a state-of-the-art immersive presentation, large screens, surround sound and luxury seating. LOOK + Dine mobile technology allows guests to order from chef-inspired menus and craft beverage selections and all items are delivered directly to the guest’s seat.
LOOK Reston Town Center will feature a PX auditorium, the largest auditorium in the complex with a massive wall-to-wall screen, crisp, clear digital projection and engulfing digital surround sound technology. Guests and corporations will be able to host group events in the auditoriums or private rental space.
Advance tickets are already being sold to some of the first showings at the theater, including “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” the video game adaptation “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and Martin Scorsese’s historical crime drama, “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
Going forward, the company says the theater will have a range of films, including blockbusters, independent movies, documentaries, concert films and special event screenings.
Reston Town Center residents and tenants can expect “special promotions,” LOOK says.
(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) Merrifield’s Mosaic District is bringing its “Films in the Park” screening series back for the fall — this time, with three times more Lin-Manuel Miranda.
While the live recording of “Hamilton” on Broadway remains walled off on Disney Plus, the prolific Tony, Grammy and Pulitzer Prize winner wrote songs for three out of the four featured movies, including tonight’s opener, “Encanto.”
In contrast, this summer’s edition of the outdoor movie series had just one film — “Moana” — with contributions from Miranda. The three-month lineup also highlighted recent blockbusters like “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.”
The Mosaic District describes this as a “special fall edition” of the series to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which lasts from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
The full schedule is below, with each screening starting at 6 p.m. in Strawberry Park:
- Sept. 21 — Encanto (2021, 1h 42m, PG)
- Sept. 28 — Vivo (2021, 1h 35m, PG-13)
- Oct. 5 — In The Heights (2021, 2h 23m, PG-13)
- Oct. 12 — Coco (2017, 1h 45m, PG-13)
The U.S. has observed National Hispanic Heritage Month since 1988. Intended to recognize the cultures, histories and contributions of the country’s Spanish, Caribbean, and Central and South American residents, the occasion began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 before expanding to a full 30 days.
Fairfax County was planning its first-ever festival to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month this Saturday (Sept. 23) at the PARC at Tysons (8508 Leesburg Pike). However, the Fairfax Fiesta has been canceled due to expected inclement weather, including “heavy rain, high winds and uncomfortably cool temperatures.”
“We received a tremendous outpouring of interest from the community to participate and attend this event,” Celebrate Fairfax, which organized the event, said. “…Safety is our highest priority for the artists, vendors, community organizations, elected officials, event staff and volunteers scheduled to set up, break down, and participate in the event.”
The similarly named Fiesta Fairfax in Fairfax City, however, will go on. Originally set to take place this Saturday in Old Town Square, the event has been relocated indoors to Old Town Hall (3999 University Drive).
Expect more music and food, along with other kinds of live entertainment and “educational exhibits,” according to the city’s website.
About 17.3% of Fairfax County’s population identifies as Hispanic, as of the 2020 Census, which found that the county’s growing Asian and Latino communities had turned it into the second most racially diverse county in Virginia.
The opening timeframe for Reston Town Center’s new theater has been pushed again.
LOOK Dine-In Cinemas is now expected to open by the third quarter of 2023, which would be this fall, a company spokesperson told FFXnow. The opening estimate was first pushed in late 2022 and then delayed to sometime in the first half of this year.
A spokesperson for the company said that once a date is available, it will be shared on the cinema’s website.
In a statement to FFXnow, the spokesperson said it was not clear why the date changed, adding that sometimes things get pushed or delayed.
This is the first location in the D.C. area for the company, which is renovating the Reston theater. Other features of the “luxury” brand include a food, beverage and cocktail menu, according to the company’s website.
LOOK replaces BowTie Cinemas, which closed in May 2022 after more than a decade at 11940 Market Street.
Though the solstice won’t arrive for another month, the spirit of summer is already alive at Tysons Corner Center.
After drawing a crowd earlier this month with its first-ever Taste of Tysons, the mall has lined up a variety of free Summer on the Plaza events and activities, including returns of its outdoor family movie nights and a concert series.
The movies will screen from 7-9 p.m. on one Friday each month, starting next week:
- May 26 — Moana
- June 30 — E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
- July 28 — Boss Baby: The Family Business
- Aug. 18 — Matilda
Complimentary popcorn and soft drinks are provided at the screenings.
Similarly taking place from 7-9 p.m., the concert series will launch in June with singer Jarreau Williams, an Alexandria native. In a change of pace from last year’s retro series, the 2023 program is intended to celebrate different genres:
- June 17 — Jarreau Williams (R&B)
- July 15 — Keeton (pop)
- Aug. 19 — Delta Spur (country and classic rock)
For those who can’t wait until June to groove to some live music, The Boro (8350 Broad Street) is hosting a May concert series with the Tysons Community Alliance. The last show, featuring the jazzy Julian Berkowitz Quartet, is coming this Saturday (May 20) from 1-3 p.m.
Throughout the summer, Tysons Corner Center will also have regular art, game, music and fitness activities on the Plaza.
From a press release:
May 3-Aug. 23
The first four Wednesdays starting May 3 watch live graffiti art come to life. The Lorton Workhouse and Live Art International introduces alternating art concepts for participants to take a drawing class, take home personalized airbrushed swag and more. All materials will be provided.
May 7 – August 20
Class times: 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and noon
Every Sunday experience a new workout and learn about local plants and flowers for Wellness Sundays. Join for Fabletics and The Lorton Workhouse for rotating classes in Pilates, belly dancing, and Boot Camp class and creating your own take-home flower arrangement with Old Dominion Flower Company.
Game Night Thursdays
May 11 – August 31
Starting May 11th, DC Fray will host a free game night every other Thursday. Game concepts will rotate between Cornhole, Roller Skating, Ping Pong, Bingo, RC Racing and Pickleball. Prizes will be awarded!
Music & Dance Fridays
May 5 – August 11
Classes: 6 p.m. or 6:45 p.m.
Join Silvia and La Musica the first two Fridays of each month starting May 5 through August 11 for salsa lessons and a musical workshop. For beginners, Salsa lessons start at 6pm and bachata lessons begin at 6:45 PM. The La Musica: World of Encanto music workshop for kids will feature musical genres from successful Disney films: Coco, Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros and Encanto for karaoke session with live percussion instruments.
A three-decade-old Jewish film and music festival is coming to Fairfax for the first time next month.
The JxJ Festival, an arts festival set to run May 11 to May 21 dedicated to showcasing Jewish culture, is broadening its reach for the first time after years of being exclusively in D.C. venues.
That includes screening films at Cinema Arts at 9650 Main Street inside Fair City Mall in Fairfax City.
Artistic Director Yael Luttwak told FFXnow that the festival wanted to include a Northern Virginia venue in its lineup this year because the area has the D.C. region’s largest Jewish population. And the long history of Cinema Arts as a community movie theater fits perfectly into the festival’s ethos.
“We chose Cinema Arts because it’s a fantastic arts movie theater and it felt like the right home to share these exceptional art house films and more mainstream films that you can’t see anywhere else,” she said.
Seven films will play at the theater starting on May 18 and through May 21, including a mix of narrative features and documentaries:
- The Wild One on Thursday, May 18 at 6 p.m.
- Exodus 91 on Thursday, May 18 at 8 p.m.
- The Seven Years of Absalon on Saturday, May 20 at 6 p.m.
- The Other Widow on Saturday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m.
- Kosher Rehab on Sunday, May 21 at 1:20 p.m.
- The Camera of Dr. Morris on Sunday, May 21 at 2:50 p.m.
- Schächten on Sunday, May 21 at 4:30 p.m.
Several of these films, including “Kosher Rehab,” will only play at Cinema Arts, Luttwak said. The documentary tells the story of young religious men struggling with addiction in Israel.
“Kosher Rehab is about recovery and there is actually a lot of recovery centers and places in Fairfax. So, I thoughtfully put that there,” she said. “In this case, it’s about ultra-Orthodox Jews who are former addicts living together in a house. It’s gritty and brilliant, and [we] hope that it would also help some people.”
The Washington Jewish Film Festival was first established in 1990, while the Washington Jewish Music Festival began in 1999. In 2019, the two area arts festivals became one as the JxJ Festival.
Festival highlights this year include the mid-Atlantic premiere of director Jake Paltrow’s “June Zero“, Israel’s box office hit “Matchmaking,” and the documentary “Closed Circuit” with a conversation afterward moderated by CNN’s Dana Bash.
Luttwak said all of the performances and films over the 10-day-long festival starting next month are connected in the way they help tell the story of Jewish culture.
“I think the connective tissue is not Judaism, per se. That’s complicated because [Judaism] means a lot of different things to lots of different folks. It’s Jewish culture,” she said. “Culture is the soul of who we are and our storytelling is the soul of who we are. And these stories have an incredible ability and impact to educate, inspire, and enlighten.”
Though they won’t appear among the best director nominees at the Oscars this Sunday (March 12), female and gender non-conforming filmmakers will be celebrated tonight (Wednesday) at the Mosaic District.
With doors opening at 6 p.m., the festival will screen seven short films from 7-9 p.m. The screenings will be preceded by a “social hour” with light hors d’oeuvres, drinks and a raffle, according to the event page.
All proceeds will go to Girls on the Run Northern Virginia (GOTR NOVA), a nonprofit based in Fairfax that offers running programs designed to teach girls life skills like teamwork and self-confidence.
“We love hosting Lunafest each year because it allows us to bring our community together to celebrate new perspectives and be inspired by the ideas of what our program participants could become and achieve,” GOTR NOVA Development Manager Catherine Reeves Keller said. “All of the proceeds from the event go back to GOTR NOVA to fund our programming and empower our participants.”
Lunafest was created in 2001 by Luna, a brand of Clif Bar & Company that makes a nutrition bar targeted toward women. Since then, the festival says it has raised over $7 million for nonprofits, featured 175 filmmakers, and hosted over 2,900 screenings in the U.S. and Canada.
The festival lineup includes a mix of live-action and animated films:
Reclaim Your Water: Natasha Smith — As a member of the Ebony Beach Club, Natasha Smith surfs, skates, and makes her own waves.
Miss Chelove: From Java to the Streets of D.C. — As she paints a mural, artist Cita Sadeli (aka Miss Chelove) opens up about her life, her cultural heritage, and how she fell in love with grafti in the 1980s.
Pete — The true story of Pete Barma explores gender identity, Little League Baseball, the people who inspire change by being themselves, and the superheroes who champion that change.
This Is Beth — As celebrated rock climber Beth Rodden grapples with her body image, she rediscovers the love of her sport… and herself.
More Than I Want to Remember — After her southeastern Congo village is bombed, 14-year-old Mugeni sets out on a remarkable solo journey across the globe, determined to reunite with her lost loved ones and lift up the Banyamulenge people.
Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night — All cards are on the table when Noor, a queer Pakistani Muslim woman, brings her Puerto Rican girlfriend, Luz, home for the rst time on the family’s annual game night.
Swimming Through — Amid a brutal Chicago winter and the global pandemic, Deirdre, Helen, and Jennefer’s friendship grows as they commit to a daily sunrise plunge together in Lake Michigan.
Tickets to the festival cost $30 and can be purchased online.