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.
The Merrifield neighborhood’s Angelika Film Center (2911 District Avenue) is hosting Lunafest — a traveling film festival that showcases movies by and about women — to mark International Women’s Day.
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.
Tysons moviegoers can now escape to Pandora while munching on blackened salmon.
CMX CinéBistro (2001 International Drive, Suite 1700U) has officially opened at Tysons Galleria after a couple of delays last fall. The dine-in movie theater, which features a full bar and lounge, is located on the third floor of the mall’s redeveloped Macy’s wing.
CMX Cinemas announced on Instagram that its newest theater opened its doors for the first time last Friday (Jan. 27).
The 43,268-square-foot theater has over 800 reclining seats in eight screening rooms. Available in theaters and at the Stone Sports Bar in the lobby, the menu focuses on “rustic New American cuisine” prepared by formally trained chefs, CMX said in a press release.
“The thing that really sets our menu and concept apart from other theaters in the region is that we serve it in-theater while guests are sitting in a plush recliner, and we pair it with the latest projection and audio technology,” CMX CEO Patrick Ryan said. “We want to be able to check every box in terms of food, technology, comfort and amenities, because it’s when you put it all together that it adds up to an unbeatable experience.”
Dishes include blackened salmon with roasted garlic mash and butter sauce, artichoke cakes with Old Bay remoulade and Brazilian tomato slaw, a signature CMX Burger, and a crispy chicken bowl with jasmine rice.
Standard movie theater concessions are also available, along with alcoholic and non-alcoholic milkshakes.
Patrons planning to use the in-theater dining service need to arrive at least 30 minutes before their showtime, and except for films designated as “family-friendly,” showings after 8:30 p.m. are limited to people 21 and older.
Movies currently playing include recent Oscar nominees like “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” along with this weekend’s new releases “80 for Brady” and M. Night Shamalyan’s “Knock at the Cabin.” There was also a repertory screening of “Rocky” on Wednesday (Feb. 1).
Ticket prices vary based on the movie and time of day, from $8 for a weekday matinee of “80 for Brady” to $14.49 for a “prime time” showing of “Top Gun: Maverick” on Friday night. On Tuesdays, all tickets for adults and kids are just $5, according to a promotional sign outside the theater.
This is CMX’s first location in Fairfax County, though the Florida-based company has theaters in Richmond and Leesburg.
“We are proud of our tenant offerings, and CMX CineBistro is one of the final elements that will complete the new wing at Tysons Galleria,” said Chris Pine, executive vice president of anchors, big box leasing and development at Brookfield Properties for retail. “CMX offers a sophisticated and comfortable experience that compliments the Tysons Galleria experience.”
The final additions to the new wing include the Southeast Asian restaurant Jiwa Singapura, which is located directly across from CinéBistro and expected to open early this year, and Yard House.
The sports bar was scheduled to have a grand opening on Jan. 15, but permit issues with Fairfax County delayed the opening, which will now be on Feb. 26, according to Dylan Wieder, executive chef for Yard House’s Tysons location.
The movie world’s annual parade of fall festivals will make a pit stop in Fairfax County next week, with the launch of the Washington West Film Festival.
After celebrating its 10th anniversary virtually in 2020 due to COVID-19, the festival returned in person last year and is now preparing for its 11th season, which will bring a variety of films to Tysons and Reston from Oct. 13-17.
While it likely won’t generate the Oscar buzz of Toronto or the gossip of Venice, Washington West has a more unique mission. Founded in 2011, the festival was designed as a “laboratory” to promote both cinema and philanthropy, according to its website.
The festival says it donates all of its box office proceeds to nonprofits that assist “struggling communities.” Since 2019, the beneficiaries have been the Henry & William Evans Home For Children, Virginia’s Kids Belong, Blu_Print, and The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health.
This year’s edition will kick off at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13 with an opening night screening of “Refuge” at Tysons’ Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road).
The documentary follows a friendship between a Muslim heart doctor and an ex-Ku Klux Klan member in Clarkston, Georgia, “the most diverse square mile in America,” per the festival website. There will be a Q&A with the movie’s subjects as well as co-director and producer Din Blankenship.
The schedule for the four-day event includes feature-length and short films — both fictional and documentary — along with a virtual workshop on crowdfunding a movie and showcases for local filmmakers and George Mason University students.
Steven Spielberg’s classic “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” will get a 40th anniversary celebration on Oct. 15 at ShowPlace ICON in The Boro, which will host the majority of events. That day will also have a free, outdoor screening of “Hocus Pocus” at Reston Town Square Park.
The festival’s closing night film will be the HBO documentary “The Slow Hustle,” screening at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage.
Aside from the free “Hocus Pocus” showing, admission costs range from $15 to $35. The full schedule and links to buy tickets can be found on the festival website.
In just over a month, Tysons Galleria patrons will be able to get dinner, a drink and a movie — all from the same reclining, leather armchair.
The mall’s new CMX CinéBistro will open on the third floor of the redeveloped Macy’s wing on Sept. 23, as noted on the movie theater company’s website.
“Tysons Galleria is a natural fit for the surrounding D.C. suburbs, which is known for its upscale shopping, world-class cultural attractions, and fine dining scene,” CMX Cinemas told FFXnow by email. “We believe CMX CinéBistro at Tysons Galleria will exemplify the pedigree residents and visitors to Tysons Corner have come to expect.”
Between the nearby AMC at Tysons Corner Center, The Boro’s ShowPlace ICON Theatre, and Angelika Film Center in the Mosaic District, the Tysons area isn’t exactly starved for moviegoing options, but the CinéBistro promises a different kind of experience, where the food is as much of an attraction as what’s playing on screen.
Each of the theater’s eight screening rooms will essentially double as a dining room, with servers who bring in food and drinks from the restaurant and Stone Sports Bar outside.
With appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees, desserts, and a drink menu, including wine and cocktails, the restaurant will feature “rustic New American cuisine” with dishes like steak au poivre with duck fat and fried ruffled pommes frites. Vegetarian and gluten-free options include artichoke cakes with Old Bay remoulade and Brazilian tomato slaw.
Patrons must arrive at least 30 minutes before their showtime to get in-theater dining service. Standard concessions are also available.
“This allows them to get comfortable in their recliners and it gives our team time to take, create, and serve their orders before the film starts,” CMX said, noting that all seats have a swivel table, cupholders and a reading light.
All showings after 8 p.m. will be limited to people 21 and older. CMX says the age policy doesn’t have a huge effect on what movies are shown and when, but the showtimes can be adjusted for the anticipated audience. For instance, kid-oriented, animated movies may have more daytime screenings.
“What that does is it helps foster a more mature, refined experience that really mirrors the Tysons Galleria ambiance,” CMX said by email. “But overall, we think we’ve built something that is truly a destination, even if you’re not watching a movie. Our food and drinks are top-notch; the films are a bonus.”
CMX Cinemas launched with its first dine-in theater in April 2017 in Miami, Florida. It now has 33 locations with 358 screens across the U.S., including traditional theaters and CMX Market Cinemas that provide “grab-and-go” service, according to the company’s website.
The Tysons Galleria location is 43,268 square feet in size with over 800 seats.
CinéBistro will be an anchor tenant for the former Macy’s space, which was subdivided after the department store closed in 2019. Home to Bowlero, Crate & Barrel, and other retailers, the new wing is fully leased with the restaurant Jiwa Singapura and sports bar Yard House also expected this year.
Tysons Corner Center’s Summerfest is back.
The annual line-up of free events at the mall’s Plaza ushers in Memorial Day weekend tomorrow (Friday) with a 7 p.m. screening of the Disney film “Encanto,” the first of five planned outdoor movies.
Scheduled for the last Friday of every month through September, the family movie nights will include complimentary popcorn and soft drinks as long as supplies last.
- June 24: Karate Kid
- July 29: Cruella
- Aug. 19: Honey I Shrunk the Kids
- Sept. 30: Raya and the Last Dragon
The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) will next come to furry life with Paws on the Plaza, a pet-centered festival that will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 4.
The event will feature a dog park and splash pad, a beer garden, free pet caricatures, a DJ, a photo booth, giveaways, and vendors.
Later this summer, the Plaza will travel back through time with a retro summer concert series. Each show will last from 7 to 9 p.m. and showcase a performer representing a different decade, per a press release:
- June 25: So Fetch (2000s)
- July 16: JParis Live (1990s)
- Aug. 13: The Legwarmers (1980s)
For the younger crowd, the band Rocknoceros kicked off a series of kids’ concerts on May 11. The concerts will continue from 11 a.m. to noon on the second Wednesday of every month through September.
Tysons Corner Center has also partnered with the events company DC Fray for happy hour bingo, pingpong, and bean-bag-tossing tournaments at 6-8 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Other recurring activities include “Tysons Fit Club” workouts on Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. and live acoustic or DJ music in the evenings on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Just like that, Bow Tie Cinemas has left Reston Town Center, leaving Reston Association’s longest running program in limbo.
Reston Town Center owner Boston Properties confirmed last month that the movie theater chain hadn’t renewed its lease, but no firm closure date was given, beyond that it would be sometime in May.
The closure now appears to be official. No show times are listed on its website or the box office marquee, and the doors were locked today (Wednesday).
The company did not return multiple requests for comment on the last day of business. Boston Properties also did not respond to multiple requests for comment on when the company’s lease expired.
RA’s Senior Movie Day, which brings more than 100,000 patrons over the years, will be on pause, as the cinema changes theater companies.
The program begin in 1994 and is expected to resume later this year or in early 2023. RA says that roughly 315 people aged 55 and above attended the shows and enjoyed other Reston Town Center amenities after watching the movies.
Bow Tie Cinemas, which took over the theater in April 2011, will be replaced by LOOK Dine-in Cinemas, which plans to open its first location in Virginia in the last quarter of the year. The business declined to provide additional details about the theater beyond what was reported last month.
LOOK also declined to comment on whether or not it plans to continue the senior movie day tradition once the new theater opens.
A dine-in theater will replace Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston Town Center.
LOOK Dine-In Cinemas plans to open its first location in Virginia in the final quarter of 2022, a company representative told FFXnow.
“The Reston theater will be fully renovated which includes adding a kitchen for the dine-in auditoriums,” Melissa Gotto, a spokesperson for the company, wrote in a statement. She added that no other details were ready for public dissemination.
The theater offers dine-in viewings, including “a complete food, beverage and cocktail menu,” according to the cinema’s website. The business describes itself as a “luxury” brand.
The Reston location would be the company’s 12th. Most of the company’s locations are in Texas and California. The only one on the East Coast is in New York.
Bow Tie Cinemas acquired the space at 11940 Market Street from Rave Cinema in 2011. Since then, moviegoers have lamented the declining state of the theater, including delayed show times and lack of maintenance.
The lights are about to go dark at Reston Town Center’s longtime movie theater.
Bow Tie Cinemas did not renew its lease for this year, according to a representative for Boston Properties.
The movie theater did not return multiple requests for comment, although a source who chose to remain anonymous says the theater is expected to close some time in May.
But moviegoers have no reason to fear: Boston Properties says that another theater is coming to the town center.
“We completed a lease with a new theater operator late last year,” said Sapna Yathraj, a spokesperson for BP.
The company did not immediately release any other information and declined to comment on the name of the new theater.
Moviegoers have reported that the longtime tenant has struggled with delayed showings and maintenance issues for the past year or so.
Bow Tie Cinemas acquired the theater at Reston Town Center from Rave Cinema in 2011. The theater shuttered during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic before reopening on Memorial Day weekend in May 2021.