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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Angelika Film Center: classy but pricey

There’s lots to like about the brand-new Angelika Film Center in the Mosaic District in Merrifield: The screens have state-of-the art projection and sound technology, the stadium seating is roomy and comfortable, and there are gourmet food options at the café and concession stand. The theater will show mostly independent and foreign films, and you can enjoy a craft beer or wine while watching them.

The downside: Tickets will be $13 and a small popcorn is $6.50 ($8 for a small “artisan” popcorn, with special flavors like rosemary Parmesan, beer cheddar, or tandoori yoghurt). 

Still, it’s great to have a new movie theater close to Annandale. It’s something that’s been sorely missed, since the old Lee Highway movie theater in Merrifield was torn down in July 2010 to make way for the new Mosaic development.
The concession stand.
The six-screen theater will officially open to the public Sept. 21. Meanwhile, “there will be several soft openings to targeted groups,” said manager Danielle Mouledoux.

The first free screening was held Friday evening. The film, “Hello I Must Be Going,” about a depressed young women who moves in with her parents after a divorce, was well acted. The stars, Blythe Danner and Melanie Lynskey, will appear at a discussion session following the 7 p.m. show Sept. 21 and the 2 and 7 p.m. shows Sept. 22.

A chandelier in the lobby.
One thing that makes Angelika different from run-of-the-mill movie theaters is its more ambitious food selections. The “global, modern fusion” menu has been designed by Lee Anne Wong, a finalist on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and a regular contributor to “Unique Eats” on the Cooking Channel.

Pricing for most items hasn’t been set for the concession stand yet, which will include gourmet hot dogs (kimchi-dogs, Mexi-dogs, and BLT dogs), along with several types of nachos and snacks in bento boxes designed for eating on your lap in the theater. The self-serve soda machines allow you to be creative in mixing your own drinks.

The café and lounge will feature more substantial fare plus espresso drinks and desserts. There will even be some vegan selections, like a baked edamame falafel panini.

The lobby
Another difference: You’ll be able to reserve your seats if you order tickets online, said Mouledoux.

And when it comes to ticket prices, there will be several lower priced options, including $6 weekday morning shows, $9 admissions with free popcorn for students on Tuesdays, $8 shows starting 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, and “baby boomer Thursdays” featuring $7 tickets and free popcorn for adults 55 and over. Mouledoux said the theatre is also considering “crybaby matinees,” where patrons can bring infants.

Here’s the line-up for opening day, Sept. 21: “The Master,” “Hello I Must Be Going,” “Samsara,” “Keep the Lights On,” Liberal Arts,” and the classic 1937 masterpiece by Jean Renoir, “Grand Illusion.”

More than 100 customized drink choices.
There will be a Skype Q and A with “Samsara” filmmaker Mark Magidson following the 7:25 p.m. screening on Sept. 21.

Films opening on Sept. 28: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Must Travel.” Several Alfred Hitchcock classics will be shown in October.

1 comment:

  1. No insight into what the auditoriums look like or screen size? Can't find that on sites associated with Angelika, either. Seems they are keeping quiet about it...