More Movie Theater News – Union Market Getting One Too in 2015!!

Rendering courtesy EDENS

Well this is incredibly awesome. On top of last week’s news of a new 10 screen theater coming to New York Avenue and N Street, NE between first and North Capitol from the folks behind E Street Cinema, comes this huge news from a press release:

“EDENS, one of the nation’s leading retail real estate owners and developers, announced today that they will partner with Reading International, Inc. to open an Angelika Film Center in EDENS growing Union Market district in 2015.

Today’s announcement about Angelika’s opening furthers EDENS’ commitment of investment in this district. The Angelika, which operates the leading dedicated arthouse in the US, opened a state-of-the-art cinema at Mosaic in Fairfax, VA in September 2012. Exhibiting a range of film and alternative programming, the Angelika has become an important part of the cultural community in Northern Virginia and metro D.C.

Reading International and EDENS have been working to create a unique Angelika Film Center venue that will combine cutting edge presentation technology with elements of luxury and comfort in a stylish ambience capturing the rich and creative spirit already apparent in the Union Market district. This multi-screen cinema will offer luxurious seating and pristine digital projection with immersive sound systems. In keeping with its other cinemas, the Angelika will strive to offer Washington, D.C. the most interesting quality programming available. And, in keeping with Union Market’s progressive food offerings, the Angelika will serve a food and drink menu designed by Food Network/Cooking Channel veterans, Bruce Seidel and Chef Santos Loo.

Union Market, located a short walk from the NoMa/Gallaudet metro, is a 45-acre district that is planned for over 7 million square feet. EDENS has a clear vision to create one of D.C.’s most vibrant, interesting, and thriving neighborhoods. Since opening in September 2012, The Market at Union Market, with over 40 local artisan food and beverage vendors, now averages 10,000 – 15,000 visitors per weekend and has held over 100 events. John Mooney, one of the country’s leading sustainable chefs, will open a new restaurant concept at The Market before the end of the month. Over the last several months, the Union Market district has also become a unique and alternative entertainment destination.

This past summer, EDENS sponsored a “Drive-In” movie series that delighted thousands of filmgoers by exhibiting classic movies on Union Market’s 3-story wall. Two weeks ago, teaming up with Politics & Prose, one of the nation’s leading independent booksellers, EDENS sold out a book-signing event at Union Market for the book, The World Atlas of Wine. And this Thanksgiving weekend, EDENS will be launching its retail efforts with Thread, a three day shopping experience in the Dock 5 space at Union Market featuring 30 local and national fashion brands.”

1309 5th Street, NE

60 Comment

  • and you get a theater! and you get a theater! and you get a theater!

  • When it rains, it pours. Theaters are the new tapas, apparently. So where exactly in Union Market will this be? Are they tearing anything down to build it?

  • So excited about all these new theaters!

  • You know, not all of these new theaters will survive. The demand simply isn’t there. Except for the big, hyped-up premieres at the Uptown, you just don’t see people lined up down the block to get into a movie these days.

    • I was wondering about that too, but I guess they’ll be making a lot of money off fancy food and drinks as well.

    • I don’t believe that there is no market for more theaters. The folks on the east side of the city will go to them, and depending on how differentiated the offerings are, you could see traffic from the suburbs and other parts of the city as well. I think the new theaters will do a lot to alleviate the sort of crowding you see at Chinatown and E Street on the weekends and the Angelika especially will probably expand the variety of movies we get here.

    • The line is outside the Uptown because the lobby is so tiny, it couldn’t fit all the people who want to go inside. You might want to check box office grosses, which continue to go up annually, before you determine demand for films. Also, this area has lots of density in the pipeline, there’s a huge new building going up at the corner of New York & Florida and existing apartment buildings on both sides of 3rd St. at the intersection of 3rd & K St NE, one at 3rd & I St NE, developments on two sides of 3rd & H St NE, and a third building coming at that same 3rd & H St NE intersection. Did I mention that the Angelika Film Center development will bring new residential as well, in addition to the residential being built over the forthcoming Landmark theater project in NOMA? That there are apartment buildings on two sides of 1st & M St NE? Are you kidding? In the next two years, there will be literally thousands of high end apartment units within walking distance of Union Market. Plus, per the above stats, Union Market is already drawing 10,000-15,000 people per weekend *without* a movie theater or major residential development on site. They’ll do just fine.

      • And I forgot about the hundreds of units coming on the north side of the 600 block of H St, a smaller project in 1100 block of H, condos coming to the 1400 block of Maryland (so long, Checkers), and groundbreaking is yet to be announced for the MASSIVE projects on deck for the south side of the 600 block of H and Rapparport’s long-planned project at the 800-1000 block stretch on the south side of H (so long, semi-sketchy strip mall).

      • +1 to everything you said Wylie. Folks seem to be missing the memo about NoMa becoming the densest residential area in DC once all the build-out is completed.

        • Forgot to add that it sounds like this theater will go after a completely different demographic than the Landmark theater slated for N Cap and N.

          • They will probably be going after the same demographic, since they’re both indie theater chains. But that would likely be a good thing and expand the variety of independent offerings that DC gets.

          • Big blockbusters vs. smaller indie movies — attracts different crowds

          • I thought they were both doing smaller indie movies.

          • Based on whats currently showing at the Landmark E Street Theater and the Angelika at Mosaic, it looks like they’ll both be showing the midrange indie movies. Movies a lot of people have heard of, but that might not be showing at Regal. Right now, the films overlapping between the two are Kill Your Darlings, All Is Lost, Dallas Buyers Club, Enough Said, and Blue is the Warmest Color.

            I find it interesting that Angelika describes itself as an Arthouse theater, as the one at Mosaic is also currently showing Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, and Captain Phillips.

      • Box office grosses may have increased in the past year, but there is no clear indication of an upward trend. If anything, they are leveling off or showing signs of dropping, since their peak in the early 2000s. But you can continue to make up figures to suit your arguments, it doesn’t really bother me.

        • You seem to be missing the point. You’re talking about MACRO trends, while Wylie was talking about the MICRO trends of DC. It’s very well possible that on a national level, the movie industry is struggling – all the while movie theaters flourish in DC. These are not mutually incompatible.

    • Landmark’s are different… better movies, indie flicks and booze… forget AMC or Regal

    • I’ve recently been to several movies that were crowded and had to see later showings of movies quite a few times, as well. 12 Years a Slave and Gravity were both sold out when I saw them. And, (admittedly a while ago), The Place Beyond the Pines was sold out when I saw it at E Street. E Street also does midnight showings of Cult Classics like Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Room that are always crowded. I wonder if the new Landmark theater in NOMA will do the same.

    • It makes more sense than their location in deep NoVA

  • oh wow… these developers didnt look around and wonder to themselves “gee why have movie theaters completely collapsed across the country after dominating entertainment for several decades”?

  • 2015 seems like a ambitious timeline for this. If they want to do this as a mixed use development with apartments on top they need 20-24 months from ground breaking. They will need to be in the ground in the next month or two. If they don’t have their permiting and financing finalized I don’t see how that can make 2015.

  • I wish them luck but can’t help but feel they will need it.

    • why so much doubt?? there are no theatres in NE or SE right now, and there are quite a few in NW. there are new buildings all over the place from NoMa to Brookland. There are plenty of people who are tired of trekking far and wide to go to a movie..

  • this is so very amazing… so pleased. so pleased.

  • lovefifteen

    From my perspective, all DC movie theaters are incredibly crowded. I have never lived in another US city where I get to the theater and the movie is regularly sold out. That has happened to me several times in DC, and now I usually get tickets in advance via Fandango.

    I think this city, growing as it is, can handle and support three new movie theaters.

    • Totally agree too. I’ve frequently had to change my plans because movies are sold out at E Street and Gallery Place. The theaters are always packed on the weekends.

      • West End too. My girlfriend and I spent a very uncomfortable matinee with our necks craned up because the only seats left were right up against the screen. It wasn’t even a very popular movie.

      • Also in agreement. I used to be the type to get to a movie about 15 minutes before it starts, buy a ticket, get my concessions, and still get a decent seat. When I go to E Street or Gallery Place I typically get there 30 minutes early to get concessions and get a seat and I buy my ticket hours before the movie starts, even for movies that have been out a few weeks.

  • Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on how these people will get around (i.e. to work)…The buses are already overwhelmed (as are the streets – anyone’s bus commute getting longer and longer?), and getting a train at Union Station in the morning is a nightmare – NoMa is a little better, but not for long. And thousands of people biking to work? Please. And we know the city doesn’t want all these people to have cars. The city will have to invest in a lot more than just the trolley, which took about a decade, anyway…

    • people are so weird about this. yes, there are solution to this. metro can run more trains, more buses, Bus Rapid Transit, telecomuting, walking, biking, cabbing, segwaying and people do in fact still own cars in the city.

      • I’m fairly confident the city and residents will come to some transit mix that isn’t too terrible. But it’s a legitimate concern, especially from those of us that have lived in Northern Virginia and experienced firsthand what it’s like when a jurisdiction’s transit infrastructure doesn’t keep up with population growth.

        • it is fair, to be sure, but it’s usually stated from a pessimistic concern.. thus the “please” in the post.
          nova isn’t really a good comparison.
          when it’s stated that the busses are overcrowded, that’s marginally true, but also, there could easily be more busses, and the X3 could switch to running all day. shorter loop buses would work too. the 90 busses for instance are insanely long. this area is also very close to employment centers, highly walkable.
          so yes, i respect forward rational thinking about it, but not statements that include the flippant “please”, when referring to bike riding.

          • I have no problem with people riding bikes. I think it is a very viable form of transportation for some people. Not disabled, elderly, people with children, people who don’t want to ride in bad weather, people who have to carry things (groceries), etc. There are also storage issues with bikes. And already crowded roads.

            Further, the whole point of my comments is that DC, VA, MD have historically been very slow to want to spend any money on transportation infrastructure. And then there’s getting through bureaucracy. DC has tremendous revenue coming in, and rarely is transportation expansion listed as a top priority. Usually, they are trying to cut routes and save money.

            Plenty of areas in the city have transportation issues – e.g. the nightmare of catching a bus on 14th street to go downtown. I stated NoMa because it was relevant to the posted article. Further, many bus route times are getting longer and longer because of the traffic. Adding more busses, without dedicated bus lanes, will only exacerbate the issue.

            But true to government, I’m sure the problem will have to get much worse before anyone addressses it.

          • justinbc

            This city could seriously benefit from more bike corrals in popular neighborhoods. Walking around and seeing them chained up to every possible apparatus is not only tacky, it’s a real pain in the ass for those actually riding the bike.

          • And just the simple black u bend ones. No fancy ones. No sculptural ones. Just basic and simple. Please.

  • Am I the only one concerned that the development surrounding Union Market going to push out the wholesalers? I realize this particular project won’t be displacing anyone, but it would be a sad day if Litteri et al. have to relocate to make way for more condos.

    • *is going to push out

      • It probably will eventually happen. It’s happened in NYC and and will happen next year in Tokyo to the fish wholesalers.

        • agreed. no way the wholesalers are there in 10 years. not possible.

        • I was reading something about NYC wholesale food suppliers recently think it was related to post Sandy – think it was related to the special initiative for Rebuilding.

          Basically, I think they said that it actually meant that the food supply chain for the entire could be easily broken and was pretty much the reason supplying restaurants and even grocery stores was such a problem in the first weeks after the storm.

    • i’d bet anything that a. litteris would survive any kind of gentrification the rest of the market goes through.

  • Hummmm. Good luck indeed. I am all for anything improving the area, and think Landmark will do well but this one seems like a little over kill. There is a huge movie space in Union Station (beautiful building) that could not stay afloat so why would they build a new space not too far away? This area is a bit sketchy (even if union market is nice). It borders Trinidad, the gunshot capitol of the capital. I think somebody might get hurt if you try to push into some neighborhoods too quickly. Wishing best of luck and hoping for the best!

    • you should do more research.

    • justinbc

      Are you worried people will leave the movie theater and just wander around aimlessly through nearby neighborhoods?

    • Union Station movie theater opened when I was in the 7th grade. HUGE news in 1988… It hasn’t been updated since and is now a total and complete sh*thole… that’s why it hasn’t stayed afloat. Not to mention the people who work there are morons.

      • That movie theater was a bit of a disaster even back in 1998, when it was one of the only multiplexes in the district (perhaps the only, unless you count the Foundry, which had 8 or 9 second-run/indy screens, some as small as 20-person capacity). It seemed like they managed to never clean the lobbies or theatres, and took advantage of a captive audience.

  • The release says that it is due north of Union Market, between 5th and 6th, so it’s on the backside of the market, the opposite of the main parking lot (and further from A. Litteri).

    I am hopeful (if not optimistic) that the redevelopment of this area will allow some of the great wholesale shops (like A.Litteri) to stay and thrive, while perhaps replacing some (not all) of the cell-phone and t-shirt stalls. If anyone has ever been to the Strip District in Pittsburgh, that’s a best-case (if unlikely) scenario for the Union Market area.

    • literris is retail.

      • Fair enough — I wasn’t precise in my comment. What I meant by my comment (and what the Pittsburgh Strip District offers), is businesses that do good volume in both wholesale and retail (and restaurant supply… does that count as wholesale?). Don’t have to be fancy, but open to customers that come in off the street, even if that’s not their primary business.

        • Sorry, wasn’t trying to be picky. I do know that there is a lot of confusion about the market and where normal people ( as opposed to businesses) can go shop.

    • You are spot on about the Strip District, it has a good mix of residential/retail/wholesalers.

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