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Why Can’t We Have A Movie Theater in Columbia Heights?

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We’ve touched on this issue a bit in the comment section of previous posts. But I’ve received a surprising number of emails asking why Columbia Heights doesn’t have a movie theater. And Sunday when I was walking downtown I passed the great E Street Cinema (just east of 11th Street, NW) and it made me think about it again. It seems that the E Street Cinema is wildly successful. So I hope I’m not being naive. I’m not saying that Columbia Heights should have a one screen independent theater. But why can’t Columbia Heights have a multi-screen independent theater modeled after the E Street Cinema? It seems like there is a real market out there.

I imagine the theater would attract folks from Adams Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, Shaw/U Street/Logan Circle, Columbia Heights of course, Park View, Petworth, Brightwood, Brookland, and even Woodley Park/Cleveland Park among other neighborhoods. Is that not enough people to support a movie theater? If you think Columbia Heights could support a movie theater, where could it realistically go? How many screens would be ideal? Could it support a theater that shows independent films like E Street or a more traditional theater like Chinatown/Gallery Place Regal Cinemas?

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