After being closed for the past 16 months, Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema could reopen in August, according to a company spokesperson.
Movie theaters across Maryland closed in March 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most theaters in Montgomery County reopened in late May, when the county lifted the nearly all pandemic restrictions, allowing theaters to operate at full capacity.
Landmark’s three theaters in the greater Washington area — Bethesda Row Cinema, Atlantic Plumbing Cinema and E Street Cinema — have remained closed.
However, in a media email blast on Tuesday, Landmark stated that one or more of the D.C.-area theaters could open by Aug. 13.
Landmark hopes to open all three theaters by the end of August, but might stagger the openings, Vice President of Marketing and Publicity Margot Gerber told Bethesda Beat on Wednesday.
Gerber said some of Landmark’s theaters have heating and cooling systems that hadn’t been inspected while the theaters were shut down during the pandemic.
“That’s why we don’t know for sure [about the opening date], because we’re in the process of talking to vendors about completing this work,” she said.
Gerber added that there are other logistical issues to figure out before its D.C.-area theaters can reopen, such as hiring back employees who have been out of work during the pandemic.
She said the company hopes all three theaters will be open by the end of August.
“It’s an important market for us,” she said.
Another Bethesda theater, ArcLight Cinemas at Westfield Montgomery mall, did not reopen post-pandemic after its parent company, Pacific Theatres, announced in April that its theaters would not reopen.
Pacific Theatres then announced in June that it had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Bloomberg reported.
AMC Theatres has said it will acquire some now-shuttered ArcLight Cinemas, Variety reported in June. And last week, AMC announced it would acquire two former Pacific theaters in the Los Angeles area. An AMC spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday on any possible plans for the former Bethesda ArcLight theater.
The Bethesda entertainment scene will get a boost this weekend when Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club reopens. A taping for a Netflix special by comedian Nathaniel Stroman, who goes by the name “Earthquake,” is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Robert Dyer reported on Tuesday about the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club reopening.
Dan Schere can be reached at email@example.com