Silver Spring: Two Thumbs Up for AFI Silver Theatre

Movie theater audience

Worth a look: There’s more to the Silver than stuffy, art-house fare. The three-screen theater also caters to the casual crowd, as evidenced by this past summer’s “Films of the ’80s” series.

A decade ago, if you’d said Silver Spring, Md., was soon to become a big player in the world of cinema, people would have thought you were off your rocker.

But these days, it’s true. Silver Spring’s AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center offers “year-round programming of the best in American and international cinema in a theatrical setting of the highest standards.” The films are buttressed by filmmaker interviews, panels, discussions and musical performances. To that end, if you’ve lived around the area awhile and have an interest in the arts, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival, a seven-day event presented by AFI and the Discovery Channel. This year’s eighth annual festival took place June 21-27.

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Among the documentaries screened were “Wo Ai Ni Mommy (I Love You, Mommy)” – directed and produced by Stephanie Wang-Breal, and winner of the Silverdocs Sterling Award for a US Feature – and “The Woman With the 5 Elephants” – written and directed by Vadim Jendreyko, and winner of the Silverdocs Sterling Award for a World Feature. In conjunction with the screenings at the AFI Silver Theatre is the AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs International Documentary Conference, which takes place simultaneously.

The AFI Silver’s café and concession stand even serve beer and wine that you can take into the theater – not bad. The center also partners with Montgomery College, the school’s Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus offering film workshops every year in February, May and July. Some of these workshops are pricey, but if you want to learn the ins and outs of filmmaking, it may be worth it.

If you’re affiliated with a company that wants to throw a soiree, the center can be rented out for just such a purpose. There’s parking nearby, including Wayne Avenue Garage, where you can park for free after 6 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. Better yet, get those tootsies moving, as the center is located just a short northeast walk (looks to be a little less than a half-mile) from the Silver Spring Metro station on the Red Line. If you live here, you may be close enough to walk door-to-door using only your New Balance or something far sexier.

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What does all of this mean for the apartment renter in Silver Spring? Well, if you visit the AFI Silver Theatre enough – and living here will make it easier – you’ll get to act all cultured around your friends, family and coworkers.

Heck, take it a step further and sign up for one of those classes offered by the center, and then you can pretend to be a budding auteur, a downright aesthete! Who doesn’t want to feel superior at some point in their life? Not you? You’re a strict egalitarian? You just proved my point. So, stick it! I mean move here. Check out Apartment Showcase to find a perfect apartment for your needs.

Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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