West End Cinema

2301 M Street NW,
Washington, DC 20037

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West End Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Circle West End 5-7 opened on April 12, 1985 with three auditoriums and “Blood Simple”, “Carmen” and “A Sunday in the Country”. The Circle circuit already operated the Circle West End 1-4. Cineplex Odeon tookover when they purchased the Circle chain in late-1987. Cineplex Odeon remodeled it and renamed it the Inner Circle Theatre in memory of the late movie theatre of that name on Pennsylvania Avenue. It was still a triplex. It was closed in late-2003 or early-2004.

Renamed West End Cinema, it reopened as an art house on October 29, 2010 with “Howl”, Budrus" and “Gerrymandering”. Auditoriums seat 100, 95 and 63. It was mothballed during the time it was closed, with projector systems, platters, sound systems, screens, seats and concessions remaining in place.

Contributed by Jack Coursey, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 36 comments)

JodarMovieFan on November 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm

A 10/22/10 Washington Post article reports that the 7200 sq ft venue has three auditoriums seating 95, 75 and 50 people. Sounds like a cozy place to see a movie.

Aside from the traditional movie theater concession fare of popcorn, candy and soda; they reportedly will serve beer, wine and “gourmet nibbles.” Hmmm. I interpret that as high end fare such as foie gras nuggets? :D

westendcinema on November 19, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Sorry, Jodar, no duck liver! We do serve sandwiches, baked treats like baklava, brownies and cookies, and some gourmet chocolate to go along with the Raisinets and Goobers.
Hope you’ll check us out!
West End Cinema

Giles on January 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm

‘Summer Wars’ looks really interesting, might have to check it out!

westendcinema on January 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Please do — it’s great!

Giles on February 8, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Any chance the WEC might be booking ‘Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives’ in March? I must admit I saw it last November at the Virginia Film Festival, but I’d really like to see it again. Their digital presentation of the film was a letdown.

westendcinema on February 8, 2011 at 7:16 pm

I will ask our booker!

CSWalczak on February 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm

A an article about the theater that appeared on the CNN website: View link.

HowardBHaas on May 31, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Westendcinema, have you taken a nice photo ofthe front of the theater? please post as Profile photo here now that photos can be added again. And, if you have a nice photo from before you tookoever, post that, too. Thanks

JackCoursey on June 4, 2011 at 6:53 pm

How are the three auditoriums configured? The one closest to the entrance appears to be fan shaped.

Giles on March 6, 2015 at 10:56 pm

sadly a news story in today’s Washington Post Weekend section regarding the closing at the end of this month


“Josh Levin noted that the exhibition landscape has radically changed since the West End opened just before Halloween in 2010. The Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse and Cinema opened an outpost in Ashburn, the Angelika opened its Mosaic theater in Fairfax and a pop-up theater at Union Market, and the high-end ArcLight and iPic theaters opened in Montgomery County. With more theaters planned in the area, including a permanent home for the Angelika pop-up and two new Landmark theaters near 14th and U and in NoMa, Levin noted that “we simply won’t be able to compete for the same quality of films that we’ve been showing. So the only rational decision, as much as I hate to have to come to this conclusion, is to close.”

Levin, who also produces documentaries, said he has a new film coming out this summer, but has no long-term plans past that. “I have loved doing this,” he said. “And I will take some small comfort in the fact that the rationale we had in opening the West End, which was that so many theaters in D.C. had gone out of business that we felt there was room in the marketplace, that that trend has reversed and we have wonderful new theaters. As a film fan and somebody who believes in the importance of having that experience in a darkened room with other people on a screen that’s larger than your cell phone, I’m excited for the future of exhibition in D.C.”

Although regular programming at the West End will cease on March 26, Levin said he hopes to “do something fun” at the theater the following weekend, before it closes for good on March 31.

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