AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center - Silver Spring, MD

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AFI Main Theater
AFI Silver Theatre

The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center is a state-of-the-art moving image exhibition, education, and cultural center. Independent features, foreign films, documentaries and classic cinema features are presented through state-of-the-art technology in three theatres. The Theatre and Cultural Center was an ambitious project of restoration of the historic 1938 Silver Theatre. The new center was completed in 2003 by a collaboration of Montgomery County, Maryland and the American Film Institute. The building added 32,000 square feet housing, two stadium theatres, office and meeting space and exhibit areas.

The American Film Institute, founded in 1967, is America's national arts organization dedicated to advancing and preserving the art of film, television, and digital media. The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center offers filmmaker interviews, panels, discussions, musical performances and other events. The organization relies on the financial support from moving arts enthusiasts to provide funding for its programs and initiatives.

8633 Colesville Road at the intersection of Colesville Road and Georgia Avenue - in the heart of the downtown Silver Spring, Maryland and two blocks north of Metro's Red Line station.​ See a map.

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History of the Silver Theatre

Built at the height of the New Deal by Treasurer of the United States William Alexander Julian, the Silver Theatre was designed as the crown jewel of Maryland’s Silver Spring Shopping Center. An Art Deco theatre/shopping center complex, the Silver Theatre was conceived to transform the neighborhood into the hub of a major business district with regional appeal. After a nearly 50-year run, the original Silver Theatre closed its doors in 1985. A decade later, when its owner announced demolition plans, community preservationists, including the Art Deco Society of Washington, waged a battle to preserve both the theatre and the adjoining shopping complex. In 2003, with a mission of advancing and preserving the art of the moving image, AFI developed the concept of an AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, transforming the historic theatre into a regional destination for arts, entertainment and an internationally recognized year-round film and video exhibition center.


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