Arlington Cinema 'n' Drafthouse & Neighbors

May 24, 2015 , UPDATED Jan, 2020
Town Center: Columbia Heights


Arlington Cinema n Drafthouse,  Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse

Arlington Cinema n Drafthouse,  Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse  the Pike & Walter Reed




Arlington Cinema n Drafthouse,  Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse lobby

Arlington Cinema n Drafthouse,  Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse lobby



The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike


Drafthouse, Caspi & La Chiquita


The Arlington Cinema 'n' Drafthouse, La Chiquita Restaurant and the Caspi Restaurant are housed in an Art Deco styled building at the intersection of Columbia Pike and South Walter Reed. The building was completed in 1939 and the inema opened in 1940. The building has been classified as historic, its designation is essential, by the county.

Facing Columbia Pike

2903: Cinema 'N' Drafthouse
2911: La Chiquita Restaurant:
2901: Caspi Restaurant

La Chiquita Restaurant
La Chiquita Restaurant Columbia Pike
Caspi Restaurant


La Chiquita restaurant which serves Tortas Y and Tacos on the west side of the Drafthouse opened in June 2017 and replaced  Old Arlington Grill. La Chiquita  were originally in a food truck in the parking lot of the old Food Star at  the Pike & George Mason. All businesses had to move from that lot in order to make way for the new Centro Complex which opened in October 2019. On the east side is Caspi, a mediterranean-themed restaurant  which also faces Walter Reed.



Next to La Chiquita Restaurant is
2915 Boru Ramen

2919 - 2927 Bangkok 54 Restaurant & Market

The restaurant specializes in contemporary Thai Cuisine and the market specializes in Asian Groceries. Bundit Sookmee is the owner of both the restaurant and market. 

The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
54 Bangkok Restaurant, Boru Ramen Restaurant



Bangkok 54 Market


The market was closed for almost a year due to a fire on December 12, 2013. The rebuilding took nine months the market reopened September 2014.  The restaurant was able to open the day after the fire.

Comments


I worked in the C&P Telephone (now AT&T) in the 1970s. My co-workers and I often walked down S. Walter Reed and turned right onto Columbia Pike to have lunch or dinner at 'Oriental Restaurant' (I'm pretty sure that was it's actual name). It was one of the businesses in the same block as the theatre. It had great Asian food. I moved from Virginia in 1990 and the restaurant. Wondering if anyone can tell me how long it remained. Pat Baker
Thank you for your comments. I did not know the name of the restaurant before. I found out that you were correct, it was Oriental Restaurant, it was a Chinese restaurant. I am not sure when it closed but it was still open at the beginning of this century, it might have been right up until Bangkok 54 opened which was on March 17, 2004.


Caspi Restaurant Columbia Pike
Bangkok 54 Market
The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
54 Bangkok Market, 54 Bangkok Restaurant


Caspi Restaurant Columbia Pike
Bangkok 54
The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Bangkok 54



Caspi Restaurant Columbia Pike
Walter Reed & Columbia Pike
The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Walter Reed & Columbia Pike



Facing Walter Reed

Art Studio & Karate US
Also in the same building is Karate US and the Columbia Pike Art Studio (CPAS) which was founded in 1989 in what had been a retail space. It provides working spaces for painters, sculptors, printmakers, collage artists, illustrators, and photographers. Periodically the gallery is open to the public. Next  the building becomes one and two story that houses Classique Image a Hair and Nail Salon and Cantina Mexicana.

Walter Reed
Walter Reed
The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Walter Reed



The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Cantina Mexicana
Columbia Pike Artists Studios & Karate US Walter Reed
Columbia Pike Artist Studios, Karate US and Classique Image



Columbia Pike Artist Studios
Martial Arts
Columbia Pike Artist Studios
Martial Arts also in this building


Columbia Pike Artist Studios
Columbia Pike Artist Studios
Columbia Pike Artist Studios


Columbia Pike Artists Studios are only open to the public twice a year. On November 16 & 17 2019 they had Open Studios which was when I took these photographs.     Individual artists can be contacted for studio viewing by appointment CPAS stated on Twitter

Columbia Pike Artist Studios
Columbia Pike Artist Studios
Columbia Pike Artist Studios
Columbia Pike Artist Studios


Columbia Pike Artist Studios
Columbia Pike Artist Studios
Columbia Pike Artist Studios
Columbia Pike Artist Studios




Garfield to Highland


Across Garfield from Bangkok 54 is the 7Eleven building on the side of the building are two restaurants El Puerto  and ABI'S Azteca Grill. Next door to them is McDonalds.

3003: 7Eleven
3005: ABI'S Azteca Grill (All State Insure was also at this location and move out )
3007: El Puerto, Seafood

3031: McDonalds

The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike



The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Behind Bangkok 54
The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
McDonalds & 7Eleven



The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
side of the 7Eleven building El Puerto
The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
side of the 7Eleven building El Puerto



The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
McDonalds
McDonalds Columbia Pike
Uli: "I thought I was getting a Big Mac"


The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
The sign used to have golden arches in place of the M photo taken 2015
McDonalds Columbia Pike




Highland Building

3045: Subway Sandwiches etc.
3045: Diaspora Services
3045: Ethio Cafe: Coffee House, Ethiopian Restaurant
3045: Title Max
McDonalds Columbia Pike
All State is no longer at this location



The Highland Building which opened in 1961 at 3045 Columbia Pike, where the Pike intersects with South Highland. It is mainly an office building (40586 sq ft) that takes up most of the block behind the store fronts. Entrance to the offices are on Highland Street .  Some of the businesses have included Doctors, Community Organizations and Schools.



The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Subway
The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Title Max



The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Diaspora Services
The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Title Max, Diaspora Services



Money Lenders

It is rather depressing that there are two money lenders right across the road from each other. One is Title Max in the Highland Building and the other Loan Max (Loan Max not shown). Both companies give loans that are considered very problematic. The lender racks up unbelieveable amounts in interest, Lawmaker Seeks to Crack Down on ‘Predatory’ Lenders. One of the first busnesses that was in the location that now houses Title Max was Pier One which was there for many years.


The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Bus stop
The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Bus stop





History



The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Photo credit: Columbia Pike, Earlier History of the Turnpike
post office
Post Office at Columbia Pike and Walter Reed. I am not sure which corner it was on

The Theater



The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
C. F. Burner's Emporium, photo 1905 from Center for local history, Arlington Public Library

The C.F. Burner’s Emporium established in 1904, was at the current location of the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse. It became the M. Sher & Sons General Merchandise, in the 1920tys.
Charlie Sher can be seen (photo below) in front of the family’s Model T Ford Utility Truck along with his family.
In 1940 it became Arlington Theatre



The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Sher family in front of Sher & Sons General Merchandise
The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Arlington Theater



The Arlington Theater, now known as the Arlington Cinema 'n' Draft House, was built by A. H. Brooks for owner Dr. Charles P. Munson. The building was designed by Fred Bishop of Richmond, Virginia.
The theater was originally known as the Arlington Recreation Center and included a movie theater, commercial stores, and a 24-lane bowling alley, which was located on the second and third floors above the theater... Charles Munson was responsible for plotting and subdividing part of the surrounding area to the north that is now known as Arlington Heights. The opening announcement in The Sun of August 16, 1940, emphasized the air conditioning system of the new theater and bowling alley  Historic Resources Inventory


The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Mazagan Restaurant and Trevor Noah on Drafthouse marquee
The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
Old Arlington Grill



Mazagan Restaurant opened at the spot in May 8, 2014 after replacing the electronics store Venus Stereos & TVs. It was later replaced by Caspi Restaurant. The Cinema Marquee lists Trevor Noah among its attractions, his appearance at the Drafthouse was right before he had his became the host of the Daily Show.
La Chiquita replaced The Old Arlington Grill that had been at this spot of years.



Allstate Insurance moved to 3401 Columbia Pike sometime between 2016 - 2018, and was later replaced by Diaspora Services.
The Avalon at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike
AllState