Arclight Bethesda

7101 Democracy Boulevard,
Bethesda, MD 20817

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Arclight Bethesda

The theater’s official opening date is November 7, 2014, but has it’s pre-opening date with screenings of “John Wick” on October 23, 2014.

This 16 theater complex has auditoriums as small as being able to sit 70 patrons to it’s larger auditorium at under 300.

State of the art digital projection comes from Christie 2K and 4K systems, with one being able to playback High Frame Rate movies.

One screen is the chain’s deluxe ‘widescreen’ auditorium. Two auditoriums will be able to playback Dolby’s new 360 degree ‘Atmos’ surround sound system.

One screen will be able to present films in 35mm and will showcase the Arclight’s “ArcLight Presents…” series featuring cinema classics, limited releases, and exclusive content.

As it’s other West Coast theaters, the Arclight provides the standard amenities of reserved seating, unique programming, commercial-free movies, beer and wine, gourmet food and Q&As with filmmakers as well as enrolled membership benefits.

It was closed on March 17, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was announced on April 13, 2021 that the closure would be permanent in all ArcLight/Pacific theatres.

Contributed by Jonathan Goeldner

Recent comments (view all 35 comments)

Giles on March 19, 2016 at 10:59 am

while this is my favourite newer theater in the DC metro area – I do have to say they are the worst when it comes to the number of 3D movies shown as such during the day.

FAShaffi on June 15, 2016 at 10:28 pm

Hello all,

I want to check out this theater when the new Independence Day movie comes out next week, and I want to try the “widescreen” theater (which I believe is Auditorium 6. For anyone who has been, are scope or anamorphic movies shot in 2.39 letterboxed on this screen? or is it true widescreen with no bars above and below the image?

Giles on June 17, 2016 at 2:18 pm

hey there FAShaffi – are you a member over at ? I know I answered a similar question just recently – and I’ll answer it like it did there. For scope films on the widescreen screen – it’s vertically masking where the screen actually lowers to 2.39 from the top downwards, thus eliminating the black bars that fixed ‘flat’ 1.79 screens present when presenting ‘scope’ movies.

Hope that answers your question. It’s a great screen and features a properly calibrated Atmos sound system, which in my opinion trounces the sound over on Tyson’s Dolby Cinema setup. (Unfortunately this morning’s presentation of ‘Finding Dory’ really showed off to lackluster effect how 3D glasses and non-laser projection can diminish color) Dolby Cinema and IMAX-laser (at Udvar Hazy and at the Lockheed Martin screens) show off how laser boosts brightness and colors to beautiful eye-popping superior effect. Wish Arclight would invest the time and money to switch over to a Christie 4K laser system for this screen.

FAShaffi on June 19, 2016 at 9:12 pm

Hey Giles, I am actually! Is your username Dubstar? I’m glad to hear that the screen masks for scope movies, I wish more theaters did this. I’m still deciding between going here or going to Reston to try the BTX screen for Independence Day, because I’ve read other comments below here that said that the BTX screen is a true scope screen, but I’m sure the experience will be good at either. Might have to consider the Fairfax Xtreme theater too, although I don’t know if that’s a scope or flat screen.

Giles on July 12, 2016 at 10:23 pm

yup that’s me… Dubstar. So where’d did you eventually see “ID: Resurgence” ? sorry for the late answer but Fairfax’s two Xtreme screens are fixed 1.78 screens – but on the positive side they are massive tall screens (too bad they are Auro 11.1 [so few movies are mixed and released as such])

back on topic though, just saw ‘Secret Life of Pets’ here at Arclight’s widescreen screen and I have to say the 3D (and brightness) was much better than ‘Finding Dory’s presentation.

FAShaffi on July 13, 2016 at 2:17 pm

I ended up going to Reston to see it on the BTX screen, which I was very impressed with, the screen is huge and the sound was impressive as well (although I’m not much of an audiophile, so my standards are kind of low haha). I’m glad to hear the Secret Life of Pets looks great on the Arclight screen, I might have to go check it out!

JodarMovieFan on November 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm

Tristan, do you recall what Auditorium you saw Thor in? I’ve been there once and didn’t enjoy the place or the service, so I haven’t been there again. Although, I visit that place every 2-3 months to visit my Stylist. Maybe the place has improved. I’m willing to give it another chance. :)

TristanM2002 on April 30, 2018 at 3:57 pm

I’ve been to this theater twice. One time for “Thor: Ragnarok”(in 3D ATMOS) and one time for “Ready Player One”(in 2D WIDESCREEN ATMOS). And even though Thor’s ATMOS mix didn’t QUITE blow me away(though that might have been due to the volume of the theater itself), Ready Player One’s ATMOS mix definitely did(and it helps that it was sixth time I saw the film(I previously saw the film in LIMAX(Fake IMAX)3D(at AMC Tysons Corner), Laser IMAX 3D(with 12.1 sound!)(at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater in Washington D.C.), regular 3D(in 5.1 sound)(at Regal Fairfax Towne Center), regular 2D(in 5.1 sound)(at Cinemark Centreville), and regular 2D(again, but this time with 7.1 sound!).). A good theater with decent prices, and some of the best sound you will ever hear.

Giles on January 30, 2019 at 2:04 pm

^ even though the Uptown doesn’t have an Atmos setup, ‘Ready Player One’ on the big large screen was epic and a highlight of last year.

Just this last past week though Arclight has really stepped up it’s game with trying to put as many movies on the ‘widescreen’ screen and it’s second Dolby Atmos auditorium. While ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at the Uptown was sensational, Arclight’s return engagement of it on the widescreen screen, and specifically the movie’s Dolby Atmos mix was an auditory experience in it’s own respect and trounced the 5.1 mix with its music and key audio moments traversing over one’s head.

I’ll admit, now being an AMC A-List member, and trying to beholden to not spend money I really don’t have ~ I miss Arclight tremendously. ‘The Favourite’ I saw here in early December was head’s and above far superior to AMC Shirlington’s presentation. 7.1 surround sound, the black box / low lit auditoriums, the three trailers before the feature (and not the standard barrage of twenty minutes of trailers at AMC [and Regal]) all exemplify how and why seeing a movie at the Arclight is my preferred way and environment in experiencing a movie.

Giles on February 5, 2019 at 2:30 pm

I simply had to see Peter Jackson’s documentary WW1 movie “They Shall Never Grow Old” here and it was a fantastic experience on their widescreen screen here! Warner’s must have mandated 3D screenings of this because almost all of it’s screening in auditorium #6 are just that, and it’s exemplary – the Dolby Atmos mix was equally impressive – this is one of the movies where every element: the restoration of the footage, the 3D imagery, the soundmix, the subject matter all came together to such tremendous visual/auditory effect

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