Summer outdoor movie nights in Adams Morgan to feature films with neighborhood cameos

Want to see movies where D.C. neighborhood Adams Morgan makes a cameo appearance? Watch them in Adams Morgan this summer.

The neighborhood in Northwest has revived its outdoor movie nights, which it could not hold last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The theme this year is “Made in DC,” featuring not only movies that were partially shot in the District, but in Adams Morgan itself.

The 1983 Clint Eastwood-John Malkovich thriller “In the Line of Fire” is among them.

“‘In the Line of Fire’ has a great opening scene filmed right on 18th Street. It’s a fun, nostalgic view of 18th Street in the mid 80s. And ‘Punk the Capital’ that details the rise of the punk rock scene in D.C., much of which happened in Adams Morgan,” said Kristen Barden, executive director of the Adams Morgan Business Improvement District, which is sponsoring the movie nights.

The original location of the Adams Morgan club, Madam’s Organ, was one of the epicenters of early punk rock in D.C.

The movie nights will show a total of five films with D.C. scenes, and the BID has created a map with filming locations for each movie:

The outdoor screen and field seating is staged at the Marie Reed Recreation Center’s soccer field at 18th and California Streets Northwest. Adams Morgan restaurants will also be offering special takeout meals for movie watching. Movie nights in 2019 drew between 400 and 600 people each night.

Adams Morgan depends on bar, restaurant and club crowds, and has been impacted more than many other D.C. neighborhoods by pandemic lockdowns and restrictions.

Last summer, the Adams Morgan BID was able to get approval from the city for an experiment shutting down a section of 18th Street entirely to create space for multiple restaurants to set up additional outdoor dining. The BID is working with the city to do that again this summer.

“We’re hopeful that very soon that will be possible. It would be the same footprint as what was done in June 2020 between Kalorama Road and Columbia Road. We know the mayor is very supportive of ‘streateries’ and of continuing those, perhaps for another two years,” Barden said.

There are roughly 250 businesses in Adams Morgan, most of them small and locally-owned businesses. Adams Morgan’s storefront vacancy rate remains elevated, and it lost a half dozen high-profile businesses during the pandemic. Most of those have since been replaced with new businesses.

Here is the schedule for the Adams Morgan “Made in DC” movie nights.

  • July 12: “Punk the Capital”
  • July 19: “Wonder Woman 1984”
  • July 26: “The Line of Fire”
  • Aug. 2: “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”
  • Aug. 9: “All the President’s Men”
  • Aug. 16 is being held as a rain date if one of the movies is canceled due to inclement weather.

Movies start approximately 30 minutes after sunset:

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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