February 13, 2020

Our 2019 Community Building Blocks grant recipient Friends of Old Greenbelt Theatre (FGT) is enhancing the film culture in Prince George’s County by providing a space for film and media education and film screenings.

FGT is a local non-profit that operates the iconic Old Greenbelt Theatre. The theater was completed in 1938 during the New-Deal-era and the area was declared a National Historic District in 1997. When the theater’s main auditorium temporarily closed for renovations last summer, FGT kept their film programming going through the creation of a pop-up cinema next door!

During the creation of the pop-up, Executive Director of Old Greenbelt Theatre Caitlin McGrath applied to our Community Building Blocks program and received a grant of free carpet tiles for the project. Officially opened on July 3, 2019, the Pop-up at the Old Greenbelt Theatre is a 40-seat micro-cinema with draperies, plush chairs, cup holders, and sound baffling and acoustic paneling that improve sound quality.

The pop-up was such a success that FGT created the Beyond the Screen Initiative to fundraise the build-out of the space into a permanent screening room. Now that they’ve met their goal of $250,000, the pop-up will temporarily close this Spring and reopen in the Fall as a state-of-the-art screening room and educational space. In addition to regular movie screenings, the vintage-style space will be home to the Media Arts Literacy Lab and offer educational programs, workshops, and classes for all ages.

If you want to check out a movie at the pop-up before it closes for renovation, screenings will be available until February 20, 2020. Congratulations to the Old Greenbelt Theatre!


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