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Movies, Movies, Movies: Fall Films Outside the Multiplex

Disappointed that summer is over and Screen on the Green is no more? Intrigued by the success of the DC Shorts Film Festival and want to be plugged into the local film scene? Tired of paying $10 for a movie? Luckily, Washington has a variety of entertaining options this fall to satisfy cravings for movie viewing outside the confines of a commercial theater. Here are ten noncinema locations that offer a diverse array of films, from documentaries to foreign to American classics.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum hosts the series “American Classics: Page to Screen.” The four films, adapted from American literature, include Breakfast At Tiffany’s on October 29 and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas on November 19. The movies will be shown in the McEvoy Auditorium at 6 PM on periodic Wednesdays. Free. See the schedule here.

Every night, the American City Diner shows movies on its outside deck. Patrons can watch American classics while eating traditional diner fare. All films start at 8:30. A daily listing of movies is on the Web site.

Busboys and Poets’ U Street location regularly holds film screenings in its Langston Room as part of “Focus In! Cinema” conscious-community project. The documentaries, dealing with social and political issues facing America, are shown at 8 PM on many Sundays throughout the fall, and films are often accompanied by a lecture or discussion. Selections include Migration of Beauty on September 28, a film that tells the story of Ethiopian-Americans attempting to use the US political process to affect foreign policy toward Ethiopia, and Why Is Kofi Annan Not a Woman? on November 23, a documentary that addresses gender and leadership issues within the UN. The screening will include a presentation and discussion with the film’s director.

EatBar, the casual bar and eatery in the back of Tallula restaurant in Arlington, screens films every Sunday night at 8. EatBar’s relaxing atmosphere and cool vibe make it an enjoyable setting for movie watching. The menu, filled with dishes like hanger steak with red-wine sauce and a side of frites, and the wine list are a step above popcorn and soda. Films range from classics to more recent romantic comedies. Keep a lookout for Sunday movie marathons that start at noon and end at midnight. On September 28, you can catch the 1954 classic Sabrina.

The Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art screens Asian films on multiple evenings every week. The selection is varied and represents topics and directors from all over Asia. Tickets are free but required, and screenings are held in the Meyer Auditorium. Get the full schedule here.

Along with the “crazy hour,” drag bingo, and karaoke, Freddie’s Beach Bar in Arlington shows movies on Monday nights at 8 and offers half-price appetizers all night.

DC’s Goethe-Institut, dedicated to fostering German culture abroad, holds multiple screenings of German films every week. Check the Web site  for dates and times. Sometimes the films are part of a larger series or accompanied by a discussion. Tickets are $6.75.

Didn’t make it to Cannes this year? Napoleon Bistro & Lounge screens the latest award-winning feature French films, documentaries, and shorts in its downstairs lounge on the second Tuesday of every month. The bar offers specials on wine. Contact to get the complete list.

The National Gallery of Art’s fall film season is far-reaching in its scope, including movies on topics as diverse as Native American life, Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti, and Muslim workers in a Paris suburb. The films are grouped by theme, whether a director or a topic. Movies are scheduled throughout the fall and are shown in the East Building concourse’s large auditorium. Films are free, but seating is limited. Check the Web site for the complete list of films.

The Spanish Embassy will present two film screenings in October at American University’s Katzen Arts Center. Mekong Butterflies, a documentary about human trafficking in southeast Asia, will be shown on October 7 from 6 to 9 PM. The embassy will show two shorter films, The Tailor and Salve Melilla, both by Óscar Pérez, on October 14.

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