Best Independent Movie Theater

The Avalon
5612 Connecticut Ave. NW; (202) 966-6000
If AFI Silver is the undisputed destination for repertory cinema in the D.C. area, Chevy Chase’s Avalon embodies the charm and scrappy spirit of a cinematic underdog. In a city where theaters have a nasty habit of transforming into pharmacies, it’s heartening to see a neighborhood nonprofit like the Avalon continue to thrive. Presenting a mix of popular and independent films, the two-screen theater pairs the nostalgic beauty of a classic movie house alongside eclectic programming that includes a partnership series with the French and Czech embassies, weekend children’s matinees, and a new members-only Cinema Club described on its Web site as a “sneak preview film society.” What it lacks in creature comforts and aesthetic appeal—the seats are firm and the paint is chipping—the Avalon makes up for with quaint décor, unique selections, and delicious snacks.