Old Greenbelt Theatre

The Old Greenbelt Theatre

The Old Greenbelt Theatre is a single screen movie theatre located in the heart of Greenbelt, Maryland, showing contemporary films in addition to offering a schedule of diverse and community based film programming.

Completed in 1938, the Old Greenbelt Theatre is an iconic building in Greenbelt, MD, a federally planned New-Deal-era community. The core of Old Greenbelt was declared a National Historic District in 1997, with the Theatre a prominent reminder of a bygone era of cinema as well as a living institution whose values of community service and collective responsibility continue to be pertinent and valuable.

Greenbelt Theatre, 1949

The theater, like the supermarket and many other enterprises, initially was run as a cooperative, with members working together to staff the Theater, to make decisions about which films to show, and to determine what concessions to sell. The first screening, which took place on September 21, 1938, was Little Miss Broadway, a musical drama starring Shirley Temple. Admission prices were 30 cents for adults and 15 cents for children, and during this period the theater typically showed four new features per week.

The Theatre is remarkable not only for its original design but also for having survived eras of economic instability without being split into a duplex or a different kind of venue altogether, as has been the fate of so many historic single-screen cinemas. The Old Greenbelt Theatre is both a reminder of a bygone era of cinema exhibition as well as a living institution whose values of community service and collective responsibility are as pertinent and valuable as ever.

Remodeled in 2014-2015 by the City of Greenbelt, today the Theatre has 363 seats, a 40’ CinemaScope screen, two Simplex XL 35mm projectors, a Christie 4K digital projector, and a Dolby Digital 5.1 sound system. In 2015, Friends of Greenbelt Theatre signed a contract with the City of Greenbelt to operate the Theatre as a non-profit organization.

Roosevelt Center

Old Greenbelt Theatre is a key component of Roosevelt Center, built in 1938 as the heart of Greenbelt, Maryland.

Old Greenbelt TheatreGreenbelt was one of three towns planned in 1935 by Rexford Guy Tugwell, head of the United States Resettlement Administration, under authority of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act. Built on “garden-city” principles, these communities combined progressive values and straightforward functionality. Although often referred to as an Art Deco, the Theatre and Roosevelt Center are more accurately described as Streamlined Moderne, for which the architecture of the Bauhaus served as a model. Replacing the tendency toward ornamentation and color that characterizes much of Art Deco with basic geometric shapes and simple colors, the Theatre exemplifies Streamlined Moderne’s celebration of modern, machine-age design. The Theatre embodies the values of a community that prioritizes safe, healthy, affordable housing for all citizens, with special emphasis placed upon the role of a community in nurturing children.

The Theatre, together with the core of Old Greenbelt, was declared a National Historic District in 1997.

For more information on the history of Greenbelt, visit the Greenbelt Museum.

Accessibility

Since we attempt to be as inclusive as possible, the theater contains many devices for those who have hearing and vision impairments. For those with hearing impairments, the theater is equipped with Rear Window Captioning and hearing assistance devices. For those with vision impairments, we offer descriptive audio devices. Please ask an employee for assistance regarding any of these devices and contact us if you have any questions.

Directions

The Greenbelt Theatre is located in the Roosevelt Center Shopping Center in Greenbelt, MD.

Our address is 129 Centerway, Greenbelt, MD 20770.

From Washington, DC:

Take the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (Route 295) North to Greenbelt Road (Route 193). Stay in the right lane as you take the off ramp to Greenbelt Road (Route 193). Turn right onto Greenbelt Road and go West on Greenbelt Road for approximately one-half mile.  Turn right at the traffic light onto Southway. Continue on Southway until you see Roosevelt Center Shopping Center. Enter the shopping center, park your vehicle and walk toward the shops. The Theatre is located in the square between Club 125 and the Beijing Restaurant.

From Baltimore:

Take the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (Route 295) South. Take the exit to MD-193/Greenbelt/Goddard Space Flight Center. At the first traffic light, turn right onto Southway. Continue on Southway until you see Roosevelt Center Shopping Center. Enter the shopping center, park your vehicle and walk toward the shops. The Theatre is located in the square between Club 125 and the Beijing Restaurant.

Take Exit 22A (Baltimore/Washington Parkway-Rt. 295 North). Take the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (Route 295) North to Greenbelt Road (Route 193).  Stay in the right lane as you take the off ramp to Greenbelt Road. Turn right at Greenbelt Road and go West on Greenbelt Road for approximately one-half mile. Turn right at the traffic light onto Southway. Turn right at the  traffic light onto Southway. Continue on Southway until you see Roosevelt Center Shopping Center. Enter the shopping center, park your vehicle and walk toward the shops. The Theatre is located in the square between Club 125 and the Beijing Restaurant.

From the Greenbelt Metro Station (Green line):

Take the G12 (Bus Bay E) or G14 (Bus Bay F) Metro bus from the Greenbelt Metro Station. Get off at the Crescent Road and Gardenway stop. Walk toward Roosevelt Center Shopping Center. The Theater is located between the Maker’s Space and Beijing Restaurant. Click here for a map and schedule.

Take Prince George’s County “TheBus” Route 11 from the Greenbelt Metro (Bus Bay E). Get off at the bus stop at the corner of Crescent Road and Gardenway.Walk toward Roosevelt Center Shopping Center. The Theater is located between the Maker’s Space and Beijing Restaurant. Click

THE BUS OPERATES MONDAY-FRIDAY EVERY THIRTY MINUTES BETWEEN 5:18 AM TO 8:29 PM. NO SERVICE IS PROVIDED ON SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS OR MAJOR HOLIDAYS.

Parking

There is ample free parking in the lot across the plaza. There is also parking in the Co-op lot, and along the road.