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Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 12/19/2008

Last Reel for Montgomery Cinema 'N' Drafthouse

By Fritz Hahn

The Montgomery Cinema 'N' Drafthouse, which brought live music, standup comedy and beer to a six-screen movie theater in Wheaton, has closed after just two months. "It's a very disappointing thing," said Greg Godbout, who owned the Montgomery location as well as the long-established Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse. "The end result is an economic perfect storm."

Godbout spent "14 or 15 months" planning for the Montgomery drafthouse, which opened in October with six theaters outfitted with tables and chairs so patrons could dine and drink while watching first-run movies, magic shows and musicians. In a phone interview this morning, Godbout said that several factors contributed to the theater's demise including what he called an "anti-small business atmosphere in Montgomery County" that hampered the construction of the theater. But, he added, "It's just a tough time for everyone."

A full statement will be posted on the company's Web site, www.montgomerydrafthouse.com, later today. The Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse is not affected by this closure, and remains open for business as usual.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | December 19, 2008; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Movies  
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Comments

This totally sucks! I expect to see an explanation from the county government about their role in this. It would be good to hear Westfield's side, too - but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: PamB2k3 | December 19, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

That's really sad, I was excited to have something to do in MoCo!

Fritz, if you hear anything else, I hope you'll keep us updated. I, too, would be interested to hear the other side of it.

Posted by: Katie7 | December 19, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

What a shame! I look forward to the further details that the Drafthouse promises.

Posted by: subwayguy | December 19, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

It didn't help that they had a very unrealistic vision for how popular they would be. I was going to work for them and they expected one server to handle 15 tables at a time. Their training was crap and they had six managers who constantly called me asking me the same questions about my schedule.

They might wanna put some of the blame on their extraordinarily high pie-in-the-sky expectations for how profitable they were going to be...

Posted by: around | December 19, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

One more way in which Arlington > Montgomery

Posted by: JoeSchmoe06 | December 19, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

i know i'm gonna get hate-mail for trying to capitalize on their misfortune, but uh..well..if you still want to see live standup comedy shows like they had at the Drafthouse you can check out my weekly show in Bethesda:

Laugh Riot at the Hyatt
5 local comics
$25 cash prize joke contest for non-com audience members after the show
Every Saturday night
8 to 10 pm
$10 Cash Admission
Hyatt Regency Bethesda Hotel
One Bethesda Metro Center
7400 Wisconsin Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814
301-657-1234
www.Bethesda.Hyatt.com
www.StandupComedyToGo.com

Posted by: StandupComedyToGocom | December 19, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I can't say i'm surprised. I went there to see Quantum of Solace and the food we ordered never came and the seats were sticky and tables were nasty. After going there once i can't say i would've ever went back again.

Posted by: crystal481 | December 20, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

This is sad. I went to the Found Footage Festival here last week and really enjoyed myself.

Posted by: RKaufman13 | December 21, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Ummm - they put the place in Wheaton frickin Plaza and they thought it would succeed?

Posted by: Kev29 | December 22, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

putting the place in Wheaton was actually a brilliant idea cuz if you study the history of most successful businesses in the DC area, they all began in low-rent ghetto areas and then hung on for dear life for 5-10 years until gentrification cleaned up the area....if the Drafthouse could have hung on with more tenacity(and deeper pockets) they would be hugely successful in just a few years

Posted by: StandupComedyToGocom | December 25, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

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