AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center Series & Events

July 21–Sept 3. Denzel Washington, a two-time Oscar® winner and Tony® Award winner, is the recipient of this year's AFI Life Achievement Award.
Washington's cinematic legacy includes powerhouse, Academy Award®-winning performances in GLORY (1989) and TRAINING DAY (2001), as well as celebrated roles in CRY FREEDOM (1987), MALCOLM X (1992) and FLIGHT (2012). Washington has crafted compelling, unforgettable characters in recurring collaborations with master directors past and present, bringing stalwart grit and nuanced complexity to films such as Jonathan Demme's PHILADELPHIA (1993), Spike Lee's INSIDE MAN (2006) and Ridley Scott's AMERICAN GANGSTER (2007) — and to blockbuster, crowd-pleasing fare such as Edward Zwick's (AFI Class of 1975) CRIMSON TIDE (1995), and Tony Scott's MAN ON FIRE (2004). Also a creative force behind the camera, Washington has helmed critically acclaimed films ANTWONE FISHER (2002) and THE GREAT DEBATERS (2007), in which he also stars. He won a 2010 Tony® for his performance in the play "Fences," and then directed, produced and starred in the 2016 film adaptation that earned him Best Actor and Best Picture Oscar® nominations. The AFI Life Achievement Award special will air again on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in September along with a selection of Washington's films.


July 20–Aug. 24. The Flickering Treasures Film Series features a wide range of movie theater-related themes: the passion of local cinephiles, exhibitor ingenuity and showmanship, moviegoing as a form of storytelling and nostalgia for small-town theaters and shared matinee memories. This series highlights not only the creativity of exhibitors, but also the sense of community created by the moviegoing experience.

The series is co-presented with the National Building Museum, and screens in conjunction with their current exhibition, "Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore's Forgotten Movie Theaters," on display through February 17, 2020.

For information about the exhibition, visit

July 27–Sept. 8. Tickets $5.

Back by popular demand: another selection of Warner Bros.' classic Looney Tunes cartoons featuring the whole Looney Tunes gang, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester and Tweety, Speedy Gonzales, Pepé Le Pew and the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.

Enjoy these animation masterpieces on Saturday and Sunday mornings all summer long, presented on 35mm prints and back on the big screen where they started.

July 5–Aug. 30, 2019

Silver Spring's FREE Outdoor Summer Screening Series

We're excited to announce the return of our FREE outdoor summer film series! Join us every other Friday, from July 5 through August 30, on Sonny's Green at The Blairs District for a season of big-screen favorites under the stars! Films begin at sundown, between 8:00 and 8:30 p.m.

Silver Screens is co-presented by AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, The Blairs and Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker.

Sonny's Green is located at The Blairs District in the center of the property and is accessible from High Park Lane or The Blairs Shopping Center (1290 East West Highway) parking lot.

If you are traveling by car, free parking is available at the public parking lot located at 1317 East West Highway. From the lot, exit to your right and walk to the traffic light, then cross to the Blairs Shopping Center. The entrance to the park is located at the back of the Giant parking lot.

An ongoing slate of limited engagements, updated weekly.

July 19–Sept. 9 As the 1960s drew to a close, Hollywood was on the cusp of a renaissance led by a new generation of filmmakers and stars — among them Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg — who took the reins of American cinema and led it into a golden era dubbed the "New Hollywood," revitalizing the system while counterbalancing the rise of TV and the demise of the classical Hollywood model on their own terms. Beginning with a new wave of director-driven filmmaking, which was countercultural in spirit, combining an anti-establishment attitude with formal experimentation and frank, sometimes cynical depictions of American society, these disruptors swiftly established a new paradigm in Hollywood. As the box office success of small-budget wild cards like Dennis Hopper's EASY RIDER led studios to hand over an unprecedented level of control to these hip young creators in a bid to court the lucrative youth market, Hollywood saw a boom in auteur-driven blockbusters like JAWS and ALIEN.

Covering 1969 to 1979, this series collects some of the best-known films of the New Hollywood era — from EASY RIDER, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW and THE GODFATHER to JAWS, TAXI DRIVER and ALIEN — alongside standout work by other trailblazing filmmakers of the period like Elaine May, Monte Hellman, Frank Perry and Melvin Van Peebles.

Through Sept 11. On February 5, 1919, four superstars of the silver screen — Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith and Mary Pickford — created a new distribution company with a different approach to business: United Artists. The company would release films funded and created by independent producers, offering them a higher degree of creative autonomy and profit participation than that available from the leading studios of the day like Paramount, Fox and First National. Upon hearing the news, the head of Metro Pictures was reported to say, "The inmates are taking over the asylum." This multipart retrospective presents many of United Artists' most distinctive films, from its silent film origins through the glory days of the 1960s and '70s.