Monday, April 20, 1998
DEAL REACHED FOR AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE
TO BECOME NEW OCCUPANT OF SILVER THEATRE
LOS ANGELES Calif. - The American Film Institute (AFI) and Montgomery County,
Maryland have signed a formal agreement that will bring the national arts
organization's heralded exhibition program to Silver Spring, where it will
occupy and operate the historic Silver Theatre. Under the agreement, AFI will
develop a program at the restored theatre that will include classic films,
festivals and special events and presentations. The organization will also
develop an educational component of its program, in cooperation with the
Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College.
"I am very pleased with this agreement and delighted that AFI will be coming
to the Silver Theatre," said Montgomery County Executive Douglas Duncan. "AFI
will bring us the best in entertainment and culture, and will play a vital
role in the redevelopment of the downtown Silver Spring area."
"AFI is very pleased to join with Montgomery County to begin the work of
bringing the historic Silver Theatre back to life," said Jean Picker
Firstenberg, AFI Director and CEO. "A revitalized Silver Theatre is good for
everyone who cares about the movies and about preserving this nation's great
film heritage, but most of all it's something special for the people of Silver
Spring. AFI is excited to work with the community, particularly the public
school system and Montgomery College, to design entertaining and educational
film programs which create an exhibition center that is renowned nationally
AFI was one of four respondents to a Request for Expressions of Interest that
was issued last fall, when the County solicited interested parties to make
proposals for the renovation and operation of the theatre facility. AFI was
selected as the preferred respondent in the selection process.
Under the agreement with AFI, Montgomery County will spend $7.8 million to
restore the 400-seat Silver Theatre and develop an adjacent facility that will
include a second 200-seat theatre, a small screening room, state of the art
audio visual equipment, offices, a conference room/library, and concession and
retail space. The restored theatre and completed facility will be leased to
AFI for the nominal sum of $10 per year for a ten-year period. Either party
may terminate the initial ten-year lease at anytime after the fifth year,
provided they give one year's prior written notice. The agreement includes a
provision for nine ten-year renewals.
Montgomery County may also incorporate classroom space into the facility to
support educational activities, and is considering a performing theatre-school
complex for the local Round House Theater, as well as a black-box theatre.
Restoration of the theatre and the adjoining historic Silver Spring Shopping
Center at Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road are an integral part of the
overall plans for redevelopment, which include the retail, civic and
entertainment complex proposed by local developers Foulger-Pratt and the
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, AFI is the nation's preeminent arts
organization dedicated to advancing and preserving the art of the moving
image. AFI's programs promote innovation and excellence through teaching,
presenting, preserving and redefining the moving image.
More information about AFI can be found by visiting its award-winning website located at
For Press Information, contact: Seth Oster at 213-856-7667