5 Movie Theater Rental Options to Safely Take Kids to the Movies

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I love going to the movies. The smell of popcorn, the quiet darkness, a moment to be entertained. I also love taking my kids to the movies. Yes, I will admit, 90 minutes of a semi-break is the dream. However, beyond that, it is such a fun experience for us to do together. After the movie, we discuss our favorite scenes and trade the funniest quotes. Then, at home, my kids play together and pretend to be in whatever world the movie opened up for them.

As the summer winds down, this is the time when I appreciate a trip to the movies the most. It is hot outside and camps have ended for the season. We need a cool, calm family activity. However, with three children under 12, and therefore not yet vaccinated, I do not feel comfortable bringing them into a public theater.

Movie Theater rental safety

Private Theater Rentals

Like so many businesses, movie theaters have struggled during COVID (RIP Arclight). The combination of needing to fill seats and a hesitancy to sit with strangers has created a wonderful opportunity: inexpensive theater rentals. Locally, you can rent an entire theater for as low as $100, which depending on your family size, may be almost as much as you normally spend on a night at the movies.

In addition to renting a theater for a special end of summer treat, this is also a good option for a socially distanced birthday party. You have the entire theater, so if you invite a few kids, they can sit many seats apart in order to stay socially distanced (and still wear masks). And because you have the entire theater, despite sitting apart, they can talk to each other across the aisles, keeping it a group experience.

Movie Theater rental safety

5 Local Movie Theater Rental Options

1. AMC Theaters

  • Theater rentals are available in Georgetown, Rio (Gaithersburg) and Tysons.
  • Most rental options are available for up to 20 people, but there are a few options for up to 40 people in the larger theaters.
  • Theater rentals start at $159 at Tysons and Rio. They are more expensive in Georgetown, starting at $239.
  • Concessions are not included in the price, but they are available for sale.

2. Bowtie Cinemas

  • Private movie parties are available in Reston and Annapolis.
  • Rentals are available for up to 30 people.
  • The rental cost starts at $149 on select days.
  • Concessions are not included in the price, but they are available for sale.

3. Cinemark Theaters

  • Theater rentals are available in Fairfax, Centreville, Hanover and Towson.
  • Rentals are available for up to 20 people.
  • During the week, theater rentals are $149, and they go up to $249 on the weekend.
  • Concessions are not included in the price, but they are available for sale.

4. University Mall Theaters

  • There is only one location, which is in Fairfax, VA.
  • Rentals are available for up to 10 people.
  • The rental cost is $100. You can screen a movie they are showing as a theater or bring your own DVD.
  • Popcorn and drinks are included in the cost of the theater rental.

5. West Nursery Cinemas

  • There is only one location, which is in Linthicum, Maryland.
  • Rentals are available for up to 26 people (you can add more people for $7.50 per person).
  • Pricing starts at $200.
  • Concessions are not included in the price, but they are available for sale.

Have you taken your child to the movies during the pandemic? Have you thought about movie theater rental options?

Movie Theatre rental theater safety

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