The Montgomery Drafthouse opened its door this pass Friday and had me wondering if they should have waited another week or so. After all, there is something to be said for a first impression. However, I'm always one to focus on the positive, so lets take a look at some good things about the Montgomery Drafthouse's not so grand opening.
I'd have to say the staff was very attentive and extremely polite. Our orders were delivered quickly and the food was actually pretty good. We ordered a pizza and some potato skins just as the movie started and they were back with our food in a matter of minutes. It was pretty nice not to miss any of the movie running out to grab a coke and I also felt a little more like an adult sipping wine as I reclined during the opening credits. Something I don't usually feel while cradling my popcorn between my legs in between sips from a ginormous plastic cup. The theaters were clean and spacious. I could certainly see a great deal of potential here. Possible event scenarios were already running through me head. I don't doubt they're going to be extremely successful once they work out some rather significant kinks....now about those kinks...
First, I must say that there was already a warning on their website that they wouldn't be fully operational this weekend. In addition to a limited menu offering, the space was obviously not complete, with computer printed signs directing movie goers to theaters, a large dumpster out front, receipts as tickets, and a non-functioning AC system in the lounge area which forced it to close. Through some of the windows near the entrance, you could see remaining equipment from the theater that previously inhabited the space. Also, the bathroom entrance was still sporting those knobs you have to twist, which I fully believe should be banned for public health reasons. Give me a door I can push open with my backside any day of the week. All and all, the place was pretty much deserted for the 7:45pm showing I attended on Sunday. Not at all what I expected.
But, as I mentioned before, this place has real potential. It's at a great location and all the issues I saw are totally fixable with a little elbow grease and some effective marketing. I plan on heading back to see a comedy show or watch a football game in the next few weeks to see how things are shaping up. I'll let you know how it turns out. I have a feeling this place is doing to do just fine.
11006 Veirs Mill Road
Silver Spring, MD, 20902