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'Batman Begins' at Old Town

First-run movie is first for renovated theater.

Old Town Theater offered its initial first-run movie Tuesday when the curtain rose on a midnight matinee of "Batman Begins." It will be showing for the next three weeks.

"Warner Brothers likes us and they are treating this as an experiment," said Roger Fons, Old Town Theater owner. "It's the first time we have opened a first-run movie at the same time as all other theaters."

The two-hour film, featuring Christian Bale as Batman, is a "brand new cut," according to Fons. "Usually we get films after they have been shown 100 or more times," he said.

Starring with Bale are such headliners as Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman. "This is really exciting for us," Fons said.

"We are all geared up for this. We have a new amp for the sound system and a new lamp in the projector so that the audience will experience this as they should any first-run film in any theater," he said.

A special price of $7 was offered to those attending the inaugural midnight showing. Prices for regular shows during the rest of its run will be $9 per person after 5 p.m. and $8 per person for shows prior to 5 p.m.

"With the city's new entertainment tax of 50 cents we actually had to raise our prices by $1 because we don't make change at the box office," Fons said. "But, some of the other multiplex theaters have also gone up $1 since the new tax went into effect."

Old Town Theater, with its 300-seating capacity for movies, also offers a broad-based menu to customers. It includes beer, wine and an "all you can eat" popcorn and soda offer.

"We pay all the taxes on the food. The price you see on the menu is all that you pay," he said.

In addition to movies, Old Town Theater offers bands and dancing on Friday and Saturday nights at its "9:55 Club" and "open mic" on Wednesday nights. During lunch, the first customer gets to pick what to watch from an array of DVDs, according to Fons. "We have both movies and television shows on DVD," he said.

Located at 815 and a half King St., Old Town Theater was one of the first to offer outdoor seating for dining. "It also offers our customers an opportunity to smoke if they want to since the theater is totally non-smoking," he said.

It opens everyday at 11 a.m. and is approved to operate until 2 a.m., depending on the event being offered. For more information on upcoming movies and events, call 703-683-8888 or visit www.oldtowntheater.com.