NEW: Cinema with restaurant replaces ShowPlace Icon in Tysons


Inside the Tysons ShowPlace Icon Theatre on a Thursday night (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The new owner of the now closed ShowPlace Icon Theater at Boro in Tysons has been announced.

Look Dine-In Cinemas has signed a deal to take over the 1,795-seat theater at 1667 Silver Hill Drive, the Washington Business Journal reports. The theater is set to reopen on Friday (June 21) after ShowPlace held its final screenings last Sunday (June 16), FFXnow was told.

A spokesperson for The Boro confirmed the accuracy of WBJ’s report.

ShowPlace announced yesterday (Monday) in a brief email to members of its rewards program that it has ceased operations in Tysons.

“ShowPlace Icon Tysons would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to our guests for their unwavering support, loyalty and enthusiasm over the years,” the company said in the message shared with FFXnow.

ShowPlace, featuring 14 screens, a bistro and lounge, opened at the Boro in February 2020, just in time as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted nearly every sector of society, including the film industry. The theater was eventually able to reopen and stay open in April 2021, but evidently it was unable to sustain its business.

Its successor, Look Dine-In, has made a habit of buying up shuttered theaters. The company plans to launch in 2021 by taking over three leases in California from the studio Movie Grill, the former employer of founder Brian Schultz, Deadline reports.

The company expanded to 13 locations with the acquisition of the former Bow Tie Cinemas at Reston Town Center, its first location in Virginia. The Reston cinema opened on November 2, 2023, with 11 theaters, each seating 45 to 120 people.

ShowPlace had 14 rooms, but it is unclear if renovations are planned. A press contact for Look Dine-In did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Look's cinemas offer full food service and use mobile technology so customers can order burgers, pizza, salads, snacks and drinks, including alcohol, from their seats. The menu varies by location, the company's website says.

The movie industry has been in upheaval since the pandemic. While there have been some big hits, including 2022's “Top Gun: Maverick” and last year's one-two punch of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” a quiet May sparked some pondering over how to lure audiences into theaters, especially after Hollywood studios postponed 2023 releases in the wake of the actors' and writers' strikes.

To lure moviegoers out of their homes, chains like Look Dine-In or Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas – which is currently being acquired by Sony Pictures – are trying to add a touch of luxury to the movie-going experience by offering more upscale cuisine, reclining seats, improved technology and an event program.

Nevertheless, about 4,800 screens have been lost in recent years, leaving even some major cities such as Detroit (Michigan) and New Haven (Connecticut), home of Yale University, without cinemas.

Currently, a lack of movie theaters in Tysons is not a problem. In addition to the new look dine-in, the area has an AMC Theaters in the Tysons Corner Center and another dine-in movie theater, CMX CinéBistro, which opened last year in the Tysons Galleria.

Hats off to Adam Rubinstein