AFI, which is on the Red Line in Silver Spring, often shows award winners, has international film festivals (sometimes in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution), and runs series that celebrate a variety of themes. Some of their special programs include films with live accompaniment and horror nights with Count Gore de Vol.
Suns Cinema is a truly weird theater, with wallpaper ripped from the Royal Tenenbaums and a carpet straight out of The Shining, not to mention seats cobbled together from chairs and couches. This theater shows a wide range of cult and older films, with screenings often thematic to the season.
The Avalon Theater, located in Chevy Chase, is "an independent, historic, nonprofit cinema in Washington, DC, offering first-run commercial movies, independent and foreign films, and special programs," as they describe themselves. They offer a convenient location, a great selection of films, and have a nice cafe to boot.
Angelika Pop Up is located in a warehouse near NOMA-Gallaudet on the Red Line. They often show blockbusters, but also run anime movies and show live theater performances. They often have special deals, including Student Tuesday, where a student ID gets you a discounted Student Ticket and a complimentary popcorn!
Landmark Theaters is a national chain, but they're known for their interesting programming. Whether it's Ghibli films or Oscar nominees, they're a comfortable bet for a variety of films at any of their locations. They have many special events, including midnight showings of cult and classic films.
What's your favorite movie theater in DC? Comment below!