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AFI opens its silver screen

Movie theater renovation celebrated

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The American Film Institute literally rolled out the red carpet for the grand opening of its new Washington digs, the Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Md.

Onlookers gawked and cameras flashed as Clint Eastwood, MPAA prexy Jack Valenti and such Washington celebs as former ABC “This Week” anchor Cokie Roberts and husband Steve Roberts made their way into the refurbished historic art deco theater.

The glitzy celebration featured a screening of the “The Ox-Bow Incident,” which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, followed by a discussion about its themes of mob justice with Eastwood and Time film critic Richard Schickel. AFI director and CEO Jean Picker Firstenberg, who grew up with the old movie palaces in New York, said she saw the opportunity to renovate the theater as a “return to my roots,” promising greater moviegoing options for Washingtonians through the center.

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