Correction to This Article
The Road Trip feature in the Aug. 12 Sunday Source misspelled the author's name. It is Johnna Rizzo.
Road Trip

Experience Movie Magic -- for Free!

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

WHERE: Northwest Washington and Northern Virginia.

WHY: Eastwood being Dirty (Harry, that is), getting wooed by John Woo and a last glimpse of Hepburn.

HOW FAR: Roughly 10 miles, or about two hours' running time.

Don't chuck the popcorn yet.

Washington's free summertime film fests may be nearing their end, but there's still time to catch flicks under starry skies or in hallowed spaces. For example, cinephiles can watch the finale of the National Theatre's Katharine Hepburn centennial series, see Clint Eastwood swagger across the screen in Arlington or go avant-garde with modernist Czech films at the National Gallery.

If your warm-weather schedule is overbooked, don't sweat it: Some local motion-picture palaces are perennial. The American City Diner shows movies over breakfast-as-dinner every evening of the year (5532 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-244-1949, http://www.americancitydiner.com), and the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery features films from Asia weekly.

The city is also a living movie set. Skip the obvious locales of "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "Independence Day" -- yes, we know, that's the Capitol, where Jimmy Stewart stood up for the little guys, and there's the White House that the aliens blew to smithereens -- for more interesting photo ops. The innocent-looking underpass near Dupont Circle, for example, is where Jason Lee's character got flattened in 1998's "Enemy of the State."

The best seat in the house, though, is a patch of grass on the Mall. Screen on the Green, the Valhalla of summer film fests, turns Washington's architecture into an elegant backdrop for such stars as Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and the Thing. We can guarantee that, after the gratis moviegoing, it'll be hard to pay for blockbusters again.

NEXT: See and Print the Map (pdf)

-- Johanna Rizzo


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