ALAS, Visions Bar Noir is no more. It closed Thursday, after four years' valiant effort to take on the combined competition offered by Landmark Theatres' E Street Cinema and Bethesda Row, Loews Cineplex theaters, the American Film Institute, Regal theaters and the Avalon. Andrew Frank, who founded the theater with other partners, is inviting the public to join him in a final farewell party Sunday from 8 till question mark.
"It'll be a celebration of four very fun years," Frank said. "To thank my old staff, new staff and to thank the community for allowing Visions to exist in the first place."
The announcement of Visions' demise comes days after the death of S. David Levy, the personable founder of the former Key Theatre in Georgetown and the ongoing Key Sunday Cinema Club, who passed away last week. He will be missed by many.
For all lovers of independent films and the independent-minded exhibitors who brought them to Washington, this is a double blow. The Key brought foreign films and indie films (including John Waters's movies) to this town for decades, and way before the chichi-fication of indie movies. It also gave us those midnight showings of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." As for Visions, it brought many films here that might never have been shown, including "Lumumba." And it helped turn "Donnie Darko" into a midnight movie classic.
Admission to the Visions party will be free. There will be a cash bar at the Cinema's Bar Noir. It's at 1927 Florida Ave. NW. You can also check the Web site at Visionsdc.com.
-- Desson Thomson