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WEDNESDAY

For all its monuments, museums, and historic buildings, Washington’s skyline has all the charm of a concrete pasture. Under Hollywood’s lens, however, even the squat layout of our nation’s capital can be engrossing, if not necessarily glamorous. The National Building Museum’s Reel Architecture Film Series—which “reflect[s] themes found in the National Building Museum’s 25 years of exhibitions, such as sustainable architecture, transportation and transit, and office design” and includes such classics as Roman Polanski’s Chinatown and Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil—features two Chocolate City– centered entries this evening. 1942’s Boomtown, a 20-minute nonfiction short chronicling a day in the life of office workers and soldiers in overcrowded wartime Washington, is followed by George Stevens’ 1943 screwball comedy The More the Merrier, starring Charles Coburn as an old man who opens his home up to two young boarders. The films screen at 8:15 p.m. (the series runs through Aug. 24; see Showtimes for a weekly schedule) at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Free ($5 suggested donation). (202) 272-2448. (MB)

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