There are few Leesburg businesses more iconic than Tally Ho Theatre. The tiny twin screen certainly isn't going to win any awards for best technology, but its charm and ambiance keeps it in business (and the great deals certainly don't hurt).
Anyone who has grown up in Leesburg or Loudoun County likely has memories of this institution, and I'm no exception. My very first kiss took place in this theater, during the very, uh, romantic Nicolas Cage vehicle, Guarding Tess.
In high school, many of my friends worked there, so we would always get to go to places where the general public wasn't allowed, like the projection room and the balcony, where my friends and I watched an unknown actor named Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You.
After the Regal multiplex in Sterling opened, followed by the even nice Fox theater in Brambleton, Tally Ho became less of a destination; forsaken for larger screens and comfier seats.
Despite the stiff competition, Tally Ho is not only surviving, but thriving under the ownership of Dave Wright. Wright has made Tally Ho into more than just a movie theater: it's now one of the top family destinations in town.
Wright has accomplished this by using a huge asset that Tally Ho has that other area movie theaters don't: a stage. With their monthly family-friendly Last Ham Standing comedy show in addition to other comedy and musical acts including The Jingle Jam, many area families find themselves at Tally Ho for events other than movies.
That's not to say Tally Ho isn't a destination for movies: it's still a first-run theater that has special events for big movies, such as a midnight showing of Scream 4 when it was first released.
One of the best things about Tally Ho is the deals: Their $3 Thursdays give you admission to any showing for just three bucks, and school holidays often have older movies for just $1.
As a mother of a toddler, the dollar movies are my favorite. My son is a little too young to sit through a movie, but a buck cheap enough that I don't mind only getting through the first 45 minutes of How To Train Your Dragon.
While there are bigger theaters in the area, it's still tough to beat Tally Ho for its convenience and value.