Vendor Guidelines for Special Events

The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center is a state-of-the-art moving image exhibition, education and cultural center. The AFI Silver Theatre offers a year-round program of the best in American and international cinema, featuring a dynamic mix of festivals, premieres, retrospectives, special events, on-stage guest appearances and education programs. Anchored by the restoration of noted architect John Eberson's historic 1938 Silver Theatre, the AFI Silver is a one-of-a-kind facility featuring 32,000 square feet of state-of-the-art theaters, office and meeting spaces, production and broadcast facilities, and reception and exhibition areas. As a rental facility, events take place in our public and private spaces. All vendors contracted by AFI Silver rental clients are expected to adhere to the guidelines listed below when working in our facility.**

The Special Events Manager is the central point of contact for all vendor relationships. Every event held in the AFI Silver Theatre must be preceded by a walk-through with the Events Manager, Operations Manager, caterer, client and necessary event services provider(s) at least one week prior to event date.

Liability Insurance

Any vendor working within AFI Silver Theatre must have a current certificate of insurance on file that meets the following insurance limits. The certificate of insurance must be received by the Special Events Manager prior to the event date.

  • Commercial General Liability — $1,000,000 per occurrence, including coverage for products liability and contractual liability.
  • Liquor Liability Coverage — No liquor may be served by a Caterer on site at AFI Silver without proper licensure from Montgomery County. Caterers holding a license designated by the Montgomery County Liquor Control Board must provide proof of licensure to the Special Event Manager. Arrangements may be made with AFI Silver to provide AFI bar staff and alcohol procurement. Note: AFI Silver bar staff is only licensed for beer and wine service. An additional license is required for the service of hard alcohol.
  • Automobile Liability Coverage — $1,000,000 per accident for bodily injury and property damage.
  • Workers Compensation — Statutory Limits.
  • Indemnification and Hold Harmless Provisions — Catering firm must agree to indemnify and hold harmless AFI Silver Theatre from any and all claims, liability, cost and expenses, arising from any negligent act or omission on the part of the catering firm, its agents or employees, associated with the use of AFI Silver Theatre, including injury to guests, AFI Silver employees and catering firm employees or agents. A signed certificate to this effect must be provided to AFI Silver by the catering firm.


All arrangements for alcohol, including beverage service and procurement, must be made through the AFI Silver Special Events Manager, unless a catering firm possesses a license to serve through Montgomery County Liquor Control Board referred to in the above section.

Cash bars are not permitted.

As a courtesy to our customers, AFI Silver allows service of red wines and juices. However, a fee will be assessed for any staining that occurs during the rental period. A walk-through with the Special Events Manager at the conclusion of the event is required.

Food and Beverages

No glassware is permitted inside any AFI Silver Theatre Screening Room.

Glassware is permitted in the lobby areas and in the 3rd Floor Media and Conference Room.

AFI Silver does not provide glassware or disposable food and beverage service ware. Arrangements should be made through caterer or rental company.

AFI Silver is not responsible for any lost or stolen catering equipment or other supplies.

Kitchen Areas

All caterers must set up in staging areas designated by AFI Silver Special Events Manager. Approval for staging plan must be obtained from AFI Silver Events Manager prior to the event.

Floors of designated staging area must be protected by plastic sheeting as designated by AFI Silver Events Manager.

Approved extensions of staging area must be masked with screens or drapes provided by caterer.

Electrical Requirements:

  • All electrical needs for catering must be approved by AFI Silver Special Events Manager prior to the event.
  • No propane or butane may be used for warming or cooking of food on the premises.
  • Sterno may be used for food warming.
  • Open flames for food preparation, or demonstration, are prohibited.


All vendor deliveries for special events must be scheduled with AFI Silver Special Events Manager prior to the event date.

Deliveries must be made via loading dock (entrance located on Colesville Road).

AFI Silver does not have public storage spaces. All equipment for special events must delivered immediately preceding set-up for the event and removed immediately after the event.

Caterers and vendors must provide their own hand trucks for delivering food or equipment.

The license plate number and driver name for any delivery truck entering the AFI Silver loading dock must be provided to AFI Silver Event Manager three days before the event.

Access to the third floor is limited to AFI Silver Elevator. Elevator doors should not be propped open at any time.


A site visit must be arranged with the AFI Silver Special Events Manager at least 10 days prior to the event date. All event logistics, including, but not limited to, floor plans, decorations, AV, temporary structures, stage and lighting, must be approved by the AFI Silver Events Manager 10 days prior to the event.

Setup times are to be arranged with the AFI Silver Special Events Manager.

Drop tables and staff to collect glassware must be provided at entrances to any AFI Screening Room in use.

No entrances, exits or fire egresses, as identified by AFI Silver Events Manager, may be blocked by vendor equipment.

Due to the nature of AFI Silver's multi-use facility, all load-in, set-up, breakdown and load-out taking place during theater operating hours must be executed in a discreet and unobtrusive manner. Visitor safety and venue appearance must be maintained during set-up and breakdown.

Vendor deliveries and removal must not cause undo wear and tear on the facility, including, but not limited to, scraping and discoloring of walls, damage to entrances, etc.

AFI Silver furniture and equipment may not be moved without approval from AFI Silver Special Events Manager.

Décor and Lighting

All sound, lighting and staging companies must receive prior approval from AFI Silver's Events and Operations Managers.

A copy of a current certificate of insurance from each responsible company and subcontractor must be received prior to the event.

No decorations, structure, equipment or banner may be affixed to any portion of the building without prior approval from AFI Silver Events Manager.

Helium balloons may be used only when properly affixed and weighted. Approval required by the Events Manager.

All cables or cords must be secured with gaffers tape. All tape must be removed immediately following the event.

Clean Up and Trash

All trash related to catering services must be removed by the caterer or client from the premises immediately following the event. Trash must be taken to the designated dumpster located in the loading dock.

Caterers must provide their own cleaning supplies and agents.

At the conclusion of the event, all prep and event spaces must be cleaned thoroughly, to include vacuuming, sweeping and mopping as needed.

All trash cans must be emptied and all trash removed to designated dumpster mentioned above.

Solid refuse and large quantities of ice should not be left in the sinks.

At the end of the event, the Catering Captain and AFI Silver Events Manager must perform a walk-through of all areas to ensure building is returned to acceptable condition.


All floral delivery must be scheduled with AFI Silver Events Manager.

All flowers and floral debris must be removed at the conclusion of the event.

Audio Visual

All AV contractors must plan and execute their event design under the guidance and supervision of AFI Silver's Events and Operations Managers.

AFI Silver can provide access to limited A/V equipment to include microphones, podium etc. Additional equipment and or services must be requested at least 10 days prior to event date. Access to power outlets must be approved by Operations Manager. Projection equipment is only to be operated by AFI Silver house projection staff.

Videotaping and photography may be used for archival and non-commercial corporate and institutional purposes. Permission for videotaping and photography must be obtained in advance from the Special Events Manager.

A copy of a current certificate of insurance from each responsible company and subcontractor must be received prior to the event.


Proposed entertainment must be approved by Events Manager.

**AFI Silver Theatre reserves the right to disallow access to the building to a client or vendor who has violated these guidelines.

Download a copy of Vendor Guidelines for Special Events