First Look: Howard Theatre Pictures

Howard Theatre might still be decked out with its historic façade, but the 102-year-old theater is about to begin a brand new life.

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Tim Cooper for The Howard Theatre
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Tim Cooper for The Howard Theatre
Howard Theatre might still be decked out with its historic façade, but the 102-year-old theater is about to begin a brand new life. The theater (620 T St. NW) will reopen Monday, April 9, with a star-studded opening lineup.
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Tim Cooper for The Howard Theatre
Wale, Mos Def, Chuck Brown, The Roots and comedian Wanda Sykes are all scheduled to perform during the theater's first few weeks back on the scene. A free community day on Monday, April 9 will feature live music, tours of the theater, and the unveiling of a Duke Ellington statue.
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Tim Cooper for The Howard Theatre
Notable performers through the years included Duke Ellington, James Brown, Otis Redding, Buddy Holly, Sarah Vaughn and Sammy Davis, Jr. The new lobby showcases some of the famed performers who graced the theater's stage in the past.
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Tim Cooper for The Howard Theatre
The new design features black walnut walls, oak floors and Brazilian granite bars on each level. Martinez + Johnson Architecture developed a deeper stage, basement and additional wing space for enhanced set preparation, as well as a gourmet kitchen.
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Tim Cooper for The Howard Theatre
The 12,000-square-foot venue will have seating for 650, or standing froom for 1,100. It's also set to be a new Sunday destination -- each week beginning April 15, Howard Theatre will play host to a Sunday gospel brunch featuring the Harlem Gospel Choir.
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Tim Cooper for The Howard Theatre
Most ticket prices for shows fall at $35 or under, although certain events will be more -- for instance, Chaka Khan ($75), the Roots ($55) and Wanda Sykes ($95). Tickets are available online here.
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Tim Cooper for The Howard Theatre
A new Duke Ellington statue graces the plaza. During the Great Depression, the theater temporarily became a church; Ellington performed here in 1931 to transition the building back to its original purpose.
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Jocelyn Rubin
Walking toward history!
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Caprice Singletary
Councilmembers Marion Barry & Jim Graham attended the opening.
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Jocelyn Rubin
The exterior retains Howard's historic nature.
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Caprice Singletary
Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton finished speaking at about 12:15, with D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry about to cut the ribbon.
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Caprice Singletary
"There's a lot of history in this community," D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry told the crowd. "We shouldn't use it. Hold on to it."
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Howard Theatre
Notable performers through the years included Duke Ellington, James Brown, Otis Redding, Buddy Holly, Sarah Vaughn and Sammy Davis, Jr. The theater, which has been closed since the 1980s, had faced other tough times in its past. During the Great Depression, Howard temporarily became a church. It shut down again after the 1968 riots and struggled throughout the 1970s and '80s before closing its doors.
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Getty Images for Heineken
D.C.'s own rising rapper Wale will take the stage on the new Howard's first night; Loud Pac opens. 7 p.m. doors; 9 p.m. show; $35. Find tickets here.
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Comedian Wanda (R, shown here with her wife Alex) take the stage Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14. 6 p.m. doors; 8 p.m.; $95 gen. adm. tables; $125 booths. Find tickets here.
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Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, takes the stage Saturday, April 14. 10:30 p.m. doors; 11:30 p.m. show; $45 in advance; $50 day of show. Find tickets here.
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Following the critical acclaim of their December release "Undun," The Roots perform Monday, April 16. 6 p.m. doors; 8 p.m. show; $55. Find tickets here.
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"Father of Rock and Roll" Chuck Berry will rock the house on Saturday, April 28. 6 p.m. doors; 8 p.m.; $95. Find tickets here.
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Bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding, the first jazz musician to win the Grammy for Best New Artist, performs Saturday, May 12. 6 p.m. doors; 8 p.m. show. $35. Find tickets here.
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