Originally opening its doors in 1910 The Howard Theater predates The Apollo in Harlem and The Regal in Chicago. It is synonymous with rich African American and DC culture as well as jazz and the preforming arts.
Located at 7th and T St NW it is at the end of the The U St corridor which in it’s heyday in the early 1900s was referred to as ‘Black Broadway’. Celebrated musicians such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Roberta Flack and many others launched their careers at the Howard Theater and countless more preformed there.
Over time the Howard Theater hosted countless shows and talent and eventually closed its doors in 1980.
Thursday marked the day of the groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation of the Howard Theater. This public/private partnership required a lot of facets to come together in order for this project to occur. It took dedication and commitment from the city and numerous organizations, but predominately the many passionate people involved who were determined to restore and create something that we can all cherish, enjoy, and be proud of.
Ellis Development Group is restoring the Howard Theater and building the headquarters of the United Negro College Fund located along the same block. This kind of development will ideally add to restoring our city’s neighborhood and creating economic engines that will train and employ individuals who work in in feilds from construction to the preforming arts and everything in between.
The grand reopening of of the Howard Theater is still about two years down the road. Until then one can possibly foresee exciting temporary uses of the space with in the Howard Theatre incorporating artists of all sorts and allowing the spirit of the Howard Theater to live on.