Bethesda returns with live theatre
The Bethesda Theatre joins this group of preserved deco landmarks with some of the same compromises. On Thursday, the 1938 movie palace reopened as a venue for live dramatic performances with “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” The title of the musical revue well summarizes the attitude toward reviving the old cinema on the part of Smith Payes of Bethesda and the Bozzuto Group of Greenbelt.
After skirmishes with local preservation groups, the developers embraced Montgomery County’s requirement of finding a new cultural use for the building and enlisted Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment to operate it as a theater for lighter off-Broadway fare. They resuscitated the worn-out structure by hiring Oehrlein & Associates Architects of the District to meticulously restore its interior, down to 32 original paint colors.
Read the full story in the Washington Times.