Central Theatre

425-433 9th Street NW,
Washington, DC 20004

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Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on June 20, 2015 at 2:59 pm

Found a reference in the theatre organ database for “Crandall’s Central Theatre” from 1922 when a new Robert Morton organ was installed.

rivest266 on June 20, 2015 at 1:58 pm

December 21st, 1922 grand opening ad in photo section. Its opening was delayed until the 24th.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm

The Gayety Theatre mentioned by WAJWAJ three comments back was a different house, listed here as the Shubert Theatre. The November 20 opening of the Imperial Theatre was noted in the November 25, 1911, issue of Variety.

Will, I haven’t found any period references to a Central Coliseum or Coliseum Theatre in DC, but as this house didn’t become the Central until 1922 it was probably unrelated to the 1916 house.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on January 4, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Some confusion, I’m finding a listing for the Central Coliseum Theatre, Washington DC in 1916. Would it be this one? From what I’m reading above, this hall was called Moore’s Garden in 1916. Thoughts?

kencmcintyre on March 26, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Architect should be C.W. Sommerville as noted in the introduction.

WAJWAJ on January 2, 2010 at 10:11 pm

The text says this opened as the Imperial Theater in 1911, but advertisements in the Washington Post as early as Jan 4th, 1909 exist for burlesque shows at the Gayety Theater (“Ninth St Near F”) put on by my great-great grandfather, Louis Robie.

jflundy on December 17, 2008 at 7:42 am


Circa 1916

This is a large and wide photo. Pan to right with your Browser to see “Moore’s Garden Theater”.

Local619 on August 31, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Another link to the same picture.. a little more detail.. maybe


jflundy on August 5, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Here is a photo with Moore’s Garden Theater in background around 1921.

View link

Local619 on May 31, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Washington Post of January 7, 1940 lists the Central as a Warner Brothers Theatre. 425 9th st.. Phone ME-2841.. On April 15,1955 The Central is listed as a Stanley Warner Theatre. Phone is now ME-8-2841

Local619 on December 14, 2007 at 6:57 pm

The Central Theatre is listed in the 1960 Yellow Pages under “Stanley Warner Theatres”> The 1961 Yellow Pages do not list it, all of the other Stanly Warner Theatres are listed but not the Central.

Worked the booth at the Gayety in 1971 or 72.. booth seemed an afterthought, hanging from the ceiling with access via a ladder up the back wall. Balcony was closed, follow spor was located at fron rail of balcony.
Theatre was a grand old house, big marble stair ways on each side of lobby (closed off), much ornate plasterwork in ceiling. Had been a very nice theatre in it’s day.

rlvjr on October 3, 2005 at 12:23 pm

For most of its life the CENTRAL was Washington DC’s answer to New York’s 42nd Street and their 9 bargain double feature houses. Like 42nd Street, kids were warned they could be molested here, but I never saw any such thing. They played very good double features starting at 11:00 AM continuously till 11:30 PM. Matinees were 35c; Evenings 50c —– compared to 44c and 74c at the nearby first run houses.
Serving breifly as the GAYETY, live burlesque was revived for about a year. The admission price was about $2.00. They’d have shopworn and usually overweight strippers/dancers maybe 3 or 4, plus a usually-very-bad comedian. No real nudity either. It was a pathetic scene. A handful of lonely desperate men (like me) in the first 2 or 3 rows (other rows empty) trying to enjoy watching a really bad sex show. Beginning in the mid-1960’s and ever since, beautiful young women became commonplace as “showgirls” but by that time the GAYETY was dead. No loss!