6822 New Hamsphire Avenue,
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The Allen Theater was built as part of a shopping center at East-West Highway and New Hampshire Avenue in Takoma Park, Maryland. Takoma Park is northeast of Washington, DC.
The Allen Theater opened March 24, 1951, with a stage show, an orchestra, and the movie "At War With the Army" starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. James Hogan and Francis Groff were the architects. Due to county regulations, the vibrant neon of the vertical sign could not be turned on! The exterior had glass from sidewalk to the roof, and red brick.
The entry lobby had huge comedy and tragedy masks. In the 946-seat single level auditorium, the comedy and tragedy theme was repeated on each side of the screen. The auditorium walls were covered with burgundy damask with gold designs, and wainscot that was maroon.
After Sidney Lust operated the theater for many years, in 1975 Paul Sanchez began operating it. In 1985, the Allen Theater was twinned. New movie operators took over in 1989. It closed in 1990, and was converted into retail stores. On December 4, 2009, a fire destroyed the former theater which was being used as a shoe and clothing store.
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