Loew's Palace Theater

1306 F Street NW,
Washington, DC 20004

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Loew's Palace Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on November 4, 1918, the Loew’s Palace Theater was Washington’s first movie palace and the site of numerous early premieres.

In addition to motion pictures, stage shows began in 1926 and continued until 1932. The Loew’s Palace Theater was also reportedly the first DC movie house with air conditioning which was installed in 1926.

As the theater began to decline, Loew’s spent $225,000 to renovate the theater in 1964 which changed the paint, walls, and carpeting at which time orchestra and balcony wall boxes were also removed.

In 1968, a robbery occurred in which two people were shot and wounded and a year later Loew’s put the old movie palace up for sale.

The Loew’s Palace was finally closed for good in 1978, and was torn down in late-1979.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

mp775
mp775 on December 29, 2008 at 5:05 am

The Palace is visible in the background of this 1979 photo (indicating that the building was not torn down in 1978).

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 6, 2009 at 7:31 pm

The year given for this photo is 1926.

PJCooper
PJCooper on January 25, 2009 at 11:38 am

Loew’s Palace also served as a concert venue: I saw Quicksilver Messenger Service there in 1971, with Brewer & Shipley. A suburban kid, I had little experience with downtown movie palaces except for the Uptown and was dazzled by its still-opulent interior.

MPol
MPol on January 25, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Wow!! What a lot of movies that played at this theatre!! Too bad about what happened to it. It sounds as if the robbery and the shootings that ensued in its wake hastened its demise. What a shame.

At the risk of sounding obsessive, did the film West Side Story ever play there at all? Just curious.

Ron3853
Ron3853 on January 26, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Adding to my previous posts above, here is another batch of films that played at Loew’s Palace theater. Like the others above, the dates are Wednesday dates, although in later years, films may have opened on Fridays. Research is from Variety and microfilms of The Washington Post. There were a number of weeks that the theater was used for live concerts…sorry, but I did not write down who the acts were, but many of them were soul/rhythm & blues groups or artists.

01/01/72 Dirty Harry
01/26/72 (stage show)
02/02/72 The School Girls
02/16/72 (stage show)
02/23/72 I Spit on Your Grave
03/01/72 (stage show)
03/08/72 Soul Soldier
03/22/72 (stage show)
03/29/72 The Ten Commandments
04/12/72 Georgia, Georgia
04/19/72 05/12/72 The Abductors
05/24/72 Malcolm X (documentary)
06/07/72 The Final Comedown
06/14/72 The Seduction of Inga
06/21/72 Ben
06/28/72 A Place Called Today
07/05/72 Top of the Heap
07/19/72 Come Back, Charleston Blue
08/16/72 (stage show)
08/23/72 Super Fly
10/25/72 (stage show)
11/15/72 Trouble Man
12/20/72 Black Gunn
01/17/73 Slaughter Hotel
01/31/73 (stage show)
02/07/73 Riot/The Legend of Nigger Charley
02/14/73 Trick Baby
03/21/73 Scream Bloody Murder
03/28/73 The Bus is Coming/Honky
04/04/73 (stage show)
04/11/73 The Mack
05/23/73 The Soul of Nigger Charley
06/06/73 Charley One-Eye
06/13/73 The Hammer of God
06/20/73 Super Fly TNT
07/11/73 Fox Style
07/25/73 Cleopatra Jones
09/12/73 Detroit 9000
09/26/73 Gordon’s War
10/17/73 Save the Children
10/31/73 Fearless Fighters
11/14/73 Isaac Hayes: The Black Moses of Soul
11/21/73 Blood of the Dragon
11/28/73 Queen Boxer
12/05/73 Black Belt
12/12/73 Triple Irons
12/19/73 The Chinese Professionals
01/09/74 Fists of the Double K
01/16/74 Black Belt Jones
02/06/74 Karate Killer
02/13/74 Deadly China Doll
02/20/74 The Godfathers of Hong Kong
02/27/74 The Bamboo Brotherhood
03/06/74 Man of Iron
03/13/74 From China, With Death
03/20/74 Three Tough Guys
04/03/74 Willie Dynamite
04/17/74 The Hong Kong Connection
04/24/74 Blood Fingers/The Hammer of God
05/01/74 Black Eye
05/15/74 The Chinese Godfather
05/29/74 The Black Connection/Run, Nigger, Run
06/05/74 The Take
06/19/74 Detroit 9000/Fox Style
06/26/74 Three the Hard Way
07/24/74 The Education of Sonny Carson
08/07/74 Johnny Tough!
09/04/74 Black Samson
09/18/74 Together Brothers
10/02/74 Lady Sings the Blues/The Education of Sonny Carson
10/09/74 Zebra Killer
10/23/74 Foxy Brown/Truck Turner
10/30/74 Hangup
11/13/74 The Street Fighter
11/27/74 The Black Hooker
12/11/74 Enter the Dragon/The Five Fingers of Death
12/18/74 Boss Nigger

One final post to be added later will detail the films that played there from January 1, 1975 until the closing of the Palace in April 1978.

MPol
MPol on May 5, 2009 at 4:43 pm

That was a beautiful-looking theatre, both inside and out. It’s a pity what happened to it.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on December 10, 2009 at 8:34 am

Interesting history, and great pictures.

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