Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H Street NE,
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Opened on 31st August 1938 with Mickey Rooney in “Love Finds Andy Hardy”. It was designed by architect John Zink in an Art Moderne style. The Atlas Theater seated nearly 1,000 patrons, with all seating on one floor and in its heyday it combined movies with live performances for almost four decades.
In 1968, riots hit this area of the city and H Street has still never fully recovered. The area’s plunging fortunes eventually took the once popular theater down with it, and the Atlas closed in August 1976.
After purchasing the theater in 1985, the H Street Community Development Corp. renovated its famous Art Moderne facade in 1989 and sought a new tenant for the building.
In 1993 a new group emerged to restore, renovate, and reopen the Atlas Theater. In May 2002, the Sprenger-Lang Foundation put $450,000 down of the $1.2 million asking price for the shuttered movie house.
The purchase from the H Street Community Development Corporation, is the first step in a plan to turn the theater into a two-auditorium performing and community arts center.
Plans for the "Atlas Performing Arts Center" called for a roughly $12 million renovation effort that would create two different theater spaces and preserve the original elegance of the facade.
With the new plans underway, the future of the Atlas looks bright and it reopened in November 2006.
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