Apex Theater

4813 Massachusetts Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20016

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Apex Booth

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This beautifully designed Streamline Moderne style movie house, designed by reknowned architect John Zink, opened in 1940. All seating was on a single floor.

In addition to the sumptuous auditorium, the theater also featured a "crying room" and another area also enclosed in soundproof glass.

The Apex closed in 1976 and was torn down in 1977 to make way for an office building.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

GaryParks on May 28, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Visible in the photo at the top is a semicircular decorative lighting feature over the proscenium which seems to be identical to that still surviving in the Senator Theatre, Baltimore, also by Zink. Slits around the edge of this feature emit light in spectrum-like rays out across the ceiling—a simple but dramatic effect.

sstrack on August 2, 2008 at 2:14 pm

The Apex was one of the major houses of Washington’s KB Theatres and home to their corporate offices. I remember many of the people that worked there in the early 1960s, from Bailey the janitor, to Bill Hunter, the manager, and Mr. Burka and Mr. Goldman, the owners of KB. It was a great place to work and the source of many fond memories. The theater was huge, sat over 1,000, with 2 balcony level “party rooms”. It had two main aisles. The ceiling featured a huge horsehoe shaped light fixture with gold hemispheres that had holes cut in them that were filled with colored glass or plastic that emited light from a single bulb inside. Changing the bulbs required a trip up a ladder located back stage. The ceiling must have been 30' high. Once up the ladder, you went on to a small platform and through a small door to a very narrow catwalk. Then, partially standing or crawling, depending on your courage, you made your way to the burned out fixture and replaced the bulb. Wanting as quick a retreat as possible back to the relative safety of the ladder, most of us just left the old bulbs on top of the ceiling lathe – kind of a light bulb graveyard.

sconnell1 on April 1, 2009 at 9:24 pm

The Apex opened on November 20, 1940. Its opening attraction was “Down Argentine Way” starring Betty Grable, Don Ameche, and Carmen Miranda.

MrBluehaunt on January 14, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Posted a few photos from a 1940’s book:
View link

TLSLOEWS on August 16, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Thanks for the photos MrBluehaunt,and Jack.

Giles on March 16, 2011 at 7:20 pm

was the theatrical run of PATTON in 70mm? what else played here as such?

sconnell1 on March 31, 2012 at 2:10 am

“Patton” played its first-run engagement at the Apex from March of 1970 to July of 1970.

HornerJack on March 31, 2012 at 4:43 am

What a beautiful facade – simple, clean, elegant. Wish The Apex was still around.

JohnRitch on January 26, 2013 at 5:29 am

In 1977, right after the Apex was demolished, I came into possession of a lot of beautiful pieces of brass from its interior stairway. Oddly, i still have these — always hoping to put them to respectful good use — but have neve been able to place them into visual context. I’d welcome seeing any pics of the theater’s interior.

evieemee on March 28, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Just posted two original photos of the medallions ( in color ) that were on the front of the Apex Theatre.

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