National Theatre

1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20004

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Local619
Local619 on December 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm

I have heard the stories of how the Broadway Actors boycotted the National moving legitimate theatre to The Shubert on 9th Street.. and how the National ran as a Movie house during the boycott.. But.. Fantasia opened in Washington on May 12th 1941 as a reserved seat roadshow at the National. (May 10, 1941 Washington Post)

rlvjr
rlvjr on December 24, 2014 at 11:32 am

Sometimes history is “re-written” and truth takes a holiday. The National did not convert from stage shows to cinema in 1948 because stage went out of style and movies were popular. The reason, as reported in the Evening Star, etc. was because of a court case which required the National to integrate (to admit blacks) because, unlike the movie houses, there was only ONE live theatre in town, thus “separate but equal” did not apply. Four years later, the new owners complied with integration, and Washington once again had live theatre. In that era, legitimate theatre was struggling even harder than movies to compete with the new 8 inch TV’s; and there were only a few plays/shows per year. In 1954 I took Diane here to see “South Pacific” direct from Broadway, at a crippling price of $4.40 for the best tickets, including the 20% Federal tax. First run movies on F Street were then 44 cents matinee 74 cents evening.

EnnisCAdkins
EnnisCAdkins on July 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm

This was a long time ago. In the fall of 1964, I was stationed in Virginia while I was in the service. During that time, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF with Zero Mostel had a Pre NY Broadway run in Washington. I believe it either played the National or the Palace. Am I right or wrong?