Kennedy Theater

326 Kennedy Street NW,
Washington, DC 20011

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Kennedy Theater

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The Kennedy Theater, one of a number of John Eberson-designed Washington movie houses, was opened in 1939 by Warner Bros. and the opening movie was Bette Davis in “Juarez”. It was located on Kennedy Street, near Third Street. The Kennedy closed in 1974 as a theater. It most recently was home to a church.

All but the facade has now been demolished, and the facade now serves as the entrance to a new building.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

reubjcks1956 on January 18, 2006 at 3:58 am

hi. my family loved to an area near the kennedy theater in 1959. the area was in the process of full out white flight, but it was not, as rlvjr indicated in hos comments of july 23rd of last year, gone from “bad to waaaaay worse” in the 50s… the comment smacks of-well, need i say more? like many urban centers, the neighborhood did change for the worse by, say, 1969 or so… but i spent many a carefree, SAFE afternoon in the theater, and the surrounding environs…

reuben jackson
washington, dc

kencmcintyre on January 27, 2007 at 10:11 am

Opened 6/16/39:

Welcomed by the Hon. Melvin C. Hazen, president of the Board of District Commissioners, and D.W. Gabelin, president of the Chillum Heights Citizens' Association, to a thickly populated residential section of northwest Washington, heretofore without its own neighborhood motion picture house, the Warner Brothers' handsome new Kennedy Theater last night threw open its doors to the public.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 20, 2007 at 5:55 am

The Kennedy Theatre had 980 seats, according to the 1941 Film Daily Year Book. Here are two images, the second thanks to Dazian’s, which provided most of the fabrics used for the curtains and draperies:

JackCoursey on February 3, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Here, here, and here are photos from February 2008 of the former Kennedy. Although the façade is in immaculate condition, the interior has been completely gutted and converted into some sort of community/residential centre.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 5, 2008 at 7:11 am

Here are new links to images described above on 7/20/07:
View link
View link

kencmcintyre on June 7, 2009 at 1:27 pm

This is a 1984 short film by John Heyn that shows the Kennedy and other Washington theaters:

Tinseltoes on June 17, 2012 at 7:16 am

Here’s an article from a 1939 trade journal about the new Kennedy Theatre: boxofficemagazine

pachamama on June 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I graduated from Coolidge High School in 1960. During those school years, the Kennedy was the place to see not only movies, but live performances by the likes of Fats Domino and Little Richard. Those were the days, my friend!

Mendy216 on November 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Worked This Theater as an Usher in 1963 for aprox 1 year under manager Tony Renaldy spelling may not be accruate. $ 0.75 per Hour. Fun Job.

RickR on November 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I used to go to the Kennedy when I was a kid. I remember Tony Rinaldi working the candy stand when they were short handed. Didn’t Tony have a brother who was also a manager?

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