3030 14th Street NW,
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The Savoy Theatre was built in 1913 on 14th Street, in the Columbia Heights area of Washington. The architect, B. Stanley Simmons designed the facade in a stylized Colonial Revival design, with the three false windows on the second floor surrounded by simple terra-cotta decor, including garland swags and lion’s heads. Over the large cornice was a large inscribed rectangle for the theater’s name (although the name was never inscribed).
The Savoy Theatre’s 1,400-seat auditorium was elaborately decorated and the lobby walls were lined with gilded mirrors and green marble. The lobby floor resembled an ancient Roman mosaic, with a huge “S” in the center, inside a lyre. Originally, an open air second theater space was adjacent to the Savoy’s main entrance, though this later disappeared. Before air-conditioning, during the muggy summer season, audiences could watch silent films in shaded comfort.
Less than three years after it opened, the Savoy Theatre was remodeled and enlarged, by Simmons again and was taken over by Harry Crandell. During the mid-to-late 1910’s, the Savoy Theatre was Washington’s largest movie house.
Unfortunately, the theater fell into decline during the 1950’s and 1960’s, and was set ablaze during the 1968 riots. What remained of the Savoy Theatre was torn down three years later, and today a subway station is on the site.
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