Savoy Theatre

3030 14th Street NW,
Washington, DC 20010

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Savoy Theatre, Washington, D.C., in 1916 - Lobby

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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. By 1941, the Savoy Theatre was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

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.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

MotherButter
MotherButter on February 4, 2010 at 1:48 pm

did the roof the Savoy Theater, Washington, DC collapse after a snow storm – in the earlier years of the theater?

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on July 17, 2010 at 1:41 am

I think you are thinking of the Ambassador, which was called the Knickerbocker when the roof collapsed in 1922. Killed 98 people. Rebuilt and call the Ambassador after that.

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on April 22, 2013 at 7:57 am

I have loaded two pictures. I must thank Ken Roe in solving the mystery of where they are of…. :o)

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on October 29, 2017 at 3:13 pm

May 1961 photo added credit Old Time D.C. Facebook page. The Savoy looks vastly different than it’s earlier days.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 16, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Link with an April 15, 1968 photo of the Savoy.

https://www.dc1968project.com/blog/2018/4/15/15-april-1968-

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 16, 2018 at 8:31 pm

April 1968 photo added via Steve Larrick.

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on April 16, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Whats the name of the subway station there now on the site of the Savoy Theatre?

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 16, 2018 at 9:51 pm

Appears to be Columbia Heights Station.

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