Savoy Theatre

3030 14th Street NW,
Washington, DC 20010

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Savoy Theatre

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 11 comments)

jflundy on August 5, 2008 at 5:35 pm

AKA/ Crandall’s Savoy. There was an outdoor venue adjacent to this theater, known as the Savoy Garden/ Savoy Park, used for the brutal summer months in D.C.

Photo and history of the Savoy at this URL:

As per “stanton_square”, the Washington Post is cited to the effect:
On April 30, 1916 the Savoy Theater, Washington’s largest motion picture house, was sold by the Savoy Theater company to Harry M. Crandall for a cash payment of $75,000, bringing the Crandall circuit to four theaters, the other three of which are Crandall’s at the southeast corner of Ninth and E streets northwest, the Apollo, and the Avenue Grand.

jflundy on August 5, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Here is a photo of Crandall’s Theater at 9th & E. St. in N.W., Washington, D.C.
mentioned above not listed as such on CT, but may exist under another name:
View link

Note the adjacent Garden Theater in the photo, which I do not find listed on CT under that name but may be listed under a later name.

jflundy on August 5, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Thanks Lost Memory !

jflundy on August 28, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Here is a photo of the lobby of Crandall’s Savoy in 1920.

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 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 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.

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