Lincoln Theatre

1215 U Street NW,
Washington, DC 20009

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Lincoln Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in 1921, the Lincoln Theatre is a relic of the days of segregation, when the theatre was used exclusively by black audiences. In its heyday, the theatre featured such legendary talents as Duke Ellington and Fats Waller.

The Lincoln Theatre was eventually converted to a movie theater, which it remained until 1983, when it was closed.

In 1994, the theatre was purchased and once again converted into a venue for legitimate theatre. Occasional film use continues as it was used for the Reel Affirmations 17th Annual International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in October 2007.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 26 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 23, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Here is an excerpt from a Washington Post article dated 7/16/22:

COLORED THEATER REOPENS
Lincoln, Largest of Its Kind, to Be Managed by Prominent Men of Race

Crandall’s Lincoln theater, 1215 U Street Northwest, the largest playhouse in the United States for colored patrons, will be reopened tomorrow night under the management of a board of directors composed of prominent professional men of the colored race in Washington.

EcRocker
EcRocker on January 19, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Wow Lost imagine what life was like back then. I have been down this way a little over 6 years now and although there has been a big resurgence of the Shaw area there are a few rough spots. Even in my short time in this area I have seen beat up homes turn in to gems and new businesses taking shape. Now if and when the Howard gets it’s face lift that will be another boost to the neighborhood.

EcRocker
EcRocker on January 24, 2009 at 3:55 am

Bens has been in the news recently when President Obama anf the DC Mayor had lunch there before inaugaration day. Bens also operates a stand at the Nationals Baseball park in DC

EcRocker
EcRocker on January 29, 2009 at 10:50 pm

You should come down here and see some of these places for your self. The Lincoln restoration looks awesome from the outside. It looks like the past came to life when you see when you see this almost 90 year old gem sparkle.

EcRocker
EcRocker on January 29, 2009 at 11:16 pm

SOunds like a plan. Where do you live? Let me know if you do head out this way. Maybe we can find others on CT and have a live CT meet.

EcRocker
EcRocker on March 14, 2009 at 8:49 pm

The snow on the ground must have been close to the time Obama called the DC Board of Ed whips for closing the schools. Being raised in NYC Obama was funny but right. In NYC schools would be open unless there was at least a foot or more of snow on the ground.

As to the picture the snow and the wet streets gives it a nice feel.

teecee
teecee on November 13, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Refer to the “mini debate” posted above in June 2005.

The debate is resolved. The linked photo is currently on display in the Smithsonian American History museum as part of the “Picturing the Promise” exhibition. The caption states that the patrons were indeed protesting the treatment of african americans in the movie Gone with the Wind.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on January 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Stunningly beautiful both inside and out! Photo from 2009 of the exterior:
Lincoln Theatre

Giles
Giles on December 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Landmark Theater is renting out the theater and bringing back movies to the Lincoln with ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ starting Wednesday (Dec. 21)

lesbrown0
lesbrown0 on April 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm

I’m glad to see the old building still standing. Havn’t stepped inside since 1968.

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