934 F Street NW,
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Built for Harry Crandall, whose mini-chain also included the Lincoln Theatre, Knickerbocker Theatre, and the Tivoli Theatre, the Metropolitan Theatre was built in 1917. It was designed by architect Reginald W. Geare, who also designed the Lincoln Theatre and Knickerbocker Theatre for Crandall (the Knickerbocker Theatre was renamed the Ambassador Theatre in 1923 and rebuilt by Thomas W. Lamb after the roof of the theater collapsed in a heavy snowstorm in 1922, killing 98 and injuring 136).
The 1,400-seat Metropolitan Theatre, located on F Street, had a three story Georgian Revival facade, with four sets of Doric pilasters below an ornately sculpted pediment. Between four sets of decorative friezes just below the pediment, the theatre’s name was incised into the stone in bold lettering.
Around the late-1920’s, a large marquee replaced the more simple original, somewhat obscuring the arched window over the main entrance. Also, a 60-foot tall vertical sign was also added at this time, with its top support punched right into the sculpture on the pediment. Up until the early-1940’s, the Metropolitan Theatre included live stage entertainment, including a house orchestra, in addition to movies. The theatre was also the site of the Washington premiere of “The Jazz Singer” in 1927, the first theatre in the capital to show a “talking picture”. A year later, the Metropolitan Theatre was acquired by the Warner Brothers chain, which it remained into the 1950’s.
The theatre received two massive remodels in 1954 and 1961 in an attempt to entice more movie-goers with its attendance falling. Unfortunately, the Metropolitan Theatre closed a few years later, and was razed in 1968.
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