Howard Theatre

620 T Street NW,
Washington, DC 20001

Unfavorite 6 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 36 comments

RickB on December 30, 2012 at 9:52 am

Named one of the “Preservation Wins of 2012” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It’s the only theater on the list, but here’s the whole thing for anyone interested.

Giles on August 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm

oh I forgot to mention I recently saw Tangerine Dream in performance at the Howard – great show by the way, and what a beautiful restoration of the theater!

Patsy on August 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm

This theatre was featured in a recent Preservation magazine. Worth the read!

Ivory on February 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm

fond memories of living in the 900 block of T street in early sixties walking to Howard Theater to catch the matinee movie and stage show for $0.90, what a bargain.

Giles on February 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm

the 12th of April date is still a go and on the 9th it’s the ribbon cutting and Howard Theatre Community Day

dcrick2008 on February 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Please DC get the Howard back open!

Ivory on January 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm

If I am not mistaken the opening is set for April 12th

Giles on January 4, 2012 at 8:21 am

anyone see the article in last Sunday’s Washington Post the grand reopening is set for this upcoming April

Ivory on January 4, 2012 at 12:26 am

Butch did you have the opportunity to play with the late charlie hampton? After the howard closed he formed a group and played at different venues in the Washington DC area with a singer named Larry Sharpe.

Butch1 on March 30, 2011 at 7:41 am

My first vist to the Howard Theatre was in 1965 to see Pigmeat Markham and Moms Mabley with the Jewel Box Rev. The next time I was at the Howard was in 1968 as a trombonist playing with the late and great Billy Stewart. Bernard (Butch) White The Bethorns Section

willsww on June 2, 2010 at 11:29 am

My first concert at the Howard was James Brown in 1963. James was dancin and screamin, his band was wailing, and the audience was jammin. This was the most exciting thing I ever witnessed. I saw many other concerts there as well and I miss the place being closed down. Lots of great memories…

Redbone619 on April 7, 2010 at 7:49 pm

On the otherhand right down the block they did a bang up job on restoring the Lincoln Theatre.
posted by East Coast Rocker

The Lincoln is SEVEN blocks west and on a different street entirely – at 1215 U Street NW next to that ridiculously overrated heartburn hut Chili Bowl – not “right down the block” from that miserably neglected Howard Theatre. Sure & we all make mistakes but I’d like to think a real true native of Washington – which from the way the winds of change are blowing we’re about to be “endangered” ourselves – wouldn’t misstate the geographic facts of the case so badly. I was last inside that old wreck 30 summers ago & the place was in such a dilapidated state, the air redolent of decay, that I feared for my health breathing that in. It’s nice that they scraped off every last vestige of that crappy “remodel” but there sure ain’t no Original Façade hidden beneath – and with only 4½ months until the alleged grand reopening, there had better be a lot of restoration/construction work going on offsite somewhere, because old gal’s outside looks like it’ll take a year alone yet to finish. But their given timetable is their own business; I just care about the second-to-last remaining piece of Black Broadway rising from the ashes of needless and outrageous neglect before god-only-knows what would happen, historic designation or not, and eventually another Barfbucks would vomit forth upon the cityscape.

Giles on March 1, 2010 at 11:17 am

I watched the Channel 50 doc over the weekend – and I was impressed with the planned renovation, question though: it’d seem though like the dinner theatre aspect could change depending on the show – like at the State Theatre in Arlington – half seating, and open floor nearer to the stage – right? And with a black tie event already planned for it’s August 2010 opening – wow, that’s kind of quick – I didn’t think the renovation was that far in it’s process. It’s great to see music venues beginning to preliforate in and around the DC area, with the Howard and Fillmore (in Silver Spring)opening in Summer 2011 (the planned ‘new’ date)

EcRocker on February 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Hi Frannni

Just saw it this afternoon. 100 Years of the Howard. Glad to see that after all these years the Howard will live again. I am not sure I like some of the plans. It looks like it is going to look more like a dinner theatre. But this is 2010 and I guess the times they are a changing.

Great piece.

To me it hurts to see these beautiful old theatres going to waste or demolished. At least the Howard will live on even it it’s altered state. The other GOOD new I have seen recently is that the Loews Kings in Brooklyn NY that has been sitting in a state of abandonment for over 30 years. It is a 3200 seater and will be going under about a $70 mil renovation

FranniM on January 6, 2010 at 10:51 am

I am working on a documentary on the Howard Theater in Washington, DC, for WDCW Channel 50. It will air at the end of February 2010.

If you have pictures, movies, video or memories of the theater you would be willing to share, please email me at


nonsportsnut on January 2, 2010 at 9:23 pm

The Three Stooges Fan Club is trying to get information on a live appearance of Moe, Larry and Shemp (The Three Stooges) the week starting Friday, September, 1944 at the Howard theatre. Others on the bill were Willie Bryant and his all-star band, Shorty Matthews and Beth & Martin “Syncopated Personalities”.
It was billed as “their first and only Washington appearance”. It is of great interest because it may have been their first appearance at a “Black” theatre, and because Shemp had replaced Curly on road appearances.

Please email Frank Reighter at with any info.

Giles on September 3, 2009 at 1:29 pm

link to the Howard Theatre restoration website:

EcRocker on May 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Hey Lost I drove by the Howard today and from what i could see from the naked eye was the same that i saw the last time I was up there. The Lincoln on the other hand was nicely lit up and Bens Chillie Bowl had a line out the door.

EcRocker on January 19, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Thanks Lost. I am going to look up the lincoln to see if there is anything about how much it cost to restore. Frome the artist rendering of Howard it looks like the main floor is going to be tables and chairs on a flat surce. Now I can see where a good deal of the cost will be..

BTW I saw this on the link. I guess the following was a typo. I think he meant begin.

Construction is expected to being next year

EcRocker on January 19, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Hey Lost. As recently as October of 2008 I drove past the Howard and unless something has happened since it did not look like anything was going on in there as far as a refurbishing. On the otherhand right down the block they did a bang up job on restoring the Lincoln Theatre.

Yeash I know your used to seeing me in the NY pages but I live in Maryland.

DavidZornig on January 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Thanks for the pics and updates. Hopefully they will make their 2010 Anniversary target date. They need to dry it in though, roof wise. 30 years is a long span of inactivity.
I’m waiting to read how Chicago’s Uptown Theatre roof has faired.

kencmcintyre on January 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Here is an undated photo of the marquee:

DavidZornig on January 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Interesting reading. The documents are dated 2006. So obviously the HTR group was able to meet the criteria as of then. There is no news newer than Feb. of 2008 on the HTR website. But the link is active and full of other great history and info.

I read that one of the proposal’s criteria was that 51 percent of the hires for the renovation, had to be D.C residents. Though a noble move on the District’s part, such a stipulation can end up being a double edged sword. In some cases preventing willing, qualified developers who happen to be based out of town, from ever embarking on such a monumental project. Should they not be able to hire subcontractors, even local, as they see fit. I would think the District would have been eager to entertain proposals from ANY reputable developers, as long as it meant the project would come to fruition sooner rather than later.

Not sure if the District of Columbia is a right-to-work state, or if labor unions dictate what contractors are be used, etc. Those elements are certainly factored in when developers make their proposals. Who one hires should be left to the developers though. With full consideration to hire as many locals as possible. But not mandated.