Key Theatre

1222 Wisconsin Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20007

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

A special night for Arthur

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Key Theatre (named for Francis Scott Key), located on Wisconsin Avenue near M Street, opened on April 9, 1969 and for almost 30 years was one of the most popular independent art houses in Georgetown. The Key Theatre closed in December 1997 and the building now houses a furniture store.

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Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 6, 2007 at 4:48 pm

Here is an interesting article about the owner of the Key:
http://tinyurl.com/2acwo8

sconnell1
sconnell1 on March 21, 2009 at 6:05 pm

The Key opened on 4/9/69 with the film CHANGES starring Kent Lane and Michele Carey. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID opened there, and at three other local theaters, on 10/1/69 and played in a first- run engagement there for 12 weeks.

randytheicon
randytheicon on June 13, 2009 at 12:57 pm

My favorite memory of the Key is the final show of “Rocky Horror,” on October 11, 1996. The theatre staged a mock “funeral” commemorating the end of the movie’s nearly nine-year run, with the entire first floor decorated in black, and a “eulogy” read over the PA system. That time, the local media gave extensive coverage. (“Rocky” did return for one weekend in 1997, during the Key’s farewell celebrations.)

David Levy also owned the Charles in Baltimore, and the Key College Park.

randytheicon
randytheicon on June 13, 2009 at 12:57 pm

The date of that “Rocky” funeral should be 10/11/1986. Sorry…

cushing1961
cushing1961 on June 26, 2009 at 6:39 pm

I worked there in 1988. Some of the movies out about that time were Babettes Feast and Tampopo.. just LOVED working there!! Rabi, Alex, Trent, where are you guys!!! When the manager hired me, he told me to show up the next day.. I did and as we started to work, I asked “do you want to know my name now?”.. it was so easy and laid back!! We watched fireworks from the roof (interesting climb to get up there!!) and we watched a “private viewing” of a film that one of the guys there made in his film class. A few of our group was in the film too, it was hilarious. I Mickey Spillane based film, but with bad acting. SO much fun!!

kenholmz
kenholmz on September 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm

In 1974 I and a date warmed up in the Snuggery at Martin’s Carriage House, then went to the Key to watch Mel Brook’s “The Critic” (see it on YouTube), followed by Lenny Bruce Performance Film (that is Lenny Bruce performing, not the Dustin Hoffman film “Lenny” that was in theaters at the same time. I’m a little older and I might not laugh as much as I did at the time, but I do love the memory.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 19, 2011 at 9:22 pm

The entry for architect Louis Henry Layton III in the 1970 directory of the AIA lists the Key Theatre in Washington, DC, as one of his works.

Eddie_Dornack
Eddie_Dornack on May 11, 2012 at 11:36 pm

I would like to respond to all of you but that would become a thesis. I’m Eddie Dornack & I was the guy who ran the Key fron 1972 until it closed. I staged the funeral & designed the entire upstairs. Rabi, Alex & Trent were great friends & employees as were Zalman, Mimi, Misty, Baron & god forbid Mark. I’ll be glad to answer any questions. I would love to hear from Cushing 1961 & Randytheicon. Yes the barbecues on the roof were great but the ladder & the tar were a problem. E.

raysson
raysson on October 6, 2014 at 9:30 am

The KEY THEATER basically opened in 1969 as a single screener and later on was split into two sections and somewhere during the late-1970’s/early-1980’s when from 2 tO 4 screens showing first-run independent features, documentaries and foreign films.

Giles
Giles on October 6, 2014 at 1:37 pm

my fond memory of the Key theater was a Sunday morning pre-release screening of ‘The Crying Game’ (Key Sunday Cinema Club) – someone accidentally dropped their coffee on my back … and the movie itself was great.

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