2103 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
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Previously operated by: Circle Theatres
Firms: Alfred B. Mullett & Co
Styles: Art Deco
The Circle Theatre was opened in March 1910, a conversion of a retail store in a three-story Federal style building with the Circle Theatre designed by architectural firm Albert B. Mullett & Co. It had an elaborately decorated interior in green color with ivory. In the summer of 1935 it was enlarged and remodeled in an Art Deco style to the plans of architect Luthor R. Ray. The Circle’s Art Deco stylings were a bit tattered by the time it became a repertory house in the 1970’s and 1980’s showing double features with a matinee of only $1 (full price was $2).
Many homeless people found comfort in the not-so-comfortable chairs.
The screen was small, the house lights were dark, the Deco style trimmings were crumbling, but it was a popular haunt for older films.
The theatre was adjacent to the Inner Circle Theatre (1968-1986) which ran first and second run movies and shared its entrance (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures).
Both theatres were closed in September 1986 and were demolished to make way for a new 5-screen Circle Theatre which was due to open in December 1988 (it was never built) and the site became a parking garage.
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