Howard Theatre: A Century in Song
Thursday, February 18, 2010, 5:19pm EST | Modified: Thursday, February 18, 2010, 5:41pm
It was 100 years ago this coming summer that the Howard Theatre opened at the corner of Seventh and T streets in Shaw, making D.C. — until the 1968 riots — a center of jazz and entertainment that drew Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye and most every other big-time black artist to the neighborhood.
To commemorate the anniversary, WDCW-Channel 50 will air a history of the historic theater twice on Saturday, Feb. 27 and again on Sunday, Feb. 28.
Developer Chip Ellis of Ellis Development has been raising money for the theater since 2008 in the hope of being able to rehab and reopen it as a live entertainment venue with a restaurant, bar, museum and space for jazz lessons in time for the anniversary. As a detailed slide show on the CW’s Web site shows, the theater is in rough shape, maybe even rougher than the credit markets. And the fundraising hasn’t been without some bumps in the road. But with a 75-year lease in hand from the District, Ellis has started construction, and there is even a video of the initial work, below.