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African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC


Lincoln Theater

Lincoln Theater

The Lincoln Theatre, built by white theater magnate Harry Crandall, opened in 1922 under African American management as U Street's most elegant first-run movie house. With 1,600 seats, it also was one of the biggest. In addition to films, the Lincoln hosted vaudeville and amateur competitions. The Lincoln Colonnade, a public hall once located below and behind the theater, held "battles of the bands" featuring local and national entertainers as well as annual balls organized by social clubs. With desegregation in the 1950s, the Lincoln Theatre began to lose its audience, and it closed in 1983. It reopened in 1994 as a performing arts center.

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African American Heritage Trail

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Harry Milton Crandall

Posted By: Ray Gurganus

  1. Email: Ray Gurganus, personal photograph;

Updated: 8-4-2020