Central Theatre, 425-433 9th Street, NW

looking-southeast-at-east-side-of-400-block-of-9th-street-nwThe theatre I used in my posting actually has quite a long history, spanning from 1911 to 1973.

Opening on November 20, 1911, as the Imperial Theatre, the theater building that used to dominate the east side of the 400 block of 9th Street was designed by architect C.W. Sommerville. An unusual feature of the design was that instead of having the usual side stage boxes on each side of the proscenium, there were a set of stairs on each side which led up from the front orchestra level to a loge section which was totally separate from the main balcony.

In 1913 it was acquired by Tom Moore and renamed Moore’s Garden Theatre. He made extensive improvements to the theatre in 1918 and ran it successfully as a movie theatre.moores-garden-theatre

commercial-buildings-on-the-east-side-of-the-400-block-of-9th-street-nwIn 1922 it was taken over by Henry Crandall and he renamed it the Central Theatre, again doing improvements to the building. It reopened on December 21, 1922. Eventually all the Crandall theatres were taken over first by the Stanley organization who in turn were merged into the Warner Bros. Circuit Management.

gayety-theater1When the Gayety Theatre (later Schubert) located on the east side of the 500 block of 9th Street decide to cease being a burlesque venue in 1950, both the name and the entertainment moved to the Central Theatre.

The Central Theatre ended its days as the Gayety Theatre with live burlesque until it closed and was demolished in June 1973.

Primary source for history.

Photo credits in order of posting:

gayety-former-central-theatre-on-the-east-side-of-the-400-block-of-9th-street-nw1. Historical Society of Washington, General Photograph Collection, Looking southeast at east side of 400 block of 9th street NW., #CHS 05611.

2. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Wash. Film Exchange, #npcc 29744.

3. Historical Society of Washington, John P. Wymer Photograph Collection, Commercial buildings on the east side of the 400 block of 9th Street NW., #WY 1800.32.

4. Historical Society of Washington, Emil A. Press Slide Collection, Gayety (former Central) Theatre on the east side of the 400 block of 9th Street NW., #PR 1744A

5. Historical Society of Washington, Emil A. Press Slide Collection, Gayety (former Central) Theatre on the east side of the 400 block of 9th Street NW., #PR 1744B

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One Response to “Central Theatre, 425-433 9th Street, NW”

  1. [...] The Joy was part of a string of theaters located on the 400 and 500 blocks of 9th Street which included Moore’s Garden Theatre, shown in the above photograph to the right of the Joy. You can read more about Moore’s in this earlier post. [...]

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