Park View’s York Theater
I really have to love Shorpy! Last Friday, Shorpy identified the original use of the National Evangelistic Center (NEC) on the southeast corner of Georgia Ave. and Quebec. According to the the blog, its been the NEC since 1957.
The building opened to the public on October 15, 1919 as the York Theater, and was a functioning movie house until it closed in 1954.
Another nice thing about the Shorpy posting is that one of the commentators actually found the write up in the Post describing the building when it was getting ready to open. I’m not sure why the reporter mistakenly identifies the location as Petworth since the area was identified as part of Park View no later than 1916. You can read the Post entry here.
I actually walked by the “church” the other night, and got lucky enough to catch the building with the lights on … and what a sight. The building is largely intact, and didn’t appear like it would take much to return it to its former glory. Only two things would prevent that, 1) the current occupants, and 2) the economics of the movie industry (it likely wouldn’t be viable).
The ca. 1920 photograph above was taken by the National Photo Co., and is from the Library of Congress’ Prints and Photographs collection. A larger version of it, and other photographs of the theater are after the jump