Atmosphere: The legendary Howard Theater is one of Washington, DC’s oldest concert spaces (1910). It is recognized as a historic venue by the National Register of Historic Places. It has hosted the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Abbot & Costello, Sammy Davis Jr., Buddy Holly, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, The Wailers, Blue Oyster Cult and more. The venue went dark in the early 80’s, until a $29M renovation project began in September 2010. The venue was reopened in April 2012 with a star-studded Gala featuring appearances by Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordie, Savion Glover, Dick Gregory, Wanda Sykes and host of other talent. It’s a absolutely gorgeous building from the top down, inside and out.
The Howard Theater is a proper concert hall: a semi-circular space with the stage being up front. Complete with a sunken pit/dance area, pit-level tables, booths on each side and a balcony/mezzanine. There are two bars (1 up and 1 down) along with a full-service kitchen. Bathrooms are downstairs.
The building itself is an impressive site. Clean, white and it retains the venue’s past charm. The entryway features marble floors and walls, ceiling high glass doors, large photos of past greats and a BB King-autographed guitar.
Recent shows have featured The Wailers, Kendrick Lamar, Jagged Edge, Brian McKnight and more.