DC’s Howard Theatre turns 100 as restoration nears

The Washington theater that opened as a first-of-its-kind showcase for black artists turns 100 years old and is edging closer to a long-delayed restoration.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington theater that opened as a first-of-its-kind showcase for black artists turns 100 years old and is edging closer to a long-delayed restoration. The Howard Theatre celebrated its birthday Sunday, marking its opening on the same August day in 1910 in the Shaw neighborhood. Dozens of people gathered at the Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square to recall the Howard’s heyday, launching the careers of such greats as Ella Fitzgerald and Marvin Gaye. A nonprofit group plans to break ground next month on the restoration. It has been in disrepair for decades. To pay for construction, the D.C. government cut a deal with developer Chip Ellis to provide up to $15 million in grants and tax incentives. Plans call for a new theater and museum space that retains its historic facade and character. Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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