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Howard Theatre Reopens with a Party

"Borderstan""Howard Theatre"

Tuesday night: The Howard Theatre had is second grand opening, 102 years after the first one. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Luis Gomez. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos and email him at luis[AT]borderstan.com. Catch his photos on Picplz and at One Photograph A Day.

The Howard Theatre on 620 T Street, reopened with a bang on Tuesday night! It was a great party, with wonderful music, to celebrate the new state of the historic century-old venue. The Howard has a magical feeling to it. Moreover, what it is helping bring to the surrounding streets and blocks in terms of new businesses gives it an extra touch of magic.

On the outside, the building has regained its historical value. The renovations retained the original look of the building — the columns, marquee and signage seem appropriate in keeping with the 1910 design. A new plaza with the Duke Ellington’s statue, “Encore,” adds a wonderful touch to the streetscape outside.

What did the Howard Theatre look like inside before renovations? I was able to photograph the interior at the time of the groundbreaking in 2010. And be sure to check out the photos at Ghosts of DC of the 1910 opening night at the Howard Theatre.

As soon as you step into the foyer you can see how the transformation of the inside of the Howard was done with great care and attention to detail. The building had to be completely gutted and the interior is sleek, simple, modern and elegant. Light wood and comfortable seating areas abound. There are two bars; one in the first level and one on the mezzanine.

The attention carried over to the lighting and technology as well. In addition, two side screens give patrons a closer look at what is happening on stage. The upper galleries are accessible by elevator. (I was also able to view the interior space during daylight hours on Community Day on Monday.)

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Rhoades has lived in the Borderstan area for 17 years. When he’s not writing about the area he loves, he follows politics, tends his garden and spoils Lupe, the world’s cutest and smartest dog. Find him on Twitter @mattyrhoades; email him at matty[AT]borderstan.com.

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