Georgetown Theatre

1351 Wisconsin Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20007

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Additional Info

Architects: William Nichols

Functions: Retail

Styles: Gothic Revival, Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Dumbarton Theatre

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Georgetown Theatre

Opened as the Dumbarton Theatre in August 1913, a 460-seat playhouse, this theatre started showing movies sometime later. It was designed by architect William Nichols in a Gothic Revival style.

Located on Wisconsin Avenue NW in Georgetown, the movie house was renamed the Georgetown Theatre in February 1950. It had been remodeled in 1948 in Streamline Moderne style. The Georgetown Theatre was closed in 1986 and is today used for retail.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

JackCoursey on January 7, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Here and here are a couple of shots from January 2008 of what remains of the old Georgetown Theatre. The interior was completely gutted when the building was converted into a retail space.

digitscd on January 15, 2008 at 8:11 pm

My friend’s family owned the theater (and building). We took some of the seats after it was leased to the Jewel Center. I have lots of memories of this place. Lots of posters and flats too. It had an old arc lamp projector until the end. My friend tells me it was a nickelodeon when it first opened. This is where Henry Rollins of Black Flag worked and the theater was used in the movie St. Elmo’s Fire..

aabner on November 20, 2009 at 7:04 pm

this building is now for sale. $2 million asking. I live down the street and would love to see this transformed back into a theater/screening room. i envision it like the non-profit aero in santa monica where I used to live. went to e street last weekend for a 8p showing of roshomon. it was packed. there is a definite need for classic movie screenings and maybe supplmt with weekly tv show screenings for college crowd, screening room rental, events, etc.
anyone know whats happening with embassy and mcarth?

Giles on February 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Question: how long DID ‘Caligula’ play at the Georgetown?? – it seemed at least a couple of years

jbwomack on April 13, 2010 at 9:17 am

my father played the piano here on Sat.mornings
for the silent movies when he was 16yrs.(1926).
I grew up hearing him play the music when the indians
were comming over the hill for the cowboys.
My mother’s parents ownened the store to the left.
It was a candy/soda store and it was here that my
parents met. They were married for 56 years.
I have been looking for a picture showing the theater
and the store for a long time. This picture made my day!

CSWalczak on January 23, 2011 at 3:37 am

Here is a picture of it as the Dumbarton: View link

Giles on October 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm

@ aabner – the Embassy is now the AED Globe Theater, I isn’t going to happen but I wish CVS would leave the McArther location and convert it back to a theater – what a loss for that neighborhood. I hadn’t realized that the building was up ‘For Sale’ til I drove by it this afternoon – there are a lot of stores that closed in that neck of Wisconsin Ave. it’s really sad. Know anyone would be interested in converting it back to a theater ?? I’d help.

DavidZornig on December 5, 2014 at 12:21 am

1959 photo added courtesy of the AmeriCar The Beautiful Facebook page.

Giles on August 31, 2015 at 11:33 am

added picture of the restored outdoor theater sign.

Giles on February 15, 2021 at 5:38 pm

It was great to see the sign all lit up and featured in ‘Wonder Woman 1984’!

To answer a question I had originally asked: ‘Caligula’s theatrical run here was fifteen months, from March 28, 1980 and ended on June 30, 1981. The Washington Post advert has been included in the photos section.

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