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The Lincoln Theatre

Lincoln Theatre

1215 U Street NW

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It opened in 1922, featuring some of the nation’s greatest performers as the jazz era came into full swing; native son Duke Ellington appeared here regularly, along with greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong.

The Lincoln also showed silent films and vaudeville in its early years, even hosting a number of birthday parties for President Franklin D. Roosevelt in its Ballroom. It was profoundly affected by the civil rights struggles of the 1950s-‘60s, having catered primarily to Washington’s African American population. The Martin Luther King riots of 1968 marked the beginning of an economic downturn for the Lincoln, and it closed in 1983.

In 1993 the Theater was refurbished, reopened, and officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has since featured numerous jazz and R & B concerts, theatrical productions, film screenings and dance performances, with a special emphasis in recent years on comedy.

Lincoln Theatre Information

  • Public Transportation: Very good
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Performances/Programs: The Lincoln Theatre hosts comedy shows, TV specials, concerts, awards shows, movie screenings, theatrical and dance performances, benefits, and other special events
  • Ticket Prices: Vary based on presentation. Shows sometimes available on
  • Membership: Membership begin at $50.