The Howard opened in 1910 and continued to showcase the talent of Black artists for over 70 years. Live music, plays, vaudeville acts, and more attracted rising stars, performers, and crowds from D.C. and beyond. Today, the historic theater hosts private events and live shows, including the wildly popular Candlelight series.
Located in Washington D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood, The Howard is a few blocks from the Shaw metro station on the Green and Yellow Line. Although the theater does not offer parking, visitors should be able to find paid parking nearby.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about The Howard Theatre
Many legends have set foot on The Howard’s iconic stage. Alongside the Apollo in New York, the Pearl in Philadelphia, and the Uptown in Baltimore, The Howard provided a stage for Black performers throughout decades of segragation. Legendary performers such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday, and Nat King Cole form a long list of celebrated artists that have graced The Howard’s stage.
Quincy Jones called the theatre added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, “the setting for some of the greatest performances by the greatest performers of the 20th century.”
2. The theater’s original design
Once home to the Lafayette Players and the Howard University Players, The Howard was originally designed by J. Edward Storck and constructed for the National Amusement Company. Combining Beaux-Arts, Neo Classical, and Italian Renaissance styles, Storck created an extravagant facade boasting a statue of Apollo playing his lyre.
3. Several lives
Although The Howard provided a stage for plays, music and dance performances for most of the 20th Century, it also functioned as a church for a few years, and was reopened as movie house and live entertainment venue in 1931. Closed in 1970 due to a gradual decline as a result of desegragation and the 1968 riots, it wasn’t until 2012 that the theater was fully reborn.
Candlelight concerts at The Howard Theatre
As well as a whole host of other performances taking place at The Howard, music lovers can attend captivating Candlelight concerts at the iconic theater. Candlelight invites audiences to listen to some of their favorite music while sitting surrounded by the warm glow of countless candles. From tributes to timeless composers like Vivaldi and Bach to concerts celebrating contemporary artists such as Taylor Swift and Adele, there’s something for everyone.
What else can you do at The Howard Theatre?
We recommend keeping an eye on The Howard’s website for upcoming events and performances. What’s more, when you attend an event at The Howard, you can also look forward to enjoying tasty bites at the bar upstairs thanks to the theater’s partnership with Right Proper Brewing Company.
While experiencing a mesmerizing Candlelight performance at The Howard Theatre is a one-of-a-kind experience, you can also enjoy these candlelit concerts at other venues across the cities. Invite your friends or family along for a memorable evening out in D.C.