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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FRENCH BICYCLE GODDESS, c. 1898

Avenue Grand: 1920

Avenue Grand: 1920

Washington circa 1920. "Crandall's Avenue Grand," 645 Pennsylvania Avenue S.E. Now playing: "Dangerous to Men." National Photo Co. View full size.

 

Capitol Hill

Robert K. Headley's "Motion Picture Exhibition in Washington, D.C." has this info about the fate of the Avenue Grand: It was renamed the Capitol Hill between 1956 and 1970. Don King operated it in the sixties, refurbishing it in 1967, with unrealized plans to make it a cinematheque where patrons could eat. A fire in November 1970 gutted the building, and it was razed soon after.

J. Mutts

The theater is gone, but the building with the elaborate brickwork on the right (seen through the trees) is still there, now a liquor store.


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The shadow man

Did anyone notice the shadowy guy in front of M.B. Flynn's Stoves?

Dr. J

John Barrymore in "Dr Jekyll & Mrs Hyde." I think I would enjoy that very much. There's so little to see in the movie theatres these days, except at Oscar time. I'm not a great fan of animation. It's not cinema, it's cartoons.

Old Movies for New

What's interesting is that while "Dangerous to Men" premiered in 1920, "Old Wives for New" came out in 1918. I wonder why it was showing a movie that had premiered two years prior?

[Second-run showings are nothing new. - Dave]

Dangerous to Men

Hey, they made a movie about the Drexel Women's Rifle Team!

Avenue Grand

The Avenue Grand

8 Big Acts Each Week
Pictures - Vaudeville
645 Pa. Ave S.E.
Doors Open at 6:30 P.M.

Washington Post, Sep 17, 1910

Buys the Avenue Grand

Crandall Acquires Picture House in Pennsylvania Avenue

Henry M. Crandall, one of Washington's pioneer motion picture exhibitors, has acquired the Avenue Grand motion picture establishment, in Pennsylvania avenue, between Sixth and seventh streets southeast, and will reopen the theater in about two weeks.

The Avenue Grand is known as the largest motion picture theater here in a residential district. It has a seating capacity of more than 1,000, and is equipped with a balcony and a stage for straight theatrical productions.

Washington Post, Mar 26, 1916

Crandall's Avenue Grand Reopens

The reopening of the Avenue Grand under the management of Harry M. Crandall was welcomed by capacity audiences at all performances yesterday and Sunday. The theater has been thoroughly renovated and redecorated, and a gold screen and an efficient ventilation system has been installed. ...

Washington Post, Apr 18, 1916

Viola Dana and Milton Sills

Her career ended in 1929 when sound movies began; probably no coincidence. She died in 1987 at age 90. He survived the advent of sound but not his heart attack at age 48 in 1930.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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