Howard Theatre in photos: 30 years after closing, a new look


View photo gallery: Thirty years after the closure of the historic concert hall, a $29 million renovation has transformed the Howard into a venue for the new age, but not without a few nods to its legendary past.

On Monday, the Howard Theatre at Seventh and T streets NW swings open its doors to Wale fans, at the same time unveiling a much anticipated $29 million transformation. The historic theater once hosted the most important musicians of its era, including Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Marvin Gaye and the Supremes.

The new Howard is also aiming high; the first several months are already booked with shows by Bad Brains, the Roots, Chuck Brown, Wanda Sykes and Mos Def (now known as Yasiin Bey), as well as Blue Oyster Cult and Michael Bolton.

You can say so long to the neoclassical architecture of the Howard’s heady early days. Designers stripped the venue of its dingy, too-small theater seats and replaced them with tables that will be set out for intimate supper-club style shows and removed for standing-room concerts. The balconies are now just an architectural detail, providing housing for two 200-inch HD screens.

If your interest is piqued, check out some of the shows coming to the theater and see our guide to some of the new offerings that have already arrived in the neighborhood around the Howard Theatre.

Lavanya Ramanathan is a features reporter for Style.

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