Colony Theatre Photograph Collection, ca. 1988

Colony Theatre Photograph Collection, ca. 1988

Finding Aid

Collection No. P20
D.C. Community Archives


There is no deed of gift and it is uncertain as to how the library acquired these photographs. A handwritten note on a paper entitled “Evaluation of the Colony House Theater” by Betty Bird indicates that it was received on April 29, 1988.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of 16 8"x10" black-and-white images. Frederick Figall took all the photographs. The images are of the exterior and interior of the Colony Theatre, which was located 4921 Georgia Ave. NW.


The theatre opened in 1926 and was designed by John J. Zink. In the 1940s and 1950s, the single-screen theatre was operated by Warner Brothers studio. In the mid-1970s, the theatre housed the D.C. Black Repertory Theatre Company. After the company folded in the late 1970s, the building remained vacant for more than a decade. In 1987, a group began an effort to convert the theatre into apartments, however several setbacks delayed the opening until 1995. The images in this collection are from the period in the 1980s when the theatre was vacant.

Processing Procedures

The images were removed from their original housing. Each image was assigned a number and placed in an individual polypropylene sleeve. The images were then placed in an acid-free folder and stored in an archival storage box. The box was then placed in the D.C. Community Archives for long-term storage.


There are no restrictions on viewing this collection and all photographs are in the “public domain,” therefore there are no restrictions on reproduction. Reproductions should appear with the proper attribution indicating that the photograph is housed in the Colony Theater Photograph Collection and indicate that they appear “courtesy of Washingtoniana, DC Public Library.”

Image List

  1. Exterior, corner of Georgia Avenue and Emerson Street
  2. Exterior, Georgia Avenue side
  3. Exterior, Emerson Street side
  4. Exterior, rear of theatre
  5. Interior, lobby of theatre
  6. Interior, lobby of theatre showing ceiling and chandeliers
  7. Interior, lobby of theatre showing doors to street
  8. Interior, seats and stage
  9. Interior, seats and stage
  10. Interior, view of seats taken from the stage
  11. Interior, view of ceiling partially collapsed
  12. Interior, hallway with pealing paint
  13. Interior, kitchen
  14. Interior, bathtub, sink and open window
  15. Interior, room with mural on the wall
  16. Interior, third floor hallway with doors
Prepared by Mark S. Greek, Photo Archivist, May 2006

DC Public Library, Special Collections
D.C. Community Archives
901 G St. NW, Room 307
Washington, D.C.  20001

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