The Howard Theatre was founded in 1910 and is one of the nation’s oldest performing arts halls for African-American culture. However, it was also dubbed, “The Theatre for the People” because it provided a place where racial barriers blurred and music unified people during a time when the nation was deeply divided by segregation. It was a place where dignitaries like President Roosevelt and the First Lady gathered with everyday people to see both superstars and rising stars. The Howard Theatre launched the careers of Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, among others. The theatre hosted renowned speakers like Booker T. Washington as well as musicals, road shows, vaudeville acts, dance routines, theatre productions, community programs, music performances, and comedy shows. Amenities Inside the Theatre The features include: · 12,172 square foot, contemporary design · Two-story theatre and basement, restaurant and kitchen · Dome ceiling with multi-colored, LED hanging lights · Stage House Roof · 2 DJ Booths · Light box images, illuminating pictures of historical artists throughout · Design includes a variety of seating styles: banquet-style seating on the main floor, booth seating, theatre style seats on the second floor balcony, lounges on the side balconies, and bar seating on the first and second floor · Hydraulic lift allows easy movement of furniture including tables and chairs to be moved to the basement for easy storage, clearing the main floor for dancing events and festival-style entertainment · Large projection screens on either side of the stage and large screen monitors throughout the venue · Two bars (on the first and second floor) and a fully equipped restaurant kitchen · Green Room for the performers and artists
The venue will host a variety of events such as live performances, corporate events and “Sunday Gospel” brunch, allowing the building to be a multi-functional cultural amenity supported by a full-service, onsite restaurant, kitchen and bar. The Design Firm: Challenges and RequirementsMarshall Moya Design was charged with the design of the interior architecture, guiding the venue into 21st century uses, while Martinez and Johnson Architecture was responsible for the exterior facade. The updated and restored venue demanded state-of-the-art technical requirements. And although the interior was tarnished from abandonment and weather damage, Marshall Moya Design preserved and restored the five original, decorative columns of the theatre. The firm also worked to conserve the layout of the historic interior, including the same positioning of the balconies and domes.