Warner Theatre Building (and Interior)

From its earliest days showing silent films and vaudeville productions to its present use as a live venue, the Warner Theatre has been part of DC's entertainment landscape.

This ten-story theater and office building, originally known as The Earle and now currently known as the Warner Theatre, was designed in 1924 by noted theater architect C. Howard Crane and his New York partner Kenneth Franzheim. Originally, the Earle was built as a movie palace that also staged live vaudeville productions, but by 1945, the theater was exclusively showing movies. In 1947, it was renamed for Harry Warner, one of the Warner Brothers. After years of showing only movies, the theater was in disrepair by the 1970s, but by the end of the decade it was hosting live concerts once more, as it still does today.

The interior of the building is designed in the French Renaissance style with lavish surface treatment and abundant gilding. Classical forms, such as barrel vaults, engaged pilasters, and arched openings, articulate the interior spaces of the entrance lobby, foyer, auditorium, and stage. Mythical figures, musical instruments, plant forms, animals, lanterns, and urns are carved in gilt against backgrounds of green and rose.

DC Inventory: May 18, 1983 (redesignated and interior added August 7, 1985)



1299 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (501‑515 13th Street, NW)