The Sheridan complex includes the Sheridan Theatre and eight associated brick storefronts. The complex is an intact, highly stylized Art Deco design by master architect John Eberson (1875-1964). Eberson designed fourteen theaters in the DC area. The Sheridan Theatre represents an important phase in both his design and career and the evolution of DC’s theaters. In significant ways, the Sheridan is a precursor of Eberson’s famed 1938 Silver Theatre complex in downtown Silver Spring, now the headquarters of the American Film Institute.
The Sheridan Theatre was an influential force in the development of the Brightwood community, as well as that of semi-suburban neighborhoods throughout the District. The theatre provides the “missing link” between John Zink’s Uptown Theater of 1936, located adjacent to DC’s original Park and Shop, (1930) and Eberson’s nationally-renowned Silver Theater Shopping Center (1938). Park and Shop complexes which incorporated theaters like the Sheridan and Silver are the direct ancestors of the modern mall-with-multiplex. The Sheridan Theater was an important venue for community-based Black drama during a period of rising cultural consciousness and redefinition.DC Inventory: April 28, 2006