DC Mayor Gray announces new plan for the Lincoln Theatre

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” opens a 4 week run today

DC Mayor Vincent Gray announced yesterday that the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities would take over management of the Lincoln Theatre, the legendary U Street venue where Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald once played, myfoxdc.com reported.

The Lincoln, which is owned by the city, has been managed by the U Street Theatre Foundation, Inc.

The Lincoln Theatre

Various production companies have rented the facility, including Arena Stage which had extended runs of Crowns and Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies while out of house for the 2 year remodeling of its Waterfront location.

However, the Lincoln has suffered economically for several years. On September 28, Council member Jim Graham – a U Street Theatre Foundation Board Member – announced that the theater would close because it was out of money. At that time, WTOP’s Mark Seagraves quoted Mayor Gray as saying that the theater’s business model was “not sustainable.”

According to myfoxdc, the Commission will hire a new Executive Director with instructions to devise a long-term plan to make the theater self-sustaining.

DCist attended the announcement and reported that Michael Kaiser, president of The Kennedy Center, stood with the mayor at the podium and noted that “The Kennedy Center was interested in staging some of its programming at the Lincoln, but it won’t happen just yet given the physical upgrades that the Lincoln needs.”

To inaugurate the upcoming changes, Gray announced that the much anticipated movie “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, based on the international best selling novels by Steig Larsson, will open today, Wed, Dec 21st for a four-week run, thanks to a new partnership with Landmark Theatres. Showtimes are: Sunday thru Thursday: 1pm, 4, and  7:30pm, with an 11pm show added Fridays and Saturdays.  Tickets go on sale at 10am today.

The Lincoln Theatre is located at 1215 U Street, NW, Washington, DC.

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