The Ontario Theater

The Ontario Theater (HM25XO)

Location: Washington, DC 20009
Country: United States of America

N 38° 55.484', W 77° 2.351'

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[English-language side:]

Celebration Through Preservation

This building was the site of Washington's Ontario Theatre, a local cinema that played a notable part in the area's history. Accomplished theater architect John J. Zink, best known for designing the art deco Uptown Theater in Cleveland Park, built it for the K-B Theater chain in 1951. Over the next four decades, The Ontario would evolve dramatically from its original movie theater glamour.

The theater saw much success in the early 1960s as the first neighborhood theater to show first-run movies: Ontario hosted premieres of blockbusters such as Lawrence of Arabia and The Sound of Music. These were elegant gala-like events. The theater's popularity declined after the neighborhood riots following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

Responding to the growth in the neighborhood's Latino population in the 1970s, the theater switched to a Spanish-language format. Weekends at the Ontario teemed with activity as residents welcomed this new change in programming. Notwithstanding the success of the new format, Spanish-language films were discontinued later in the decade under new ownership. When the theatre was sold to Carlos Rosario,

a prominent leader in local Latino affairs, he spearheaded the continuation of weekend Spanish-language film screenings. Ontario quickly became a social center for Latino communities.

In 1980, The Ontario Theatre served a new purpose for the District, taking on a life as a music venue. Ontario was the birthplace of I.M.P. Presents, started by local concert promoters Seth Hurwitz and Rich Heinecke, who brought music to The Ontario before purchasing the famed 9:30 Club and establishing it on V St. N.W. Under Hurwitz and Heinecke's helm, the Ontario hosted some of the world's leading rock performers of the era, including U2, Duran Duran, Johnny Winter, The Cure, Steel Pulse, and Thin Lizzy.

After Hurwitz and Heinecke's departure and a failed attempt at bringing first-run films back to the theater under new ownership, The Ontario finally closed in 1987. It was eventually divided into various businesses including a CVS/Pharmacy and other small neighborhood retailers and service providers. The building was razed in 2013 to make way for the new Ontario 17 building, a combination of residential and commercial uses that opened in 2015.

The cultural legacy of The Ontario Theatre is celebrated through the preservation of its original corner canopy, poster cases, signs, and other original architecture elements thanks to Historic Washington

Architecture, Inc. and Peterson Companies (developer of the Ontario 17). Govinda Gallery compiled this timeline with stories and imagery to illustrate key events in the history of the Ontario theatre.

[Spanish-language side:]

Celebración A Través De La Preservación

Este edeficio fue el lugar del teatro de Washington Ontario, in cine local que ha juado notable parte de la historia del área. El realizando arquitecto John J. Zink, major conocido por diseñar el ARt Deco del Uptown Theater en Cleveland Park, lo construyo para la cadena de teatros K-B en el año 1951. En las próximas cuatro décadas El Ontario habria evolucionado dramáticamente de su glamour de sala de cine originales.

El teatro vio mucho éxito en la década de 1960 como el primer teatro de barrio para mostrar películas de streno; Ontario fue sede de los estrenos de superproducciones como Lawrence de Arabia y el sonido de la música . Estos eran eventos elegantes como de gala. La popularidad del teatro se redujo después de los disturbios en el barrio tras el asesinato del Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. en 1968.

En respuesta al crecimiento de la pobación Latina del barrio en la década de 1970, el teatro cambió a un format en castellano. Los fines de semana en el Ontario esteban llenos de actividad mientras que los residentes daban la bienvenida a este Nuevo cambio en la programación. A pesar del éxito del Nuevo formator, las películas en castellano se interrumpieron a finales de la década debido a un Nuevo propietario. Cuando el teatro se vendió a Carlos Rosario, un líder prominente en los asuntos latinos locales, el encabezó la continuación de la proyección de películas en castellano de fin de semana. Ontario se convirtió rápidamente en un centro social para la comunidad latina.

En 1980, El Teatro Ontario sirvió un Nuevo propósito para el distrito, tomando una nueva vida como un lugar de música. Ontario fue lugar de nacimiento de una famosa serie de conciertos iniciado por unos promotores locales Seth Hurwitz y Rich Heinecke, quienes trajeron música al Ontario antes de pasar a poner en marcha el famoso 9:30 Club. Bajo el manejo de Hurwitz y Heinecke, el Ontario acogeiron a algunos de los principals artistas de rock del mundo de la época incluyendo U2, Duran Duran, R.E.M., Johnny Winter, The Cure, Steel Pulse Y Thin Lizzy.

Despuées de la salida de Hurwitz y de Heinecke y en un intent fallido de traer películas de estreno al teatro con un Nuevo propietario, finalmente el Ontario cerro en 1987. Con el tiempo fue dividio en varios negocios, incluyendo un CVS / Pharmacy y otras tiendas pequeñas de barrio y de servicios a proveedor. El edificio fue demolido en el 2013 para dar paso a la Nuevo construcción de Ontario 17 , una combinación de usos residenciles y comerciales que se abrieron en el 2015.

La legacía cultural del Teatro Ontario es celebrada a través de las preseración de su cubierta original de la esquina, los casos de cartels, señales y otros elementos de la arquietectura original gracias a Washington Architecture, Inc y Peterson Companies (desarrallador del Ontario 17). Govinda Gallery curador de esta línea de tiempo con historias e imágnes para ilustrar los eventos clave en la historia del Teatro Ontario.
HM NumberHM25XO
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, March 12th, 2018 at 7:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 323228 N 4310401
Decimal Degrees38.92473333, -77.03918333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 55.484', W 77° 2.351'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 55' 29.04" N, 77° 2' 21.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2550 17th St NW, Washington DC 20009, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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