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The Atlas Performing Arts Center

Original Name: The Atlas Theatre
Year Of Construction: 1939
Address: 1329-1331 H Street, NE
Architect(s): John J. Zink
Current Status: Performing Arts Center
Original Use: Movie Theatre

What a beautiful example of streamlined Deco movie theatre architecture! The Atlas, like many other theatres of the era, incorporates retail stores to one side featuring projecting storefront bay windows trimmed in glass, dark glass tile and metal. The frieze above has an unusual touch with the dark green veined marble panels framed by fluted limestone pilasters capped of by an interesting zig-zag treatment in the façade coping at the top in the center. The piece de resistance is the limestone-stepped façade at the theatre’s main entrance, adorned with a metal and neon tube-lit sign. The theatre was in use as a movie house from 1939 until 1976 and remodeled in 2004 for adaptive reuse as the Atlas Center for the Performing Arts.