Tag Archives: Heon Family

Now and a Long Time Ago: Wisconsin and Dumbarton

This week on Now and a Long Time Ago, GM stops by a particular favorite of his: the old Dumbarton Theater at Wisconsin and Dumbarton. (Again, GM is having some computer problems and isn’t able to mash the now and then photos together).

You probably need no reminded of the sad state that this old building currently is in:


This is what the great Jerry McCoy had to say about the old Dumbarton Theater:

In 1913 Georgetown residents Henry Frain, who lived at 3323 P St. N.W., and William A. Marceron, residing at 2911 Q St. N.W., hired Washington, D.C., architect William C. Nichols to remodel a late 19th-century structure on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue facing O Street…Together the partners spent around $2,500 ($54,000 in today’s money) to remodel the structure, resulting in a theater that measured 32’ x 76’ with a seating capacity of about 460…While not the first movie theater in Georgetown (the Scenic was the earliest, having opened circa 1907 at 1305 Wisconsin Ave.), the Dumbarton certainly had the most opulent exterior.

The theater was purchased by the Heon family in 1949 and renovated with the ugly formstone that covers the facade now. GM had hoped that there was a chance that the old facade was still there underneath the formstone, but Angie Heon Nys informed him that it was not. Continue reading


Filed under Now and a Long Time Ago

Old Georgetown Theater Property For Sale

Photo by Flickr user Alison Hillard used under Creative Commons.

Photo by Flickr user Alison Hillard used under Creative Commons.

The historic Georgetown Theater property on Wisconsin Ave. has been put up for sale. Currently it houses the National Jewel Center, but before that it was a working theater that was infamous in the 1970s for showing the x-rated film “Caligula” over and over again until the film broke. Prior to the 1950’s, the theater was called the Dumbarton Theater and looked like this:

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Continue reading


Filed under Real Estate