Atlas Performing Arts Center Opens: Brings New Energy to H Street NE Corridor

The sounds of music and the tapping of dancers’ feet can now be heard along the 1300 block of H Street NE. Less than a year after the start of construction and still in the final stages of renovation, the old Atlas Theatre is now open as the new Atlas
Performing Arts Center. Over the past two years, LISC provided $90,000 in grant support to help put this historic landmark back into use and help spur the comeback of the H Street corridor.

Located at the 1300 block of H Street NE, it has been more than 30 years since the Atlas Marquee was lit. The vacant Atlas has long been a source of frustration for the community. Once a thriving movie palace and popular destination, after the turmoil of the late 1960s, the Atlas shuttered its doors and became a symbol of the corridor’s troubles.

Today however, with support from LISC, the Atlas marquee shines brightly signaling new life within the Near Northeast community. Working in the neighborhood for over 20 years, the Atlas is LISC’s eighth real estate investment along the H Street Corridor.

In April, a weeklong grand opening celebration was held, paying tribute to the performing arts with a variety of free shows. Performances were held in the five arts spaces currently open- two lab theatres and three dance studios. Arts lovers all over the city were entertained with nearly all forms of modern dance, live jazz music, and inspirational choral performances. The final phase of the Arts Center, which includes the foyer area, office space in the basement, dressing rooms and a flexible seat theater for up to 250 people, is scheduled to be complete in January 2006.