Field Notes: The Lincoln Theatre on U Street NW

First Impressions:

  • ticket office right out front/ lists of shows
  • very old times awning
  • lights under it
  • vintage
  • almost out of place between chili bowl restaurant and phone fix business, h&r block across the street
  • construction right off the corner
  • mixes of people just walking by it
  • doesn’t see action until show time
  • can imagine crowds lined up around the block
  • feels like a theater in NYC
  • busy streets
  • clearly advertised social media/website
  • old times carvings on top
  • metro stop and subway right across

Artifacts:

  • ‘LINCOLN’ sign – always been a part of the building (reference old photos)
  • awning w/lights
  • stone carvings (compared to original building in 1921 – same carvings) – look into their significance? why they kept them after all this time?

Basic Layout:

  • box office out front, double doors on either side
  • awning/overhang with lampposts on either side (lights underneath)
  • big schedule of events in windows as you walk by
  • stone carvings/brick face (almost roman looking)
  • big sidewalks, metro stop right across the street
  • easy access, mildly busy neighborhood
  • tan, red, and white (common color theme with buildings in that area)

Feelings:

  • really reminds me of a vintage theatre, something out of the 1920s
  • seems like it would be found in NYC, broadway, lit up marquee
  • brings me back to waiting in line outside of all the concert venues I’ve been to
  • super weird to see it during the day, all calm, instead of the night of an event where it’s super populated and loud
  • people just walk aimlessly by it, it’s just another part of the community
  • thinking about how it must look at night, all lit up with a crowd wrapped around the corner
  • it must be weird for some of the neighbors to have such a lively event space so close to them
  • feels like the last building of its time in the area, everything else is evolving and being built into some new

Notable:

  • spray painted on the side walk: “this is not a sold out crowd”
  • right next to it, a sticker that says: “this is not new york”

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