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Howard Theatre Program--Louis Armstrong: Henry P. Whitehead Collection

The Howard Theatre, a historic theater built in 1910, is the Nation’s oldest theater devoted to African American performing arts. Located in Northwest, Washington, DC, the theater was founded and owned by the National Amusement Company. Andrew Thomas served as manager of the theater during its early years. Sherman Dudley, an actor, producer, and entrepreneur, leased and ran the theater beginning in 1922. Then Abe Lichtman, an owner of a chain of movie houses took over the theater in 1926. Among some of the most notable to perform at the theatre are Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Pearl Bailey, Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie. Help us make programs from the theater’s early decades discoverable and accessible for research.