The Takoma Theatre Conservancy Today

Chris Rock HBO Special in 1996.
Chris Rock HBO Special filmed at the Takoma Theatre  in 1996.

The Takoma Theatre Conservancy is currently monitoring the development and renovation of the Takoma Theatre building as commercial space.

Recent Developments

On the death of Milton McGinty in 2013, the McGinty family placed the theater in a family trust  and initially continued with McGinty’s later plan  to convert it to condominiums. Once they had approval to put windows in the long sides of the auditorium, they listed the building for sale and continued to refuse to sell it to the Conservancy.

Rock Creek Property Group

In 2015, the  building was purchased the Rock Creek Property Group, which specializes in commercial properties. Their plan is to  restore the exterior to its original design and build out the interior to meet the needs of the company leasing it. They are  open to any commercial use that is suitable for the location and allows  the exterior to remain unchanged.

They have contacted many theater and arts groups in the area but none were ready to lease the property. Rock Creek has been open to the Conservancy developing a black box theater in the newly developed building.

Provisional approval was given by the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) on 30 March 2016 for windows on the sides of the auditorium, and plans for the preservation and restoration of the façade.

2017 Theater Renovations & Possible Lease

Rock Creek has a provisional contract with National Children’s Center (Hospital) to lease the theater for a clinic to work with children with developmental challenges. The building is not zoned for medical uses and Rock Creek requesting an additional variance to the requirement that a percentage of the space be used for community uses.

The space offered is 800+ SF which is too small for a black box theater. This is the use supported by the Conservancy.

The theater building has been gutted and a second floor added. The 23,000 SF space is quite expansive with high ceilings and a domed ceiling on the second floor. The windows are large and multiple so the space feels open and light. If zoning variances are approved, the Clinic plans to use the space for offices and 40 exams rooms.

Takoma Theatre Conservancy Today

Even though the Conservancy was unable to acquire and develop the theater, it has continued to protect the building by monitoring its condition and raising alerts with the DC government when necessary.

It continues monitoring Theatre’s condition in consultation with Rock Creek Properties and the Historic Review Board. It is pursuing plans for developing a black box theater in the newly developed building or in a near-by space.  And to continue to develop and support theater programs in schools.

The Conservancy continues to receive extensive community support through contributions and supportive petitions. To donate or join as a member.

The Takoma Theatre Conservancy was incorporated as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization in 2007. It is governed by a Board of Directors from both DC and nearby MD. Board members collectively have decades of experience creating and managing organizations. Members include educators, theater owner, producer/playwright, author, community business owners, and government and management consultants. The Board is also supported by a multi-disciplinary Board Advisors and architecture, legal, real estate and fundraising consultants.

Theater Programs, Takoma, Washington DC