Venue Guide: Warner Theatre – Washington, D.C.

Warner Theatre History

To step into the Warner Theatre is to step into Washington D.C.’s past. Originally known as the Earle, the downtown venue opened in 1924 to screen silent movies and host vaudeville revues (including resident dance troupe The Roxyettes), before flipping to an all-movies format in 1945. (Shortly thereafter, the theater’s owner, Hollywood mogul Harry Warner of Warner Bros. fame, renamed it in honor of himself.) Like many vintage venues, the Warner underwent several iterations over the decades, from porno theater to concert venue, before falling into disrepair by the end of the ’80s. But after a three-year renovation, the Warner was restored to its former glory, and since 1992, it’s stood as a crown jewel of the Washington D.C. live-entertainment scene.

Warner Theatre Performers

After transitioning into a concert venue in the 1970s, the Warner welcomed future classic-rock icons like ZZ Top, Rush and Electric Light Orchestra, as well as a special set from The Rolling Stones in 1978. In the ‘80s, it became the local pitstop for alternative heroes like The Smiths, R.E.M. and Depeche Mode. Upon reopening in 1992, the Warner ushered in its new era with a special gala featuring Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine, and since then, it’s been the place to see music royalty like Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello and Common, as well as comedians like Eddie Izzard and David Cross.

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Planning Your Visit to Warner Theatre

Located just a few blocks east of the White House in D.C.’s bustling Penn Quarter, the Warner Theatre is surrounded by plentiful pre-show dining options, including famed oyster bar the Old Ebbitt Grill and popular gastropubs The Hamilton and Elephant & Castle.

Warner Theatre Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Warner Theatre parking options?

An independently operated parking garage sits right next door, with an entrance on 12th Street between E and F streets NW. There are also many other garage options in the vicinity.

Does the Warner Theatre serve food?

No, but there are full-service bars inside the venue.

What are the seating options at the Warner Theatre?

Seating at the Warner is divided between orchestra sections on the main floor and balconied seating above. Premium-seating options include the Grand Suites in the main balcony, and special Presidential Suites located on side balconies closer to the stage.

What are the Warner Theatre’s safety & security guidelines?

A clear-bag policy is in effect, with a maximum size of 12″x6″x12″. Small clutch bags are also permitted with a maximum size of 4.5″x6.5″. Find more safety guidelines here. For an updated list of COVID-19 protocols, visit the venue’s website.

Warner Theatre At A Glance
Venue Name Warner Theatre
Location Washington, D.C.
Address 513 13th St NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20004
Phone # (202) 783-4000
Capacity 1,847
Opened 1992
Operator CBRE Global Investors

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