WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The ribbon has been cut marking the return of the restored theater in northwest Washington that helped launch the careers of Ella Fitzgerald and Marvin Gaye.

District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, among others, attended Monday’s ceremony for the Howard Theatre.

Hundreds of citizens arrived to celebrate the experience of the grand re-opening of the theater that has been closed since September 2010. The 100-year-old theater has been undergoing a $29 million restoration since September 2010. It opened as a first-of-its-kind showcase for black artists in 1910.


Monday’s event featured the unveiling of a Duke Ellington statue nearby, installed last week. On Thursday, there will be a benefit concert to support the restoration efforts. Smokey Robinson, Raheem DeVaugh, Savion Glover, Robert Randolph and Wanda Sykes are among the performers scheduled to appear.

Kimberly Suiters has more, reporting live from the historic Howard Theatre…

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