The Lincoln Theatre, built in 1922, was a cultural center of D.C., predating and influencing Harlem’s renaissance. Washington natives Duke Ellington and Pearl Bailey were joined by nationally acclaimed artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Nat King Cole, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, and Sarah Vaughn who performed regularly on the storied stage. President Franklin D. Roosevelt celebrated his birthday parties at the Lincoln Colonnade, a party hall once located at the Theatre.
In June 2013, I.M.P was selected by the District of Columbia to operate the theater in the city’s U Street neighborhood. I.M.P. also operates the 9:30 Club in the District and Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md.