30 jan 1968 & ford's theater reopening
#OTD Tuesday 30 January 1968 Odetta & Harry Belafonte performed on this stage in celebration of the reopening of Ford's Theatre (511 10th Street NW) after a thorough interior renovation. They co-starred with other actors in an opening night tribute directed by John Houseman. The lucky audience members were some of the first to enjoy the theater since its dedication on 21 January. The event may have also been broadcast live on CBS.
The renovation was a partnership between the newly-formed Ford Theater Society and the National Park Service. The former selected the National Theater Company to be the resident company. The 12 February story will cover the the company's first performance of John Brown's Body.
Please comment below. Did you attend opening night? Did you watch it live on CBS? Do you remember the renovation of the building? You may comment privately here.
I thank Maury Collin for suggesting this story. She worked at Ford's Theater in the 1970s and 1980s.
Photo source: Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Abraham Lincoln, and John Wilkes Booth. Ford's Theater, 511 Tenth Street Northwest, Washington, District of Columbia, DC. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/dc0111/>.
"Events at Ford's Theater," Washington Post, 27 January 1968.
Anna Snyder, "Photos From the Archives: The Revival of Theater at Ford’s Theater."
J.R. Jones, The Lives of Robert Ryan, 2015.
For a photographic history, see Ford Theater's online exhibit here.