[September 14, 2017; Arlington, VA] – Throughout Washington D.C., the rapid physical transformation of our urban landscape is erasing some of the key spaces and places that have defined our local culture. WETA TV 26 remembers the unique places and people of the city’s past in the new 60-minute special Bygone DC, premiering Wednesday, October 11th at 8:00pm on WETA TV 26 & HD. Through archival footage and original interviews, discover the locales that defined Greater Washington and how their impact still lingers in the community.
“For long-time Washingtonians and transplants alike, Bygone DC takes viewers back in time to discover Washington D.C’s rich history,” notes Kevin Harris, WETA Vice President and Television Station Manager. “The region’s constant evolution offers the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the things that aren’t there anymore, part of WETA’s continuing mission to produce television about our community, for our community.”
Bygone DC takes a nostalgic look back at some Washington’s most memorable venues:
- Sporting venues, including Griffith Stadium, the baseball sporting ground where past U.S. presidents traditionally threw out the seasonal first pitch; and the Capital Centre, the former home of the Washington Bullets and Washington Capitals, as well as performance venues for famed pop music acts.
- Popular movie palaces and revival theaters with architectural artistry, which soared to over 100 unique locations at their height, such as the Fox Theater, the Knickerbocker Theatre, and the Lincoln Theater.
- Music entertainment venues of all stripes, such as Crystal Caverns, Carr and Sparrow’s Beaches, and the Watergate Music Barge (notably featured in the Cary Grant feature film Houseboat).
The documentary also looks at places in the city’s history that had an undeniably diverse influence on the Washington D.C. we know today, exploring how the downtown landscape has undergone radical change: from slave pens and mansions located steps from the National Mall; to the government administration “tempo” buildings that inhabited green spaces in the early-to-mid 20th century.
However, many notable locales beloved by generations of Washingtonians are sadly no more, with only remnants of their glorious past still lingering today: favorite Mom-and-Pop shops and department stores; revolutionary bookshops, record shops and clubs that reflected the local arts, music and culture scene; and the once-ubiquitous casual chains, oyster houses and power lunch restaurants of old.
These beloved buildings may have come and gone, but memories still linger on to inspire future generations. While the denizens of the District have always been shaping history, history continues to shape us.
For more information, please visit weta.org. Press materials and photography can be found at weta.org/press.
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WETA Television and Classical WETA 90.9 FM are public broadcasting stations serving the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia with high-quality programming. Classical WETA 90.9 FM brings classical music, concerts and specials to Greater Washington. As the leading PBS station in the nation’s capital, WETA Television broadcasts on four channels: WETA TV 26, WETA HD, WETA UK and WETA Kids. WETA Television celebrates the people and history of this region through programs such as WETA Around Town, WETA Extras and WETA Arts. For national PBS audiences, WETA Washington, D.C., is one of the largest-producing stations of new content for public television in the United States, with news and public affairs programs including PBS NewsHour and Washington Week; films by Ken Burns such as The Civil War and The Roosevelts: An Intimate History; and performance specials from the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. WETA creates leading public service websites such as www.ReadingRockets.org, www.LDOnline.org, www.ColorinColorado.org, www.AdLit.org and www.Brainline.org; and develops community outreach programs to engage people of all ages in the joy of lifelong learning. The WETA studios and administrative offices are located in Arlington, Virginia. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org. On social media, visit www.facebook.com/wetatvfm on Facebook or follow @WETAtvfm on Twitter.
Olivia Wong, WETA Director of Public Relations, 703.998.2086, firstname.lastname@example.org