Kaywood Theatre

2211 Varnum Street,
Mount Rainier, MD 20712

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Sidney B. Lust Theaters

Architects: Frank Gail Ackerman, Drew Eberson, John Adolph Emil Eberson

Functions: Church, Concerts, Live Performances

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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News About This Theater

Kaywood Theatre

The Kaywood Theatre was opened December 26, 1945 for Sydney B. Lust. The exterior is faced with Indiana limestone and features a square tower with the theatre name. Seating was provided all on a single floor. There were large allegorical mural located on each side of the proscenium opening.

The Kaywood Theater closed as a movie house in 1977. It is now a venue for live Christian entertainment, concerts, and educational programs, the New Horizon Christian Faith Outreach Center.

Contributed by New Horizon Christian Faith Outreach Center

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

tlawty on January 30, 2005 at 6:42 am

I well remember the Kaywood. As a child I lived at 4230 22nd St. N.E. in D.C. In fact, as a six year old, I can recall the night when the Katwood first opened because the theatre’s neon lights were visible from my house. My friends and I used the Kaywood as our neighborhood flick along with some others in D.C. such as the Jesse,Newton and Village.

Tom Lawty

rlvjr on August 11, 2005 at 2:41 am

The KAYWOOD was the nicest and most architectually distinct theatre in the Sidney Lust chain. The street is Varnum with an A. The KAYWOOD went under as street crime engulfed the neighborhood, still a good place to buy dope or get murdered, but real bad for living. Operating as a Christian church now, just what the neighborhood needs. Plenty of sinners to work on.

kencmcintyre on January 21, 2006 at 10:59 pm

There is a photo on this page:
View link

glenjay on September 2, 2006 at 7:07 pm

The marquee with the Kaywood name is still there, a rare survival for which the New Horizon Faith Outreach Center is to be thanked.

JackCoursey on April 6, 2008 at 6:10 am

Here and here are March 2008 photos of the former Kaywood Theatre.

atmos on September 28, 2009 at 2:14 pm

This theatre is listed on the John and Drew Eberson Architectural Records archive at the Wolfsonian in Florida as one of their designs.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 15, 2010 at 8:22 am

Boxoffice featured an article about the Kaywood Theatre in the issue of February 2, 1946. The article says the Kaywood had opened on Christmas Day. It also attributes the design of the theater to Frank G. Ackerman, but doesn’t mention the Ebersons.

Local619 on June 13, 2010 at 1:40 am

The Kaywood opened at 3:00 PM on Wednesday December 26, 1945. Per the Washington Post of December 21, 1945

“A new theatre seating 1000 will be opened at Kaywood Gardens in Mount Rainier Wednesday at 3 PM (12/26/1945) Mayor Floyd B. Mathias of Mount Rainier and T. Howard Duckett of the Prince George’s Bank and Trust will be among the guests.”

rivest266 on June 21, 2015 at 8:21 pm

December 26th, 1945 grand opening ad in photo section

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 2, 2017 at 3:59 am

The Kaywood Theatre’s architect, Frank Gail Ackerman, worked as a draftsman in the office of theater architect William McElfatrick, 1911-1916, while studying at Cooper Union. On graduation, he entered the office of Thomas Lamb, where he worked until 1925 as an administrative assistant and specifications writer. He later worked in the offices of noted New York architects Emery Roth and Van Wart & Wein, before becoming a partner in Van Wart & Ackerman in 1933. He established his solo practice in 1940.

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