Yes! Organic Eyes Historic H Street Playhouse
by Larry Janezich
On Thursday night, ANC6A voted unanimously to support a proposal by Yes! Organic to open a mid-sized grocery store at in the former H Street Playhouse at 1365 H Street, NE. The company is proposing to build a second level atop the existing structure, and the ANC’s support is conditional on that additional level not being visible from across H Street. The letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board also specifies minimal modification of the façade, minimal signage, and agreement not to serve food or drink on what might be a roof deck.
1365 H Street dates back to 1925 and was the site of one of the country’s first car dealerships – Motts Motors. In 1935, the building was remodeled and became the Plymouth Theater, serving African American audiences. It subsequently became one of the first integrated theaters on H Street, prior to the opening of the Atlas, which then became the primary theatrical venue on the street and putting the Plymouth out of business.
The location here of Yes! is not a certainty – the company has not yet brokered a deal on the property, waiting to see if the city will allow the changes which they deem necessary in order to operate a store in the building.