Georgetown Landmark, National Jewel Center, Closing Aug. 31st – Building for Sale

The National Jewel Center is located at 1351 Wisconsin Avenue NW. You can’t miss it because it has the old (neon?) Georgetown sign out front. I went in to speak with the owners after seeing the for sale sign in their window. They said the last day is Aug. 31st though most of the store has already been cleared out. They said they’ve been open for over 20 years and back in the day the space used to be a theater. Cinematour says:

“Opened as the Dumbarton in 1913, a playhouse, this theater started showing movies sometime later. It was designed by architect William Nichols.

Located on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown, the movie house was renamed the Georgetown in 1947. It was also remodeled around this time in Streamline Moderne style. The Georgetown was closed in 1986 and is today used for retail.”

According to the for sale info the space is 6,086 sq ft (though no price is listed.)

While the space needs tons of work the potential is amazing. I know it’s a long shot but I’m gonna hope for a cinema pub/drafthouse.

22 Comment

  • Caligula ran at this theatre over and over and over and over in the early ’80’s. Hope someone buys it and turns it into a call art-house theatre.

  • Hope the iconic sign is saved for use somewhere.

  • The first thing they need to do is peel off that horrible formstone.

    I’d also love to see this place return to being a movie theater, but they’re hardly very profitable these days, and it will probably take a national chain store or restaurant to afford this place.

  • Rock Music venue pleeeease!

    • In Georgetown? God help the bands that would rather play in Georgetown than on U street or H street.

      • Yes…I know…Im being selfish. DC hardly gets ANYTHING in the hard rock/metal/hardcore/pop-punk genres….my pipe dreams of seeing a venue closer to me let alone a venue closer to me that always books quality bands in the genres I like will doubtfully ever come true lol

        • Haven’t been here that long I can see. Our hardcore scene is plenty thriving. That said, this place will probably be an Ann Taylor.

          • Please PLEASE render me the names of bands in this thriving hardcore scene…I feel it’s lacking compared to Richmond and Baltimore unfortunately. Thanks in advance! Also, any venues I may have missed/not discovered yet. I’ve been in DC for a year and have hit the spots Im familiar with. I toured the east coast previously before but am always looking for places I haven’t heard of.

          • second and fifth google results for DC Hardcore:


            Former will get you leads on the real stuff (basement shows, etc…), latter has listings from VA to Baltimore of mostly club shows. Agree that Ram’s Head and Sonar generally book more heavy stuff than the clubs here, but go to a show there and go to one here and tell me there isn’t some method to the madness. In Baltimore 50% of the crowd is in a band, here it’s more like 10%.

          • Thanks dude! totally appreciate it. I have felt a little lost without a good scene to fall into. I used to hit 2-3 shows a week back home and have seen all of 2 in 12 months since being here! If you ever cross paths with a kid from Richmond at a show, beer is on me.

  • I sincerely hope the sign stays. could it be declared an historical landmark? can you do that for signs like this?

  • What is the list price out of curiosity. You can’t get it by following the link unless you are registered. I will guess $2.6 million. I am probably way low.

  • Eataly.

  • This has quietly been on the market for a couple years now. The quoted price as of 2009 was $4.5 million. The owners are a family that own the old Nathans and Cellar Door buildings. They have big eyes and don’t realize that people don’t want to pay that much money for buildings that are literally falling apart. This building will probably have to be gutted, and since the exterior isn’t even historic, it will probably get torn down instead and get replaced by something new.

  • They’d probably have to play an interesting mix of 80’s covers. Anything ranging from “Hip to be Square” to “Sussidio”

  • Breakfast cereal restaurant or a cruelty-free halal cupcakery where they sneak up behind the ingredients with a garotte while yelling “Allah is merciful.”

  • Hydro-colono-therapy spa. For dogs.
    Either that, or DC lacks an anal bleaching studio.

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