Washington Theater (Carusi's Saloon)

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Billing itself as "The" Theater at the start of the Civil War, Washington Theater was a small venue that doubled as a dancing hall and saloon. It was the only theater in operation when the war began in April 1861. Beginning in 1864, it joined Odd Fellows' Hall in featuring dioramas or stereopticon projections. Production was temporarily suspended after the start of the war, due to (as an announcement stated in the Evening Star newspaper) "the condition of affairs here just now not being favorable to theatricals." The hiatus began around April 22, 1861 and lasted only about a week.


  • Morrison, Andrew, Theatre Guide of Washington, D.C., (Washington, DC: The Theatre Historical Society, 1972). View source information 
  • Bloomfield, Maxwell, "Wartime Drama: The Theater in Washington (1861-1865)," Maryland Historical Magazine, vol 64. View source information