The Lincoln Theater

Lincoln Theater in 1974

The Lincoln Theater was one of the premiere blues and jazz venues on 7th Street. Surrounded by shops and clubs, the theater hosted legends like Billie Holiday and Paul Robeson among others, adding proof to Tom Bowden’s claim that 7th Street in the 1940s and ’50s was “Harlem West.”

The theater was built between 1919 and 1921, a time when nickelodeons were a popular form of entertainment. The Lincoln replaced two nickelodeons when it was built – it started as a vaudeville stage, before becoming a showplace for films, live music and community events. Continue reading “The Lincoln Theater”