WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- For 60 years, from 1910 to 1970, it was a vital part of Washington's cultural scene, hosting some of the country's most famous and influential musicians.
Now, after being closed for more than 40 years, the Howard Theatre is back, and, according to the early reviews, is better than ever.
"It is so pretty, it is wonderful, it is nothing like it was, it's much better," said singer Martha Reeves, of Martha and the Vandellas fame.
Thursday's grand re-opening of the Howard, complete with a red, or purple, carpet -- to match the theatre's color theme -- came after a two-year, $29 million renovation.
"We had a great time in this theatre and I'm very happy that they're refurbishing it, and it's going to bring quality entertainment back to Washington, DC," said legendary singer Smokey Robinson.
Thursday's big event, hosted in part by Bill Cosby, was a wonderful mix of the old and the new in the R&B music scene, and, perhaps more importantly, a wonderful opportunity to reflect on all that the Howard Theatre was and all that it now promises to be.