Thursday, July 21, 2016

Inside Washington Coliseum, where the Beatles gave their first concert in the US

Washington Coliseum is widely known as the venue where the Beatles gave their first concert in the United States. In its 75 years of history it has hosted a wide array of performances and athletic events, including ice skating, martial arts, ballet, music, circuses, and speeches until it then became a jail, a waste management facility and a parking lot.

Washington Coliseum opened in February 1941, as Uline Ice Arena built by Miguel L. "Uncle Mike" Uline for his hockey team, the Washington Lions. The first act was Sonja Henie's Hollywood Ice Revue while one of its first events was a pro-America rally designed to promote U.S. entry in World War II, just weeks before Pearl Harbor.

The arena was renamed Washington Coliseum in 1960 after it was bought by jewelry wholesaler Harry G. Lynn. It then became the basketball court for Washington Capitols where Earl Lloyd became the first African American athlete to play in the NBA. 

In 1964 the Beatles gave their first concert in the US, less than 48 hours after their historic appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. 8,092 fans attended the event with the Beatles playing for approximately 40 minutes. Concerts in the arena were banned in 1967 after a riot during a performance by The Temptations

Between 1969-1970 Washington Coliseum hosted a sport event for the last time, becoming the home of Washington Caps. In 1971 it was briefly turned into a makeshift jail for up to 1200 male and female prisoners arrested during the 1971 May Day Protests against the war in Vietnam.

From 1994 to 2003 the Washington Coliseum served as a trash transfer station by Waste Management, the company that handles trash disposal for the District of Columbia. Then, Waste Management applied for its demolition, however in 2007 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places

In 2015, Outdoor retailer REI announced that Washngton Coliseum will be redeveloped and will be turned into their fifth flagship store with additional office and retail space for other businesses. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned arenas and theaters around the world // More abandoned sports facilities // More abandoned places in the United States // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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