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Bethesda Blues and Jazz to celebrate 75th anniversary of theater

By Aaron Kraut

Wednesday - 5/1/2013, 10:59am  ET

Marquee work at the Bethesda Blues 
and Jazz Supper Club Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club 
unveiling on Tuesday Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club 
unveiling on Tuesday Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club 
unveiling on Tuesday Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club 
unveiling on Tuesday Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club 
marquee, via Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club 
unveiling on Tuesday

The Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club opened in March, but it has delayed an official re-opening celebration until it could celebrate another milestone.

On May 17, the Club will couple a ribbon-cutting ceremony with a celebration of the historic Bethesda Theatre’s 75th anniversary. Jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis will take the stage for a special performance.

The theater (7719 Wisconsin Ave.) was built in 1938 in the streamline moderne style and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s Wisconsin Avenue marquee went unchanged until the Club took over operations and renovated the 500-seat theater for $8 million.

The theater went to auction in 2010 with a $4 million debt attached. A $12 million contribution from developer Bozzuto Group helped re-open it in 2007 when Bozzuto built The Whitney apartment complex above it.

Club owner Rick Brown’s mother graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School on the theater’s stage in 1947. He remembered going to movies there when it was still a movie theater in the 1950′s.

On May 17 at 6 p.m., local dignitaries and others will make remarks and cut a ribbon. A cocktail reception will follow from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. The main event, with Marsalis, starts with dinner at 7:15 p.m. and the show at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $175.

For more info, visit the Club website.