Many people know about The Beatles and their 1963 visit to the United States that heralded the “British Invasion.”
What few people realize is that their first concert in the U.S. was not on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” but at the Washington Coliseum (originally called Uline Arena) here in the District of Columbia. Here’s video from that show:
The building was primarily a hockey and boxing arena back when it was built in 1941, and hosted many sporting events and the occasional rock & roll revue. The Beatles’ show was one of the last great events to take place at the then-degrading Coliseum (the cover photo from Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits was taken at a 1966 concert there), its fate sealed by the construction of a newer, larger arena – Capital Centre – in nearby Largo, MD (not in DC, mind you).
For years, the structure sat degrading. For nearly ten years (1994-2003), it served as a waste/trash transfer facility, and currently is used as an indoor parking lot. In 2006, Uline Arena was added to the official protection list of the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board, and plans are afoot to return Uline Arena to prominence as a performing arts venue.