Senator Theater to be sold at a foreclosure auction on Feb. 21st

posted by MaryLand on February 7, 2007 at 5:45 am

BALTIMORE, MD — Please Help Save Her.

The Senator Theatre is to be sold at a foreclosure auction Feb. 21, 2007. She is a wonderful, magnificent beauty that deserves to live on. Many of us have sworn off multiplexes in her favor.

“I’m extremely concerned that I’m about to lose my theater,” said Kiefaber, 54, who also owns the two-screen Rotunda Cinematheque and whose family long ago owned dozens of movie houses in Baltimore.

The Senator, at 5904 York Road, with its plush seats, 35-foot ceilings and elaborate murals about the history of entertainment, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The story was just posted in the Baltimore Sun newspaper on 2-6-07.

The Senator’s owner, acknowledged yesterday that the theater owes $90,000 on a $1.2 million mortgage.

Please visit the Senator Website for more info.

Theaters in this post

Comments (7)

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on February 7, 2007 at 10:44 am

How sad is this story………….

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on February 7, 2007 at 1:42 pm

I’m saddened to read about this but its not all that unexpected. On the Senator website for many months, there was a rather cryptic posting of the Senator, along with other closed venues that had a 200? end date. The last film I saw there was Hollywoodland(I forget for sure)? This place was THE destination to see many if not all the major big releases especially the “Lord of the Rings,” “ Star Wars” prequel trilogy and “Matrix” trilogies on their large screen and stupendous Dolby EX system and powerful subwoofers. You don’t watch movies there, you experience them along with the 900 or so others on many opening nights.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on February 9, 2007 at 7:23 am

It would be unacceptable for the Senator to close! It is an Art Deco gem, and one of the best remaining historic moviehouses in the nation. It is a great theater and a huge asset to the Baltimore-Washington DC region. Something should be worked out to avert the immediate crisis. Afterwards, donations, grants, etc. should be obtained to ensure continued operation and community enjoyment of the Senator.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on February 9, 2007 at 9:31 am

In the referenced article, it is reported that Mr. Kiefaber, the Senator Owner, did use some funds provided to him by the city via grants and/or guaranteed loans and did not pay the loans back. I doubt the city is going to be lending a helping hand this time around.

The Senator forums and local news reports talk about the problem of film clearance that certain venues use against independents like the Senator. Its a given this problem weighed somewhat into preventing the Senator from booking films that would have brought in more revenue than the films they did play there.

I, for one, have been requesting a classic film series like the Ziegfeld and Lafayette theaters, which could have brought in more revenue and showcased the gem of Baltimore that this venue is. It may not have cost as much as a first run booking, but now it seems its all a moot point.

The last time I was at the Senator, they seemed to be constructing the adjacent store front to the theater. I should have asked someone at the theater but didn’t as to what would be built there. It could be another theater, albeit a smaller one or a cafe or restaurant of some kind. A cafe would not be a good idea given the proximity (across the street) of many of them, including a Starbucks. Another theater or two would be nice as a holdover screen for those that opened in the main hall.

If the venue does survive, perhaps they should consider expanding their concessions to higher profit items..lattes, cappucinos, smoothies, gourmet cookies, desserts, etc. Perhaps a Senator/movie memorabilia store to sell Senator t-shirts, mugs, pens, movie cels, bulk movie tickets/passes and maybe some kind of satellite hook up to present live broadcast events such as sporting events, fights and even business events and conferences.

SchineHistorian
SchineHistorian on February 11, 2007 at 2:06 am

For years, the Senator has been the “poster child” for single screen historic theaters. And now this?! Something has to be done, the Senator is too important to lose! Hopefully the city of Baltimore recognizes the value and importance of this wonderful theater and steps in with some kind of rescue plan.

rainespencer
rainespencer on February 12, 2007 at 4:31 am

The Senator is now taking donations at http://www.senator.com (paypal) Please consider making a donation, even if its $5, $10, whatever. It would be a huge loss if the last of Baltimore’s historic movie houses goes the way of the dodo.

egcarter
egcarter on February 14, 2007 at 10:41 am

The point is not moot, folks! Contribute to the Senator Fund on their website. There has been a big outpouring of support from the Greater Baltimore community and beyond. Half of the needed funds have been raised by the evening of 2/14. Every little bit counts…please donate at http://www.senator.com via Paypal.

Owner Tom Kiefaber has been fighting the good fight against all odds for decades now. The film distributors have been the biggest fiends in all of this situation…

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