Senator Theatre

5904 York Road,
Baltimore, MD 21212

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RichardBaltoCo on June 26, 2009 at 7:39 am

Baltimore’s Senator Theatre goes to auction on July 22, 2009 at 11:00 am.

(Most of this information courtesy of Laura, thx — see last post, above) …

• Laura’s blog

• Facebook

• MdDailyRecord (Baltimore legal news)
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Obviously, friends in Baltimore and elsewhere hope that the theatre is acquired by someone who can appreciate it and keep it intact for future generations.

lauraserena on June 11, 2009 at 11:38 am

The Senator is going up for auction on July 21, 2009, and word on the street is that it’s probably going to become a church. There have been inquiries from churches about buying it, and this has happened to many historic theatres.

Senator owner Tom Kiefaber says:

“In the past few months a convoluted series of announcements and actions by the city has The Senator Theatre hurtling towards a precarious public auction on 7/21, where many have predicted that it will be sold to a religious non-profit organization. It’s a unacceptable scenario that should be seen for what it is and averted like a head on collision. The latest public assurances by Ms. Clarke and Councilman Henry that the city can still control the outcome of The Senator’s public auction, by threatening to sever the historic theatre from its critical long-term parking easement, ring hollow. They are increasingly unrealistic assurances that can be thwarted in a number of ways by a church entity with a winning bid at auction.

The time has arrived for all who have a vested interest in The Senator’s potentially glorious second act, to get involved through their political representatives. It’s imperative that the process gets back on track in order to avert a potential impending disaster that may have a severe and lasting negative impact on the Belvedere Square commercial district and the extended North Baltimore communities that surround it."

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A couple of blogs are regularly covering what’s happening at The Senator:

This weekend, there’s a Grateful Dead cover band/classic rock concert on Saturday night at 8 P.M. “One More Saturday Night.”

Giles on June 10, 2009 at 6:28 am

wow, that’s a really depressing list

allyson on June 9, 2009 at 8:48 pm

List of Baltimore Theaters that have closed
As of 2009

Baltimore, MD Aero Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Aldine Theatre 3310 E Baltimore St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Ambassador Theatre 4604 Liberty Heights Ave (CLOSED) CHURCH
Baltimore, MD Anthony Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Apollo Theatre 1500 Harford Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Arcade Theatre 5436 Harford Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Art Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Astor Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Auditorium Theatre 516 N Howard St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Aurora Theatre 7 E North Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Avalon Theatre 4300 Hamilton Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Avenue Theatre Milton Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Avenue Theatre 1401 N Milton Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Avon Theatre 3019 Hamilton Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Baltimore Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Belnord Theatre 2700 Pulaski Hwy (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Biddle Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Blue Mouse Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Booker T Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Boulevard Theatre 3302 Greenmount Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Bridge Theatre 2100 Edmondson Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Broadway Theatre 509 S Broadway (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Brodie Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Brooklyn Theatre 3730 S Hanover St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Cameo Theatre 4707 Harford Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Capitol Theatre 1518 W Baltimore St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Capri Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Carey Theatre 1422 N Carey St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Carlins Drive-In Theatre Druid Park Dr (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Carlton Theatre Dundalk Ave & German Hill Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Carrollwood I & II (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Casino Theatre 1118 Light St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Centre Theatre 10 E North Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Century Theatre 18 W Lexington St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Cinema Theatre 910 W North Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Clover Theatre 414 E Baltimore St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Cluster Theatre 303 S Broadway (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Colony Theatre 8123 Harford Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Columbia Theatre 709 Washington (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Crest Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Dainty Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD De Luxe Theatre 1318 E Fort Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Diane Theatre 1429 Pennsylvania Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Dixie Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Dunbar Theatre 619 N Central Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Echo Theatre 124 E Fort Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Eden Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Edgewood Theatre 3500 Edmondson Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Edmondson Village Theatre 4428 Edmondson Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Encore Theatre 4801 Liberty Heights Ave
Baltimore, MD Eureka Theatre 404 S Tremont Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Europa Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Forest Theatre 3300 Garrison Blvd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Fort Holabird Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Franklyn Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Fremont Theatre 504 N Fremont Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Fulton Theatre 1563 N Fulton Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Garden Theatre Light St & Cross St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Garden Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Globe Theatre 412 E Baltimore St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Goldfield Theatre 924 S Sharp St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Grand Theatre 509 S Conkling St (CLOSED) DEMOLISHED / TORN DOWN
Baltimore, MD Greenspring Cinema 2835A Smith Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Gwynn Theatre 4607 Liberty Heights Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Hampden Theatre 911 W 36th St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Harford Theatre 2618 Harford Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Harlem Theatre 616 N Gilmor St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Harley Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Highland Theatre 3829 Eastern Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Hill Theatre 608 Cherry Hill Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Hillendale Cinema 1045 Taylor Ave
Baltimore, MD Hilton Theatre 3117 W North Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Homewood Theatre 9 W 25th St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Horn Theatre 2016 W Pratt St (CLOSED) (CHURCH)
Baltimore, MD Howard Theatre 115 N Howard St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Ideal Theatre 903 W 36th St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Idle Hour Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Irvington Theatre 4113 Frederick Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Jean Theatre 913 Warner St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Lafayette Theatre 1422 W Lafayette Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Laff Theatre 31 W Lexington St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Leader Theatre 248 S Broadway (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Lenox Theatre 2155 Pennsylvania Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Lexway Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Liberty Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Lincoln Theatre 936 Pennsylvania Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Lincoln Theatre 2912 Lightfoot Dr (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Linden Theatre 910 W North Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Linwood Theatre 902 S Linwood Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Little Theatre 523 N Howard St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Lord Baltimore Theatre 1114 W Baltimore St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Lord Calvert Theatre 2444 Washington Blvd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Lovegrove Alley Theatre 1211 Lovegrove St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Madison Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Main Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Maryland Theatre 320 W Franklin (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Mascot Theatre 2431 Greenmount Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Mayfair Theatre 508 N Howard St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD McHenry Theatre 1032 Light St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Metro Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Metropolitan Theatre 1524 W North Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Monroe Theatre 1924 W Pratt St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Morgan Theatre 2426 Pennsylvania Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Morrell Park Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Movies 9 at the Golden Ring 6400 Rossville Blvd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Movies at Harbor Park 55 Market Pl (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Nemo Theatre 4815 Eastern Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD New Albert Theatre 1230 Pennsylvania Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD New Theatre 210 W Lexington (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD North Point Drive-In Theatre 4001 N Point Blvd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD North Point Plaza 4 Theaters 2399 N Point Blvd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Northway Theatre 6701 Harford Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Northwood Theatre 1572 Havenwood Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Nowosci Theatre 510 S Broadway (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Open-Air Theatre Governor Ritchie Hwy (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Orpheum Theatre 1726 Thames St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Palace Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Paramount Theatre 6650 Belair Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Park Theatre 1105 N Broadway (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Parkway Theatre 5 W North Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Pastime Theatre 2026 Greenmount Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Patapsco Theatre 603 Patapsco Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Patterson Theatre 3136 Eastern Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Pennington Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Perring Plaza Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Perry Hall Movies 8740 Belair Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Pic Theatre 756 Washington (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Pikes Village Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Pimlico Theatre 5132 Park Heights Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Plaza Theatre 1105 N Broadway (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Popular Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Preston Theatre 1108 E Preston St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Pumpkin Theatre 6229 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD Queen Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Radio Theatre 629 N Eden St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Realart Theatre 719 W Baltimore St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Red Wing Theatre 2239 E Monument St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Regal Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Regent Theatre 1627 Pennsylvania Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Reisterstown Plaza 5 6774 Reisterstown Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Rex Theatre 4617 York Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Rialto Theatre 846 W North Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Rio Theatre 1520 E Monument St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Ritz Theatre 1607 N Washington St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Rivoli Theatre 418 E Baltimore St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Roosevelt Theatre 512 W Biddle St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Roslyn Theatre 850 N Howard St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Roxy Theatre 2239 E Fayette St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Roy Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Schanze Theatre 2426 Pennsylvania Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Shriver Hall Theatre 3400 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD Stanley Theatre 516 N Howard St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Star Theatre 1529 E Monument St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD State Theatre 2045 E Monument St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Strand Theatre 404 N Howard (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Sunset Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Superba Theatre 906 Washington Blvd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Tower Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Town Theatre 315 W Franklin St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD University of Maryland Theatre 5401 Wilkens Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Uptown Theatre 5010 Park Heights Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Valencia Theatre 18 W Lexington St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Valley Drive-In Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Victoria Theatre 415 E Baltimore (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Victory Theatre 1017 Patapsco St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Vilma Theatre 3404 Belair Rd (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Vogue Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Walbrook Theatre 3100 W North Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Waverly Theatre 3211 Greenmount Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD West End Theatre 1603 W Baltimore St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Westport Theatre 2305 Russell St (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Westway Theatre 5300 Edmondson Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Windsor Theatre 3113 W North Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Wizard Theatre (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD York Road Cinema I & II (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD York Theatre 2026 Greenmount Ave (CLOSED)
Baltimore, MD Yorkridge 1-4 (CLOSED)

HowardBHaas on May 29, 2009 at 9:58 am

Classic screenings continue with “The Third Man (1949) ” “P.U.L.S.E” and “Yellow Submarine” $5 admission for each show.

HowardBHaas on May 21, 2009 at 9:57 am

Various classics continue including “Stagecoach” from 1939, the year the Senator came into being.

HowardBHaas on May 9, 2009 at 7:04 am

Classics continue with original Technicolor 35 mm print of “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean” the Beatles “Yellow Submarine” and “Horror Hotel” (Christopher Lee)

HowardBHaas on April 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm

The Senator is now showing 1937 A Star is Born and other classic films including Night of the Living Dead (Romero) and Help!

HowardBHaas on April 16, 2009 at 8:16 am

There’s also IB Technicolor showings of Charade.

Giles on April 16, 2009 at 8:07 am

Last weekend “Stop Making Sense"
rocked The Senator!

It’s The Same as it Ever Was!

This Friday, April 17th & Saturday, April 18th it's
Back By Popular Demand For Encore Presentations
Friday & Saturday only at 9:00pm.

Relive The Senator’s legendary 1984 engagement on
the big screen, cranked up with state-of-the-art sound!

A Jonathan Demme Film


“One of the greatest rock movies ever made."
Leonard Maltin

“Recession Buster” Admission is $5
Stay over for “Secret World Live” at no extra cost.

An innovative concert movie for the rock group The Talking Heads.

Starts Friday, April 17th @ The Senator
Friday & Saturday 10:30pm

A Francois Girard Film
Peter Gabriel
Secret World Live

Come Talk to Me | Steam | Across the River | Slow Marimbas
Shaking the Tree | Blood of Eden | San Jacinto | Red Raid
Kiss That Frog | Washing of the Water | Solsbury Hill
Digging in the Dirt | Sledgehammer | Big Time
Secret World | Don’t Give Up | In Your Eyes

“Recession Buster” Admission is $5

Saturday, April 18th & Sunday, April 19th
@ The Senator Theatre

The Senator Theatre
& The Belvedere Improvement Association
The 14th Annual
Belvedere SpringFest
An Earth Day Celebration


BARAKA (an ancient Sufi word for the essence of life) took filmmakers
to 24 countries on a worldwide 14 month odyssey capturing breathtaking
images to tell the story of earth’s evolution, human culture
and humankind’s ecological impact on the earth. BARAKA is a
stunning visual and auditory masterpiece when presented on
the big screen at “Baltimore’s Premiere Showplace.”

Admission is FREE
(Donations appreciated)

12:00 – 1:00pm (SATURDAY ONLY) :
We’re “Drumming up Support” for The Senator with a one-hour drum jam.
(Bring your own drums and shakers, or use ours!)

1:00 – 2:45pm (SATURDAY & SUNDAY):
BARAKA showtime for Saturday & Sunday is 1:00pm.

Monterey Pop
Saturday & Sunday only at 2:45pm

Filmed at the Monterey International Pop Festival

A D.A. Pennebaker Film

Performances by:
Scott McKenzie, The Mamas & The Papas, Canned Heat,
Simon & Garfunkel, Hugh Masekela, Jefferson Airplane, The Who,
Big Brother & The Holding Company, Country Joe & The Fish,
Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar & Janis Joplin

“Recession Buster” Admission is $5
Stay over to see “HELP!” at no extra cost

A documentary of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, focusing on the
audience as
well as performances by such artists as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin &
The Who.

Stop worrying! HELP! is on the way!

Saturday & Sunday only at 4:15pm

A Richard Lester Film

Featuring: The Beatles

“Recession Buster” Admission is $5


they aint first run, but wow, what a selection of movies! Anyone know if ‘Baraka’ will be 35mm or 70mm?

JodarMovieFan on April 14, 2009 at 12:50 pm

So the bottom line is no more movies (preferably first run) will be shown until……?

RichardBaltoCo on April 14, 2009 at 11:39 am

Foreclosure auction for Senator Theatre canceled
City working to acquire landmark

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By Chris Kaltenbach |
2:07 PM EDT, April 14, 2009

Monday’s scheduled foreclosure auction of the Senator Theatre has been
canceled, as city officials work on plans to acquire the 70-year-old
North Baltimore landmark.

C. Larry Hofmeister, an attorney representing mortgage holder 1st
Mariner Bank, said there are no plans to reschedule the auction at this

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon announced Saturday that the city, which is
the guarantor on $600,000 of the Senator’s $950,000 mortgage, would seek
to purchase the mortgage from 1st Mariner. Provided no one steps forward
willing to pay off the full amount of the mortgage, the proposal calls
for the city to then find someone to operate the theater, preferably as
a community-based arts and education center, likely to include movie
screenings as well as concerts and other events.

The proposal would have to be approved by the city’s Board of Estimates,
a process that could take 30 to 60 days, Deputy Mayor Andrew Frank said.
Plans call for the city to put together an advisory group, including
neighborhood residents and other interested parties, to recommend uses
for the theater.

Tuesday, the city’s Committee for Architectural and Historic
Preservation canceled a public hearing on a proposal to place the
Senator’s interior on a “special list” of protected building interiors.
C.H.A.P. executive director Kathleen Kotarba said the group would be
meeting Monday in closed session with City Solicitor George A. Nilson to
go over unspecified details of the proposal. The closed session would
involve discussion of “technical matters related to the procedure,” she
said. The hearing, she added, would “definitely be rescheduled.”

Outgoing Senator owner Tom Kiefaber has been critical of the proposed
landmark designation, saying whoever owns the building needs to be able
to adapt the interior in response to changes in movie exhibition
technology and audience attendance patterns.

He also has said such an interior designation, which would be a first
for C.H.A.P., would lessen the value of the Senator because it would
limit what a prospective buyer could do to the inside of the building.
He has said the proposal scared away a potential investor in the theater
shortly before it stopped showing first-run movies March 15.

View link

Copyright © 2009, The Baltimore Sun

RichardBaltoCo on April 13, 2009 at 7:15 am

Baltimore City to purchase Senator Theatre’s mortgage

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City agrees to purchase historic theater’s mortgage
By Liz F. Kay |
April 12, 2009

With little more than a week remaining before the auction of the historic Senator Theatre, Baltimore officials have agreed to purchase the mortgage on the property and either sell or lease it in the future.

The city would use $600,000 in cash already guaranteeing a loan to the theater toward approximately $950,000 for the mortgage, held by 1st Mariner Bank, and legal fees. In addition, Mayor Sheila Dixon will seek Board of Estimates approval within the next month to make up the difference with economic development bond funds approved for capital projects, said Deputy Mayor Andrew Frank.

“By purchasing the note, we can increase the odds that the theater will end up in the hands of someone who wants to run it as a theater or performing arts venue,” he said.

A strategy group of city and state leaders had recommended earlier this month that the city foreclose on the property.

“It puts the city in the position of guaranteeing it stays some sort of entertainment venue,” said Councilman Bill Henry, who represents the area surrounding the North Baltimore theater. He said he was “very, very happy” that the administration saw the value of taking control of the theater and is choosing to invest in this commercial corridor, which anchors Belvedere Square.

Under the terms of the agreement, the city would release proprietor Tom Kiefaber’s home in Sparks, which is currently held as collateral. The city would also auction off another collateral property on Orkney Road, to the east of the theater, to offset the cost of the purchase.

In exchange, the Senator Limited Partnership would lift the stay on auctioning the Senator property in case it files for bankruptcy.

The city would then foreclose on the property and auction the theater. It would have to sell to anyone who bid the amount of the note, Frank said. “We can’t say for sure no one will bid up to the amount of the mortgage,” he said.

However, if no one does, the city would take control of the property and would develop a request for proposals for a new operator.

“We know there’s a substantial amount of interest out there,” Frank said. “With control of the property, we’re confident we can find an end user who will add value down the road.”

Noting the city’s investments in Belvedere Square and the theater itself, Dixon stressed Saturday that the move was meant to safeguard money the city has spent.

“We’re not writing a check,” Dixon said. “We’ll lose $600,000 if we don’t do something. … It’s taking what we have, not losing that, and refocusing the mortgage.”

Kiefaber supports the move, said spokesman Sean Brescia, who has been working with the owner and others to save the theater.

“We think that the best outcome is likely to come out of this process that the city can control and manage, versus the unknown of a bank auction,” Brescia said.

He said he hopes the state Department of Housing and Community Development will also work with the Senator owner. Kiefaber owes the department about $680,000 for past loans, and it holds liens on his home and other properties.

“He is appreciative for the city’s willingness to work with him on this and hopes the state will, too,” Brescia said.

It’s unclear how long the purchase and foreclosure process could take, Frank said.

“We would move as quickly as possible because we don’t want the Senator to remain dark for longer than it has to,” he said.

No longer screening first-run films, the theater is showing classic movies and selling memorabilia to defray expenses and pay volunteers staffing the site.

It’s not clear which city agency would issue the request for proposals, but neighbors will have a chance to participate in the planning, Henry said.

View link

RichardBaltoCo on April 13, 2009 at 6:09 am

FLASH! City of Baltimore to buy the historic SENATOR THEATRE!

More details will be available shortly, but public radio stations are reporting this morning, locally and in DC, that the City of Baltimore is ready to pay off $1.2m to First Mariner Bank for the mortgage of the historic Senator Theatre.

News comes just 1 week before the scheduled public auction of the 1939 art deco picture palace. The city is seeking a long-term solution to keeping the beloved Senator alive as a movie theatre or performing arts center.

My girlfriend and I had a wonderful date there Saturday evening, with Jonathan Demme’s 1984 Stop Making Sense, starring David Byrne and the Talking Heads — with folks dancing in the aisles. During the past couple weeks, the Senator has been screening Technicolor prints of Charade, Horror of Dracula, Cabaret, plus classic cartoons and rock videos including the Grateful Dead at 11 pm on Saturday night.

Friends of the Senator Theatre

HowardBHaas on April 1, 2009 at 5:48 am

Today’s Senator email also announced:
We’re opening up The Senator’s back rooms!

Don’t miss your chance to own a piece of Senator Theatre history

Starting this Friday, April 3rd @ 1pm, a wide variety of Senator Theatre
memorabilia, including: film posters, banners, t-shirts, standees,
film reels, press books, vintage projection equipment, marquee
letters, large marquee signs from past premieres and more,
will fill our lobby spaces for your perusal and purchase.

Thousands of these items will be placed on sale
in the next few weeks, lobby space permitting.

All sales final ~ cash or check only

HowardBHaas on April 1, 2009 at 5:48 am

And, today’s Senator email announced This Weekend The Senator Has Scheduled Two Classic Films Presented With Rare Original “I.B.Technicolor” 35mm Prints
Cabaret (1972) and Horror of Dracula (1958)

HowardBHaas on March 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm

JodarMovieFan, today, I provided the changed status for the Rotunda, because the article says so. But, when the Senator ceased showing “Watchmen” the email stated there would be a final series, of classics. Let’s wait and see.

35mmfilmnut on March 27, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Sadly, the Senator is being foreclosed on. Sad, isn’t it? I saw a Technicolor print of Fiddler on the Roof there, in 4-track mag[netic sound]. You don’t get chances like that very often.

JodarMovieFan on March 27, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Perhaps this is premature, but the fact is this venue is no longer showing movies, dare we change the status to closed?

CSWalczak on March 27, 2009 at 2:41 pm

This should (also) be posted to the Rotunda’s page.

RichardBaltoCo on March 27, 2009 at 2:18 pm

View link

Rotunda Cinematheque won’t reopen
Kiefaber to concentrate on saving the Senator Theatre

By Chris Kaltenbach |
2:47 PM EDT, March 27, 2009

The Rotunda Cinematheque will not be re-opening, as operator Tom Kiefaber focuses his attention on saving the troubled Senator theater.

“We’ve kept the Rotunda Cinematheque open as long as possible to provide quality entertainment to the North Baltimore community and for the loyal, dedicated staff who have fought to keep it operating in conjunction with The Senator theatre,” Kiefaber said. “In this economy, it simply isn’t supporting itself and we’re unable to keep current with the utilities and overhead costs of operating the facility. We’ve made the tough decision to cease day-to-day operations at The Rotunda to focus our resources and energy on our efforts to reorganize The Senator Theatre under new ownership and management.”

Sean Brescia, the owner of a management and promotion company who has been working with Kiefaber for weeks to keep the Senator from foreclosure, said the owners of the Rotunda Mall, New Jersey-based Hekemian & Co., had been told of Kiefaber’s decision. Representatives from Hekemian could not be reached for comment. Last week, however, a Hekemian official said the company had no plans in the works should the Cinematheque shut down.

The twin-screen Cinematheque, which Kiefaber ran primarily as a showplace for movies that could no longer attract enough people to fill The Senator, showed its last movies Monday night.

Kiefaber, who is some $70,000 behind in mortgage payments on The Senator, had hoped to resume limited operations at the Rotunda, where he had been showing movies since December 2002.

Money raised through donations and rental of the Rotunda, he said, would help efforts to save The Senator, which is scheduled to be sold at a foreclosure auction April 20. Kiefaber and the Senator Community Trust, a group of area civic and business leaders, have been trying to raise enough money to forestall the auction long enough to find some private or non-profit concern willing to take over the 70-year-old North Baltimore landmark and ensure its continued operation, preferably as a community-based arts and education facility.

This is not the first time the Rotunda theaters, on 40th Street near Hampden, have gone dark. In March 2001, they shut down after the company that had been running them, Loews Corp., declared bankruptcy.

View link

RichardBaltoCo on March 23, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Get the word out:

View link


Giles on March 21, 2009 at 7:52 am

back on a tech question, what movies where shown in 8-channel Sony Dynamic Digital Sound when the Senator had that system for a while, as I recall (since I saw these there):

  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Immortal Beloved

what others? I think

  • Godzilla (remake) (didn’t extra bass speakers were added for this engagement?)

it’s too bad, the system came and went since that’s what really drew me to make treks up to Baltimore from DC. It would have made sense to keep it since it used the five channel front speakers in 70mm prints. Who ever submitted the info to Wikipedia about the Senator missed this technical sound aspect.