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The new Royal Theater Marquis Monument is phrase one of an ongoing series of projects that the Pennsylvania [PARC] Avenue Redevelopment Collorabrative is successfully leading. Workingly closely with the Mayor’s Office of the City of Baltimore, the Upton Planning Committee, the 14 community groups that make up PARC including the Pennsylvania Avenue Committee [PAC], our chair George Gilliam and his late wife, Stephanie Gilliam worked over seven years to erect the new and quite beautiful Royal Theater Monument.
It was dedicated by Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley and Mr. Gilliam on Monday, April 5, 2004. The dedication ceremony drew over 200 people on a chilly April morning. City planners, residents, visitors, and tourists aLL emphatically agree that the new Royal Theater is a very nice reminder to the past history of Historic Penn Avenue.
On June 9, 2004, PARC will host a planning meeting to improve and restore the Billie Holiday Statue and Park that sits directly across from the Royal Theater.
It is always less-than-interesting to hear/read “negative” comments when they come from individuals who have done nothing to improve anything not even their shortsightness in appreciating the efforts of others.
Stephanie Gilliam was murdered on December 28, 2003, at age 50, after spending the last six-seven years of her life to design and create the Royal Theater Monument.
The great musical legend William “Smokey” Robinson came to Baltimore and performed in October 2002 to assist in the fundraising and public awareness campaign to build the monument.
At the dedication Smokey became the first legend to have his image signature and hand print inscribed on the Royal Theater Monument Wall of Fame. A memorial to Stephanie Gilliam was also place there.
Additionally, there is a music recording inplanted in the monument which plays the music of many of the Royal Theater entertainers.
On September 24-25, 2004 Smokey will again return to Baltimore and perform as part of the “Royal Theater Reunion Weekend”.
For the last nine years, PAC has held the city’s largest parade in the African American Community in Baltimore. Thousands of people attend. It is called the Fathers Day Cadillac Parade & Royal Theater Music Festival. This year the festival had to be moved the September 24-25 as the Baltimore African American Heritage Festival is being held in Camden Yards on FATHERS' Day weekend, June 18-20, 2004.
For additional information please contact me, Louis C. Fields, President of the Baltimore Black Heritage Tours at email:
President: African American Tourism Council of MD, Inc.
Board Member: PARC & Baltimore Heritage, Inc.