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Ritz at the Bourse is the current Philly home of “Rocky Horror,” with an amazing cast performing one Friday each month.
The Parkway reopened as a movie theatre on May 3, 2017. Two 85-seat auditoriums have been added to the restored original screen. Status should be set to Open/Showing Movies.
One thing I forgot to mention was the theatre’s original marquee. It was a large Digi-Dot display that could be controlled from the manager’s office – no climbing ladders to change the letters! It lent a little more prestige to the theatre. Sadly, it started to malfunction only a few months after opening, and was never fully repaired.
Also, this was the first theatre I ever saw where the signs outside each auditorium had Mylar inlays with the films' title logos, instead of regular lettering. Another quality touch that’s now standard in even the bargain houses.
“Rocky Horror” had a VERY successful run here from April 1994 to May 1996, and for one month in October 1997. On Sept. 17 1994 a local fan celebrated his 1,000th screening of the movie.
Construction continues at the Parkway site. The restaurant building to the left of the theatre has been demolished – this will be the location of three smaller theatres, which are now being built. Work continues on the interior of the Parkway, and signs advertise a spring 2017 opening.
The Art in 1984 was a beautiful, single-screen house with a balcony. It’s where I saw Prince’s “Purple Rain” in August 1984. BS Moss VERY crudely turned it into a triplex, with two narrow theatres on the ground floor and a somewhat decent room on the upper level. In 1988 the entire Moss chain was acquired by United Artists, which closed the theatre in November 1995 (“Rocky Horror” was the last movie to play there).
RHPS didn’t play there for 15 years…it opened in July 1978 and closed in late summer 1989, after UA sold the theatre to City Cinemas and moved “Rocky” to the Eastside on 3rd Ave. In spring 1991 it returned to the Village at Movieland 8th St., where it played until Nov. 1995.
Robert R., the correct order of ownership in the 1980s was: independent (Steve Hirsch) until July 1986, when Hirsch died; B.S. Moss Theatres (1986-88); UA (1988-89); and City Cinemas (1989-91). UA had taken over Moss and its theatres, including the Art/Movieland 8th St. down the street. Then, UA began divesting itself of single screen locations to concentrate on multiplexes, and the Playhouse was sold to CC.
Part of John Waters' “Cecil B. Demented” was filmed here.
I visited this theatre a few days ago. Looks pretty much the same as it did in the UA days. The original box office is closed; one now buys tix at the concession stand. The stand itself is half as large as before, with the other half now occupied in part by a popcorn-butter dispenser.
The auditoriums have been re-numbered: 6 through 8 are now 1 to 3; #4 is the old, large #5; and the old 4-3-2-1 are now 5-6-7-8. New #8 (old #1), the smallest house, has been remodeled, with the UA “shoebox” seating arrangement replaced with continental seating (eliminating the center aisle). 8/1 is larger than I remember, and now has Dolby Digital front channels only (no surrounds). (UA’s 1-2-3 and 8 were mono in the 35mm era.) #1 (old 6) also has new continental seating and full Dolby Digital with surrounds. The decor of the auditoriums has been changed as well, and there are reclining seats.
The place was very quiet for a Friday evening: the two showings of “Rocky Horror” I attended drew a grand total of 24 people, very unusual for a Halloween weekend, and far fewer than Marley typically had during the movie’s 1987-92 run there. The picture playing across the hall also seemed to have a tiny crowd. A shame, as prices under Horizon are much lower than at the Cinemark Egyptian: $9 top adult price, $6 matinees, plus a $3 upcharge for 3-D. Most Wednesdays, adult prices are $6 (and the upcharge). Concessions, which stick to the basics, are reasonably priced.
Marley Station itself is considered to be a dying mall. Restrictions on “mallrats,” and a 9 pm closing time, have reduced warm bodies considerably. The movies are overshadowed by Cinemark’s Arundel Mills monsterplex and its modern frills. Horizon Marley still is a nice place to see movies.
Scraggler: A Sbarro pizza shop is adjacent to that auditorium. Perhaps that is the source of the smell.
The Foundry’s cinemas were in two locations in the building: one with four screens, the other with three. The largest screen in the set of four was oddly shaped, with a peculiar elevated section on the far right.
“Rocky Horror” moved there from Cerberus in Dec. 1991, playing until June 1992.
Jack Coursey, the spaces vacated by the theatres DID remain vacant for quite a few years. The Foundry mall is a bit off the M Street “beaten path,” down a dark street and over a spooky canal. From my observations it doesn’t get as much foot traffic.
The Key never was a double. It opened with the original single-aisle screen, and then the three smaller upstairs screens were added in 1985.
In the mid-1980s there was a movie-themed gift shop next to the main entrance. Bought a few posters there…and proceeded to lose one of them that night at the Cerberus.
The Centre is nearing renovation and will be reopened as a performing arts center, with the help of the Maryland Institute College of Art (among others). Article from three years ago:
zenith82: The problem with Howard Street can be tied to one person: real-estate mogul “Honolulu” Harry Weinberg. He owned most of the property in downtown, but refused to develop it or even lease it to businesses. The buildings deteriorated. However, the city was afraid to press him, because it was known that he planned to bequeath his vast wealth to many hospitals. Nearly every medical center in Baltimore has a “Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Building.”
After Weinberg’s death, his estate held up the much-ballyhooed Westside development project, because they wanted their own developer instead of the one chosen by the city.
The Diane/New Carver/Carver was not “behind” the Royal; it was a block north, at 1429 Pennsylvania.
I got to see one show at the Royal, and it was a great one, with Otis Redding as the headliner. This was in either the early spring or fall of 1967. We sat through the live show, then sone non-descript jungle movie, then the entire Redding show again.
This theatre will reopen in summer 2014 under the management of Horizon Cinemas, run by former J-F Theatres booker Ira Miller.
Theatre was at one time operated by the Perry family.
Would have been 27 years in June.
UA Marley Station is CLOSED as of February 22, 2014.
The Pikes has been remodeled and REOPENED as a movie theatre, with two 80-seat stadium auditoriums in the front, and a smaller diner in the rear. Reopening was on 11/01/2013; the operator is former JF Theatres booker Ira Miller, who also runs the expanded Rotunda Cinemas and Beltway Movies 6.
“Rocky Horror” played there in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and at one time had one of the country’s longest-running engagements of the movie. The official NYC “shadowcast” performed there briefly in early 1978 after the Waverly in the Village stopped showing the movie; however, the New Yorker’s “uptown clientele” weren’t as supportive as the Village fans.
The New Yorker also hosted an ongoing run of “Shock Treatment,” the sequel to “Rocky Horror,” after its opening in late 1981.
The re-release of “Mary Poppins” was in summer 1980, and the movie hasn’t had a general reissue since then.
Much of the auditorium area is now occupied by offices of the Maryland Motor Vehicles Administration (MVA). Small shops have been added to the area outside the southeast wall.
Known in the 1970s as the “New Carver” and run in its latter days by the same people who operated the Uptown. It ended its life as a weekends-only dollar house playing blaxploitation and kung-fu movies.
Refrost, 1988 is correct. Between UA Marley and Glen Burnie Town Center, GCC couldn’t compete. I think it was a dollar house in its very last days.
Ronnie, movie theatres are ideal candidates for conversion into churches: large rooms with good acoustics and room for plenty of seating. The Harlem in west Baltimore started out as a church, became a movie house, and reverted to a church. The State on Monument St. in east Baltimore became Pastor Naomi Durant’s church, and she made few changes to the auditorium (including the seats).