Walbrook Theater

3100 W. North Avenue,
Baltimore, MD 21216

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Circa 1950 photo courtesy of the Retro Pictures Facebook page.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Walbrook Theater opened on May 29, 1916 with a seating capacity of 1,400. It closed in 1966.

The building is currently home to the New Beginning Highway Church of Christ.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

BrooklynJim on June 17, 2006 at 9:44 am

Hey, Lost Memory! Fancy meeting you here in Baltimore!

A more panoramic shot of same “Joan of Arc” photo of the Walbrook is printed in Herbert H. Harwood, Jr.’s book, “Baltimore and its Streetcars” (1984, Quadrant Press, NY). The movie was out in 1948, but here it is in January 1951 re-release.

Two other theaters for which I did not find separate entries have photos in the same book:

1) Keith’s at Lexington & Park. Marquee shows “Red Hot and Blue” with Betty Hutton and Victor Mature in Nov. 1949.

2) Linden on Linden Ave. Sept. 1949. This time it’s “Red River” with the Duke, Montgomery Clift and Walter (“Old Rivers”) Brennan.

I don’t have the technical capability to scan and post, so I’m hoping someone in Baltimore (or anywhere else, for that matter) can track down this softcover book at a local library and add the photos to their respective sites. Thx & good luck!

DavidZornig on August 12, 2014 at 9:07 am

Circa 1950 photo added.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 7, 2015 at 6:19 pm

Here is the rather lengthy article about the Walbrook Theatre that appeared in the August 5, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“The Walbrook Theater, Baltimore, Md.

“Magnificent Photoplay House a Credit to the Industry— Constructed of Fireproof Material, and Is Equipped with Everything Modern.

“ONE of the most substantial and up-to-date suburban theaters of Baltimore, Md., is the Walbrook theater, which is located in the pretty suburb of that name at North avenue and Rosedale street, on the northwest corner. This theater was built by the Walbrook Amusement Company, which is being financed by many, of the Walbrook people, and was opened to the public on Monday, May 29, 1916.

“The officers of the company are: Harrison L. Stires, president; Oscar Teschner, vice president; Otis J. Tall, treasurer; Clarence H. Koonze, secretary; Christopher Wattenscheidt, counselor, with Marion S. Pearce and Phillip J. Scheck, directors.

“The building has been constructed so as to be absolutely fireproof throughout. The exterior is of Colonial brick with metal cornices, a slag roof, and a marquee has been placed over the triple arched doorways of mahogany of the main entrance on North avenue. The building measures 48x121 feet, and the lot on which it stands is 150 feet deep. Exits have been placed on all four sides and heavy metal fireproof doors protect the rear and side exits. The chairs were installed by Heywood Bros. and Wakefield Company. Ground was broken for the construction of this theater in December, 1915.

“The lobby measures 10x45 feet. The walls are of old ivory, while the wainscoting is of Marvelo marble. The box office, which has a verdi-antique base and is paneled with heavy plate glass on three sides, is located in the center of the inner wall between two large mahogany doors paneled with glass which lead into the auditorium. Directly at each end of the lobby, large doors open upon spacious staircases of ornamental cast iron with slate treads which lead to the mezzanine floor, where private rest rooms for women and men, beautifully arranged, are located; and thence to the balcony. The seating capacity of the balcony is 200 and the first row is arranged as boxes, which may be engaged for parties of three or four.

“The operator’s booth is located directly over the mezzanine floor and back of the balcony. It is equipped with the latest mechanical devices, including two Simplex, motor driven, projection machines, a motor generator and a rewinder. The ventilation of this booth is done by a large rotary exhaust fan. Fireproof protections of the latest design have been taken. The throw of the projection machine to the gold fibre screen, measuring 15xl8 ½ feet, is 110 feet.

“Situated in the ceiling, under the balcony, as you enter the auditorium, is located a dome, finished in old ivory, which emits a beautiful diffused glow from the cove lighting system with which it is equipped. The floor is bowled so that the screen can be plainly observed from every seat. There are two four-foot aisles. There is a row of eleven seats in the center and on each side of this row is a four foot aisle, and next to the walls on both sides is a row of six seats. These seats, which measure 19x20 inches, like the woodwork, are done in French grey. The ceiling is 30 feet high. The walls are done in old ivory, with large panels of Rose du Barry silk, topped by flower festoons. Below this a wainscoting of old leather dado. A large chandelier having an old metal effect of antique bronze is suspended from a heavy beamed and paneled ceiling with enriched cornices and mouldings. The orchestra pit measures 9x14 feet and has room enough for a baby grand piano and six musicians. A heavy, maroon colored carpet covers the floors. The seating capacity, including the balcony, is about 1,400.

“A low-pressure steam heating system is used. Three large radiators have been placed in recess panels on each side of the main auditorium and one small radiator is located in each rear exit. Other radiators have been placed throughout the building, so that a uniform temperature is produced.

“Both natural and artificial ventilating systems have been installed. There are ten ceiling ventilators. Large, rotary, ball-bearing fans have been placed in a vent house situated on the roof, which can be used to force the air either in or out of the theater.

“The performances are continuous from 2 p. m. to 11 p. m., but the regular stated periods for the schedule are from 2 to 5 p. m. and from 7 to 11 p. m. As yet no manager has been appointed for the theater, but this end of the work will be done by the directors and officers of the amusement company.”

DavidZornig on November 7, 2015 at 6:32 pm

I righted JackCoursey’s photo’s in the Photo’s Section.

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