Parkway Theatre

5 W. North Avenue,
Baltimore, MD 21201

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Showing 1 - 25 of 31 comments

Homeboy on August 18, 2018 at 2:40 pm

There is an eight-page article on the Parkway and it’s restoration in the Summer 2018 issue of Preservation magazine. Too many details to add in this message except that the original architect was Oliver Wight [sic].

randytheicon on May 4, 2017 at 9:47 am

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.

rivest266 on February 5, 2017 at 11:37 pm

Grand opening ad as 5 West from May 24th, 1956 can be found in the photo section.

rivest266 on January 29, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Parkway grand opening ad from October 23rd, 1915

Found on

randytheicon on August 17, 2016 at 6:07 pm

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.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on December 3, 2015 at 6:36 am

The Parkway became part of the Loew’s circuit on October 4th, 1926, the same day as the downtown Century Theatre. I’ve posted a shared ad at the CT listing for Loew’s Century.

DavidZornig on November 2, 2015 at 10:58 pm

1948 photo added courtesy of Gene Leitner.

There was a 100th birthday party for the Parkway on 10/23/15. Held across the street. Live music, food, outdoor film projections, and a chance to hear firsthand about the Maryland Film Festival’s plans to turn the Parkway into a 3-screen film center. Copy courtesy of Amy Davis. Below is her Flickering Treasures Facebook page with many more photos of the Parkway and other theatres.

randytheicon on February 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm

The Parkway is about to be renovated and expanded as the new home of the Maryland Film Festival: Baltimore Sun article

The area surrounding the Parkway has seen a renaissance in recent years as the Station North Arts District. Numerous live-theatre groups, restaurants and clubs have opened in the area, and the Maryland Institute School for the Arts has expanded to a nearby site.

CSWalczak on March 31, 2012 at 12:40 am

A recent photo essay that appeared in the Baltimore Sun.

Maximillian Genus
Maximillian Genus on March 26, 2012 at 7:53 am

RedDawg: A Balto. Sun article from Saturday was brought to my attention (,0,6286973.column) this morning. It reminded me of another article about the theatre from Sept 2008 that may interest you, regarding the city taking the property from owner/renovator Charles Dodson: “BDC To Seize Parkway Theater On North Avenue” ( In retrospect the comments as well as the article could raise an eyebrow or two.

RedDawg on December 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm

This message is for Joe Vogel & Chuck 1231: Guys, both of you have made some interesting comments here and I am presently working on an article about the Parkway for publication. I would like to use, with your permission, some of the detail you presented, but I would also need to know some of your source material. Since Cinema Treasures seems to have no way for members to contact other members (at least no way I have been able to discover) I would appreciate your contacting me at or through the email link on the website Thanks so much! -RedDawg

Gamble on December 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Its the internet. You can find anything.

RedDawg on November 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm

PorcelainDoll, I’m curious as to how you managed to gain access to the Parkway to obtain the photos you recently posted. (Also the Mayfair.)

TLSLOEWS on August 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm

A.K.A Loews Parkway.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 14, 2009 at 3:16 am

As reported in Boxoffice of October 20, 1956, when the Parkway Theatre was renovated and reopened as the 5 West Theatre the original seating capacity of 1,100 was reduced to a mere 440. The interior was gutted and rebuilt. A new concrete floor was poured for the orchestra section, and the balcony was re-stepped. The new seating rows were 48 inches back to back on the main floor and 64 inches back to back in the balcony. Additionally, the former standee area was enlarged and walled off from the auditorium to provide space for a new lounge.

The first film shown at the 5 West was the Alec Guinness comedy “The Lady Killers.” The theater was operated by the 5 West Amusement Company, Milton Schwaber, President. Three photos of the renovated theater appeared in Boxoffice Magazine, October 20, 1956.

The 5 West apparently began having difficulty operating as an art house as early as 1974, when the September issue of Boxoffice said that Schwaber Theatres had closed the house until further notice. I don’t know how long this closure lasted, but I haven’t found the house mentioned in Boxoffice again until July 26, 1976, when there was an item saying that Schwaber World Fare Cinemas had reopened the 5 West “…as a showcase for black exploitation films.”

As long ago as 1983, public involvement to revive the Parkway Theatre was being proposed. That year the December issue of Boxoffice reported that Baltimore city officials had applied for a $265,000 Federal grant which “…would be combined with $800,000 in private funds to build an entertainment center inside the Parkway Theatre….” Obviously nothing came of this proposal.

randytheicon on May 31, 2009 at 11:46 am

Wixie Children’s Musical Theatre staged live performances at the 5 West on weekday mornings in the 1960s (I saw their “Wizard of Oz” as a kid); the company later moved to the Painters Mill Music Fair in Owings Mills.

RedDawg on May 25, 2009 at 11:21 am

Lest anyone get the unrealistic impression from Mr. Gray’s above comment, the referenced Sun story indicates the “$1 billion” estimate is for the entire “Charles North Vision Plan” project, not just for the Parkway and its two adjacent buildings, not that I would have a problem with that kind of expenditure for them.

philbertgray on May 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm

The city of Baltimore is once again hoping to renovate the Parkway Theatre as a performance venue to help revitalize the downtown section north of Pennsylvania Station. In combination with two other buildings in the immediate area the total cost of the project is estimated at $1 billion dollars.

The city is discouraging proposals that rely on public funding.

The below article about the project appeared in The Baltimore sun Website on May 7 2009

View link

kencmcintyre on April 13, 2009 at 10:08 am

It reminds me of the Raymond in Pasadena.

moift on February 6, 2009 at 6:24 am

a big theatre. i saw Women in Love and A Touch of Class there on a double bill.

RedDawg on May 12, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Well, unless we can learn at least some detail of an emminent situation, there’s not much I, nor anyone can do. Are you at liberty to reveal any of those details or intercede with the owner/propietor to do so?

JackCoursey on May 12, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Only what the current proprietor told me this past Saturday.

RedDawg on May 12, 2008 at 10:36 am

Jack, is there some current news regarding the City’s intentions? The last I heard there was a study effort underway to produce a development plan for the area which includes the Parkway, but I have heard nothing suggesting anyone is considering demolition as opposed to restoration. Do you know something different?

JackCoursey on May 12, 2008 at 9:38 am

A great amount of money and effort has been lost by individuals who are attempting to restore and reopen the Parkway only to be stymied by the local government who would rather raze the theatre and use the land for other purposes. The current owner could really use some concerted help from the citizens of Baltimore in overcoming the bureaucratic roadblocks the city is putting up to prevent saving this magnificent piece of architecture.

rroberts on September 16, 2006 at 11:14 pm

Any progress on restoration or opening?