508 North Howard Street,
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Built in 1880 and opening as the Natatorium on June 17, 1880, it was a bathing house and swimming school. After alterations it became the Howard Auditorium opening April 6, 1891. The name was soon changed to Auditorium and it became an ice skating rink in Spring on 1894. It was remodelled to the plans of architect J.B. McElphatrick and reopened September 30, 1895. In 1896 it was remodelled again to the plans of architectural firm J.B. McElphatrick and a Palm Court was built on the roof garden. The old Auditorium was closed on April 4, 1903 and was demolished.
On the site rose a new Auditorium Theatre which opened on September 12, 1904 with Keith’s Vaudeville and moving pictures. It was designed by architectural firm J.D. Allen & Co. of Philadelphia. It was taken over by the Shubert Bros. in 1909 until 1913. Briefly operated by Poli, it returned to the Shubert’s in 1918. The theatre remained mainly a playhouse, although occasional films were presented.
In the summer of 1940, the Auditorium Theatre was remodelled again, this time to the plans of local architect E. Bernard Evander. It reopened as the Mayfair Theatre on January 31, 1941 with the movie “One Night at Earl Carroll’s staring Ken Murray. By 1960 it had been equipped with 70mm projectors. It was closed in April 1986. Today the Mayfair Theatre is another vacant theatre building in downtown Baltimore City.
In 1998 the roof collapsed. It is in general disrepair, but so far, the building remains standing.
Adjacent, just north of the Mayfair Theatre, a small parking lot marks the spot of the Stanley Theatre, Baltimore’s once largest theatre, until it was razed in the 1960’s.
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