Dunbar Theatre

619 North Central Avenue,
Baltimore, MD 21205

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Dunbar Theatre

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The Dunbar Theatre claimed to be the first African-American owned theatre to operate in Baltimore. Designed by Callis & Callis it opened on November 22, 1916. It was enlarged in November 1923 to the plans of Oliver B. Wight & E.A. Lockhart to give a seating capacity of 500. Remodeled again in 1929 to the plans of J.F. Dusman and the seating capacity was increased to 944. It became the first African-American theatre in Baltimore to install both Vitaphone and Movietone sound systems.

A serious fire practically destroyed the Dunbar Theatre in June 1945. It was rebuilt in the summer of 1946, reopening on July 5. It was purchased by the city in 1957 and was closed on January 14, 1958 and demolished later that year. A housing project was built on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe, Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

dallasmovietheaters on June 19, 2016 at 8:38 am

Closed January 14, 1958 with its final film, “The Tin Star.”

coastnut on June 5, 2017 at 1:20 am

My great grandfather, Josiah Diggs, was one of the owners and operators of this establishment. I have a few fond memories from my childhood visits to Baltimore and across town with my granddad to explore behind the scenes, watch a movie and gobble free popcorn.

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