McHenry Theatre

1032 Light Street,
Baltimore, MD 21230

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McHenry Theatre

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A developer is planning to turn the old McHenry Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland into office space.

Opened May 26, 1917, the McHenry Theatre was in operation as a movie theatre until 1971. It was converted to a Goodwill thrift store a few years later and in 1992 it became America’s Past Time Sports Center, with batting cages and video arcade games taking up space where moviegoers had once been.

The office space proposal also follows several unsuccessful attempts over the years to revive the McHenry Theatre as a movie theatre. The McHenry Theatre is now only a sad shadow of its former self with its entrance now taken up by a local restaurant.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Deena
Deena on August 6, 2001 at 9:05 am

I was wondering where I could find some information concerning more detailed information about the McHenry Theater. Like who was the first performer on stage in 1917? What was this particular theater famous for? This information would be used to organize a last benifit to the McHenry Theater before the building becomes used for office space. Thank you so much for all your help!

Deena

RealBob
RealBob on August 6, 2001 at 5:27 pm

According to Robert Headley’s out-of-print paperback book “Exit” (1974), there were no live performers at the May 26, 1917 opening. There was a feature film and 2 shorts. The McHenry was the first high-priced, first-run theatre in Baltimore.

DanBalto
DanBalto on August 29, 2001 at 11:41 am

The McHenry was NOT the first high-price, first-run theatre in Baltimore…just the first in SOUTH Baltimore. It was a beautiful theatre, but was primarily a neighborhood house. The credit of first high-price/first-run would probably go to Pearce and Scheck’s Victoria, on what is now the Block, built in 1908.

BalmerGirl
BalmerGirl on April 14, 2005 at 11:20 pm

I don’t know who the original architect was on the McHenry. I can tell you who did the renovations in the 1920s — architect Oliver Birkhead Wight. He was my great-uncle. Over 15 theatre designs and/or renovations can be attributed to him. As I find out more, I will add to this site.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 1, 2006 at 4:41 pm

Here is an interior photo circa 1919:
http://tinyurl.com/pgr4j

hnicolella
hnicolella on December 6, 2008 at 2:43 pm

I was very interested to read that “The Undying Flame” was scheduled to be shown for the Last Performance at the McHenry Theater. “Undying Flame”(1917) is thought to be a lost film. It’s one of the movies I’m researching for a book on silent films. Does anyone know if the film was actually shown or who would have the print at the moment? I wrote to the Senator Theater but have not yet received a response (No doubt it would help if I had a specific person to write to). I would greatly appreciate if anyone could help me on this or point me to someone who may be of assistance. Please e mail me at Many thanks!
Henry Nicolella

rivest266
rivest266 on January 30, 2017 at 3:55 pm

This opened on May 26th, 1917. Grand opening ad in the photo section and

Found on Newspapers.com

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