1032 Light Street,
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Previously operated by: Durkee, F.H., Enterprises
Architects: Oliver Birkhead Wight
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.
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Recent comments (view all 9 comments)
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!
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.
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.
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.
Here is its current function: http://www.keytechinc.com/news/KT_PR-mchenry.pdf
Here is an interior photo circa 1919:
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!
This opened on May 26th, 1917. Grand opening ad in the photo section and
Found on Newspapers.com
Circa 1963 photo added of Jules Morstein Jr.