Keith's Theatre

114 West Lexington Street,
Baltimore, MD 21201

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Keith Theatre 1952

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Garden Theatre opened on January 30, 1915 with a vaudeville bill. Films were soon added as part of the program. As well as the 2,700 seat theatre, it had a roof garden, decorated in a Japanese style, which was named the Jardin de Danse. When full to capacity, the entire building could accommodate 6,000 people.

It was remodeled as the New Garden Theatre in December 1927. Renamed Keith-Albee Theatre in 1928, it was shortened to Keith’s Theatre in 1930.

Dancing continued on the roof garden for several years after World War II. Keith’s Theatre was the first in Baltimore to install a new wide screen for the showing of the Alan Ladd movie “Shane” in 1953. It closed on December 3, 1955 with a stage show featuring Bill Haley and his Comets. The auditorium was demolished to build a parking garage (which has since been demolished).

Contributed by Lost Memory, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

randytheicon
randytheicon on June 15, 2009 at 10:54 pm

The garage that replaced Keith’s was unusual: it had large hydraulic car elevators that moved from side-to-side as well as up-and-down! As a kid I spent many hours just watching those lifts. By the 1980s all but the ground level of the garage was closed; later it shut down altogether. Two teenagers died when they were chasing birds inside and fell down the hoistway for the lifts; after that the building was declared unsafe and was razed. (Apologies for the somewhat off-topic post…)

randytheicon
randytheicon on June 16, 2009 at 11:20 pm

LM, I walked by the Keith’s site this morning…all those times I’ve passed by there and never realized it was a theatre lobby!

Odd thing is, 112 W. Lexington looks more like a theatre entrance than 114. That building has a huge curved wall of translucent glass blocks on the upper floors, similar to the Senator.

randytheicon
randytheicon on June 17, 2009 at 3:30 am

The building described in Kilduff’s is indeed 114, which I confirmed today. The exterior of 112 just strikes me as being a great theatre exterior.

It’s too bad the New’s Lex exterior is covered up by ugly panels…

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