Rotunda Cinemas

711 West 40th Street,
Baltimore, MD 21211

Unfavorite 4 people favorited this theater

Rotunda Cinemas

Viewing: Photo | Street View

J-F Theatres opened the Rotunda Cinemas on September 13, 1974 as a twin theatre on the ground floor of the Rotunda Mall. It was later operated by Loew’s until they closed the theatre in March 2001. It was renovated by Tom Kiefaber who was then operating the Senator Theatre. He reopened it in December 2002 as a first-run movie house showing mainstream and art house films. He ran it as an independent alternative to multiplexes until closing the theatre on March 23, 2009.

New operators reopened the theater on May 19, 2009, and a third screen was added in 2010. In the summer of 2012, a fourth screen and a coffee shop will open.

Contributed by Shaun E. Adamec

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on May 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm

If it was, its hard to tell. When I saw a movie there it was just an ordinary theater, albeit small with a decent sized screen, say 30 feet maybe?

randytheicon
randytheicon on June 13, 2009 at 10:54 am

The Rotunda Twin, originally opened in the 1970s by J-F Theatres, has always been a small twin house (it’s on the ground floor of a tiny mall). It would’ve been impossible to install Cinerama there.

bdlyles
bdlyles on July 23, 2009 at 11:35 pm

The Rotunda did open in the 1970s, but it was not always a twin house. I remember seeing Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back there in 1980, and I’m pretty sure it was a full screen. Not sure if it was “Cinerama” but it was a full screen.

randytheicon
randytheicon on July 2, 2010 at 7:35 pm

BD, you most definitely did NOT see “Empire” at the Rotunda, and it was DEFINITELY a twin. I saw “Apocalypse Now” there in December 1979, and “Mary Poppins” in summer 1980.

You might be thinking of the Hillendale on Taylor Ave., where “Empire” played in imperfectly-framed 70MM.

AS for the Rotunda, during “Poppins” there was a loud buzz in the speaker every time an idle projector was started for a reel change! (Yes, there were still twin reel-to-reel machines there.)

The current operator of the Rotunda (whose name I can’t remember) was a booker for J-F Theatres in the 1970s. He plans to add a third screen.

corvette66
corvette66 on January 18, 2012 at 11:13 pm

This is a great neighborhood theater that was re-opened a couple years back by my good friend Ira Miller and his partners. The three theaters are small when compared to the giant mega-complexes seen today. Very reminiscent of how going to the movies used to be. Clean, friendly, comfortable with great prices. Plans are in the works to possibly expand further. Try this place and enjoy the show. I am sure you will like it and return again and again. The lady in the photo is Patty Duke. A big movie and TV star of the 50’s and 60’s. Remember her with Anne Bancroft in “The Miracle Worker” where she portrayed Helen Keller. That was some brilliant acting in that script

twien6
twien6 on March 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm

The Rotunda Cinemas will be adding a 4th screen and coffee shop to be open this summer.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on March 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm

The website for the Rotunda Cinemas is now http://www.therotundacinemas.com/

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Described in this 1975 trade article: Boxoffice

bdlyles
bdlyles on August 5, 2012 at 9:15 am

I stand corrected about the Rotunda opening as a single theater, and thanks for the proof… I was young at the time, so maybe the theater just seemed like it was bigger. But could The Empire Strikes Back have been shown there? I swear I saw it there.

twien6
twien6 on December 11, 2012 at 8:40 pm

The Rotunda Cinemas now has 4 screens, all with digital projection and sound. There is also a coffee shop named “Reel Coffee” as part of the complex.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater