10 E. North Avenue,
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The Centre Theatre opened on February 2, 1939, and this was a really amazing theater. It was part of a complex that included a studio theater in addition to the main hall and the broadcasting center of WFBR radio. It was the first theater in the city equipped for radio broadcasting in-house (other theaters had broadcast via remote before) and the first with the ability to project live television on the screen.
Though the main auditorium was long ago converted to office space for the Equitable Bank (Itself now long swallowed by mergers), the beautiful lobby with “heroic nudes” (according to opening night literature) is more or less still there. The studio theater is still there, although WFBR moved out a few years ago, and is being used as a storefront church (this section opens onto 20th Street). The exterior is in fine shape, the Moderne styling has not been changed at all and the marquee is still there.
In the 1930’s and 1940’s, North Avenue was considered the northernmost boundary of Baltimore, and development was spread along both sides of the street. Across the street from the Centre Theatre, is the Aurora Theatre, and a little to the west of the Aurora is the Parkway Theatre. The Centre Theatre was a Art Moderne style treat, and opened to great fanfare.
The building is still in excellent condition, and while lettering had been removed, the old vertical tower still stands. The entrance has long been sealed.
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