Ambassador Theatre

4604 Liberty Heights Avenue,
Baltimore, MD 21207

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Ambassador Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Northwest Baltimore has several of the more interesting movie houses, but it’s the Ambassador Theatre which is perhaps the most interesting to see. The Art Deco style theatre commands the block, and while it hasn’t been a movie theatre since 1968, it still shines in the grace it once had.

The Ambassador Theatre is the sister theatre of the famous Senator Theatre, and both were the work of architect John J. Zink. The Ambassador Theatre was somewhat larger and more ornate.

The Ambassador Theatre has in recent years, been used as a church, a beauty school and a church again. The theatre was opened on September 18, 1935 with Marion Davies in “Page Miss Glory”, and it’s opening helped shut down the Gwynn Theatre across the street. The Ambassador Theatre is a real gem of a building, and its exterior has survived the years quite well.

One of the outstanding features about the Ambassador Theatre is its vertical sign, which dominates Liberty Heights Avenue.

Sadly, the Ambassador Theatre was badly damaged by a fire which began at 12.30am on July 5, 2012.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

RedDawg
RedDawg on September 23, 2008 at 11:30 am

I found the Ambassador pics I took during my “tour” in 2005. All but one of them are of the exterior and show it pretty much as it is now. The one interior shot can be found HERE and shows the stage-left “organ”/HVAC grille from the best vantage point I could access, standing on a precarious support and shooting through a tile removed from the dropped grid ceiling at that point. Even with flash on the camera, the wretched lighting made for no other usable pictures. The grille is very “deco” as can be seen.

RedDawg
RedDawg on September 23, 2008 at 11:53 am

Sorry, Having trouble with the html, try THIS.

RedDawg
RedDawg on September 23, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Not only possible, probable. They never come out without leaving SOME evidence of having been there. I could find none.

Stosh
Stosh on April 3, 2009 at 9:14 pm

I remember sitting in the Ambassador with my date some time in 1961-62 and my date complained about her arm getting wet. I told her she was probably imagining it, but a few minutes later I felt a drip, too.

A few minutes later we changed seats and it probably wasn’t more than 60 seconds later that the ceiling collapsed, sending plater, wood and thousands of gallons of water right where we had been sitting!

Turned out that the water cooling tower on the roof had collapsed and caused the deluge.

But it was a beautiful building and is still there, although the plans for renovation have collapsed, too.

As of this writing (April 3, 2009) the Senator theater is about to be foreclosed on and we’re not sure whether it will be saved.

Maximillian Genus
Maximillian Genus on July 9, 2009 at 8:42 am

Goes under the gavel in about 20 minutes… Hoping beyond hope (as I am for The Senator – auction 6 days away) that some theatre-friendly entity picks this up.

View link

randytheicon
randytheicon on July 25, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Sadly, no one even showed up for this auction. I live less than a mile from the Ambassador…while the surrounding neighborhood isn’t bad, the immediate area of the theatre is rather shabby. The former building of the Gwynn, across the street, has a collapsed roof. There’s also a long-closed Super Pride market.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 8, 2010 at 7:05 am

An article about the Durkee circuit’s new Ambassador Theatre appeared in Boxoffice of December 14, 1935. The only photographs in the article depict the front and the projection booth, but there is considerable description.

Maximillian Genus
Maximillian Genus on July 5, 2012 at 9:17 am

Sad to report that The Ambassador caught fire around 12:30 this morning http://www.wbaltv.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/Crews-battle-fires-at-historic-movie-theater-row-home/–/10131532/15410282/–/dn95c2/–/index.html No word on the cause of it as yet.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 24, 2012 at 7:57 am

New link for 1935 article cited above by Joe Vogel: Boxoffice

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