Ambassador Theatre

4604 Liberty Heights Avenue,
Baltimore, MD 21207

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Showing 1 - 25 of 32 comments

Stosh
Stosh on March 24, 2017 at 6:12 am

jammer, where did you live back then? I was on Forest Park Avenue, a few blocks below the golf course.

jammer
jammer on March 23, 2017 at 9:02 pm

My and I spend many hours watching films at this theater in the 60’s . From West side Story to The Nutty Professor to to the Wild Angels and John Wayne in The Sons of Katie Elder and so many more . I can still remember the concession counter and as you walked to your seats the “ Restroom ” sign was lit in neon purple and the door leading to the balcony. Unlike the photograph they show here , they have those purple lights on the walls next to the screen and made a bit spooky for a kid under 10 .And on rainy days they still used the same long tent , so you be dropped off at the curb and not get wet to the ticket booth and it was the same one from the 30’s . I passed by there during the 80’s and saw it was a beauty shop . I never known till I saw a picture years ago with a theater across the street was called in the 60’s Penn Fruit grocery store. The hangout for teens was Reads down at the end of the block Since I spent my childhood going to the Ambassador and Crest with my family and friends . Even as a kid , the outside of the Theater always seemed special and am glad its a Landmark , since I had never seen another Theater in Baltimore built like that ever .

rivest266
rivest266 on February 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm

The September 15th, 1935 grand opening ad can be found in the photo section for this cinema.

pnelson
pnelson on June 30, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Art deco beauty in this theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 10, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Linkrot repair: The December 14, 1935, Boxoffice article about the Ambassador Theatre can now be found at this link.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 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 22, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Actually, theatre organs being one of my loves, my main interest in going thru the building at the time was to determine if an organ had ever been installed. None of the standard references listed one and from my inspection I can say pretty definitively that they are correct. But it is also my judgment that one COULD have been installed if a suitable restoration of the building was ever undertaken.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on September 22, 2008 at 6:20 pm

So much for the revitalization project. I haven’t been by there in a few years but its sad to read that the property has been allowed to deteriorate the way it is described.

RedDawg
RedDawg on September 22, 2008 at 6:10 pm

When I went thru the building when it was being marketed about three years ago, about the only original detail remaining was portions of the “grills” where, if one had ever been installed, the organ chambers would have been. In this instance, it looked like these areas had always been used as air-handling feeds or returns. The rest of the space was abysmal, the balcony had been enclosed and hap-hazardly converted to office space. Mold was rampant and the building reeked of dampness. I’ll link to some pictures if I can locate them.

RedDawg
RedDawg on September 22, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Wow, does THAT look like a can of worms. If you follow the “Details” link in the previous post you will see the “Maryland Residential Property Disclosure and Disclaimer Statement” filed last year by the owner. To begin with, why this property is being characterized as a “Residence” when the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation clearly has it listed as “Commercial” [url]http://sdatcert3.resiusa.org/rp_rewrite/details.aspx?County=03&SearchType=STREET&AccountNumber=28%20%2002%20%208252%20%20%20003[/url] is a mystery. That link also shows that the property was purchased in 2006 for $300,000. The current listing price is $475,000.

In the Property Disclosure and Disclaimer Statement several salient questions seem to have been “skipped” altogether, e.g., Question #4 “Other Structural Systems, Including Exterior Walls and Floors: Any defects (structural or otherwise)? The available answers are Yes, No or Unknown. The Owner has made no entry. The same holds true for three other germaine questions.

Further, the City Permit and Code Enforcement web page shows that the only Building Permit issued for the property since 2002 is one which expired in August, 2006, taken out for the purpose of “cleaning up trash left by the previous owner. If there is active demolition currently taking place (as indicated in the listing), it is being done without City Permit and probably without its knowledge, so enter at your own risk indeed!

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on September 16, 2007 at 11:30 pm

There are bad neighborhoods everywhere. That doesn’t mean there couldn’t be one here.

ambassador1935
ambassador1935 on September 16, 2007 at 8:31 pm

the neighobr can not have a movie houes the peolpe that live in the neighobr is to bad

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on April 17, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Its beeen two years since there was a post about making this place a theater again. Anyone know what is going on, if anything? With the recent Senator woes, who happens to be a not too distant neighbor, what is the viability of revitalizing this theater?

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim on June 18, 2006 at 11:06 am

On page 39 of Herbert H. Harwood Jr.’s book, “Baltimore and Its Streetcars” (Quadrant Press, NY, softcover, 1984), there is a wide panoramic shot which features the Ambassador on the left (“Gypsy Wildcat” is featured on the marquee) and the Gwynn on the right. The photo is dated April 1951.

Am posting this in the hope that someone out there with the technical capability has access to this book so that a link can be posted here for everyone’s enjoyment. Good luck!

jward
jward on January 19, 2005 at 10:52 am

Currently the project is still in the phase of acquistion of all the parcels involved, which should be completed by the end of January. After the final settlement, we are going to be having a press release issued and a big ground breaking ceremony.

As for the website, our server was hit by a virus around mid December and is in the process of being put back online. We are taking this opportunity to revamp the entire site and include the new site plan for the project, as well as interior shots and more currents shots of the project area.

Feel free to contact me directly Thomas and I would be happy to email the interior view over to you.

Thomas
Thomas on January 5, 2005 at 5:14 pm

I heard about a year ago that tere was something in the works to save the Ambassador. I have yet to be able to get the web site that was listed up. JamesW, if you have a few interior shots you would like to share, I’d love to share them with everyone. My page on Kilduffs has no interior shots at all. I would love to see this theatre come back, and in time, who knows. But I have to agree Charles that the area really might not be up for a theatre quite yet. Maybe in a few years though. Remember the Hippodrome in the 1980’s.