Ambassador Theatre

4604 Liberty Heights Avenue,
Baltimore, MD 21207

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Showing 1 - 25 of 34 comments

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

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

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

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 31, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Here are two more 1985 photos:

Photo1

Photo2

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 23, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Thanks. That link works fine. One of the comments above mentions that this theater opened in 1935, so it is possible that no organ was ever installed in this theater.

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

Sorry, Having trouble with the html, try THIS.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 23, 2008 at 11:47 am

RedDawg….Your photo link points back to this page.

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 22, 2008 at 6:23 pm

I haven’t found a theater organ listed for the Ambassador but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t have one. The organ list is missing a number of theaters and some theaters are listed as “unidentified new theatre”. The Ambassador could be one of those unidentified theaters.

From that description, the interior is probably being gutted and just an empty building is being sold. If you can find the photos, I’d enjoy seeing them.

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 22, 2008 at 5:17 pm

It sounds like the building is falling apart. I wonder what “Demo in Progress” means. Is the interior being gutted or is the whole building going to be demolished and the land is for sale.

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!

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 22, 2008 at 9:09 am

Building is for sale. “ENTER AT YOUR RISK”. Details

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!