303 S. Broadway,
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Previous Names: Cinema X
Operated by the Cluster family, therefore getting its unusual name from the family. The Cluster Theatre opened in 1923, replacing an earlier Cluster Theatre (1909-1921) on the same site, and was the third of three Cluster Theatres to operate in Baltimore. It closed as a movie theatre in 1978. It had the first Wurlitzer theatre organ in Baltimore, which was a 2 manual 3 ranks instrument.
Fell’s Point is one of these areas that seems to reinvent itself every so often, and has survived quite well over the years. The area kept several movies houses open into the 1970’s, but since, all have closed except the Apex Theatre. The Cluster Theatre was closed in December 1977, but reopened a year later screening Chinese movies. In July 1981 it became Cinema X screening adult porn movies, but this only lasted a brief while, before reverting back to regular movies until final closure December 8, 1981.
The Cluster Theatre building sat vacant for years, and started to show signs of neglect, but has since been used by a Hispanic church, and seems to be doing well. The Cluster’s ornate marquee still stands today.
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Recent comments (view all 7 comments)
The Cluster Theatre was owned by my great-grandfather, Benjamin Cluster. I would be interested in any info regarding the theatre or the Cluster family.
Thank you very much for posting the Cluster Theatre photos. I am especially happy to have the older one. Would you happen to know the date it was taken?
The Cluster ran adult movies for a brief spell in the early-mid 1980s, but was closed down due to neighborhood and church complaints.
Here is a 1992 photo:
Here is a 1988 photo:
Hi I’m an artist currently living in Baltimore and I have been working on a series of paintings of old movie theaters including the Cluster. If your interested you can take a look here: http://www.rosemaryliss.com/
Must be a bad neighborhood, they have installed formidable prison-like bars around the entrance.