Little Theatre

523 N. Howard Street,
Baltimore, MD 21201

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Little Theatre

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The Little Theatre was a unique theatre located at the edge of downtown Baltimore. It was located at Howard Street and Franklin Street. Opened on December 8, 1927. In 1929 it was operated by a local film society, and showed foreign films that were rarely shown in American film houses. The theatre provided a four page brochure program which highlighted the feature film along with the program itself.

Later it was run by Trans-Lux theatres and by the local chain JF. It ended its days showing video porn flicks, closing in 1989.

It literally was a little theatre, including the screen! Many of the films shown there have become recognized classics. These include “Grand Illusion” and “Blowup” (where it did tremendous business). In the 1970’s, due to the downtown area’s decline, it was renamed the Mayfair II. The “movie palace” Mayfair Theatre was directly across the street.

Contributed by Michael Levin

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Michael21046 on December 14, 2004 at 4:10 pm

I believe the theatre is demolished. I recently drove past the Little’s original site where a parking lot and new office building seem to have replaced the original buildings.

Michael21046 on December 25, 2004 at 2:23 pm

It is definitely confirmed. According to the listing of Maryland theatres on the website the theatre was definitely torned down, replaced by a parking lot . Accordingly please list the theatre as closed and demolished. Also, a 1930’s photograph shown in the Kildduffs site shows the theatre marquee as the Europa while reopening under its more familiar nomenclature the Little. Is there anyone out there in Baltimore (or elsewhere) who knows the complete story of this small theatre? I only remember it from the 1950’s through the 1970’s.

deleted user
[Deleted] on December 25, 2004 at 3:36 pm

The Little Theatre actually opened in the 1920’s and for a brief time was called the Europa Theatre. When the Little was showing ‘X’ rated movies it was called the Little ‘X’ Theatre.

durango48 on September 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Films I remember seeing at The Little were: “Funeral In Berlin”, “Bonnie and Clyde”, “The Valachi Papers” and “Blowup” among a few others.

StevesNostalgia on September 10, 2014 at 8:21 am

I found this tiny bit of box office info. from 1972 in the archives at Variety:

“Who Slew Auntie Roo?” is wow in first at the Hippodrome. “Song of the Loon” is holding nicely in second at the Little. “Honky” is brisk in third at the New. “Modern Times” is steady in seventh frame at the Playhouse. Published Date: February 9th, 1972

Delfan1961 on October 3, 2014 at 6:48 am

The Little was not at the corner of Howard & Franklin Streets….it was in the middle of that block, between Franklin and Centre Streets. The photograph that was posted clearly shows it not to be on the corner. I saw a handful of movies there…“Sink the Bismarck”, “C.O.D.” (with Peter Cushing) are the only ones I can recall, off the top of my head.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm

The Little Theatre was older than we thought, and might have operated under yet another name prior to being the Europa. All I’ve found is this line from the April, 1912, issue of Motography: “Plans have been prepared by A. L. Forrest, architect, for a new theater to be erected at 523 Howard street, Baltimore.”

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